Make sure you read the first part of this article, The needs of mothers during labour and childbirth.

Support is essential for a mother in labour. She needs to be surrounded by positive energy, love, understanding, respect and encouragement. This helps her relax, concentrate on the moment and fully experience this unforgettable day in her life.

The first person to support a woman in labour is often her partner, but it may also be someone she trusts or is significant to her.

Of course, there are different couple dynamics, and some fathers or partners may not want to be present and won’t provide the type of support the mother needs. They may have a negative non-verbal attitude, be indifferent or passive. If this occurs, the woman needs to plan for a different person to be with her during labour to get the attention, care, and comfort that she needs.

Fathers will often communicate their feeling of powerlessness in the face of the pain their partner is feeling. It’s not easy, because you can’t take her place. But women in labour mostly need someone who is fully there with them, at their side.

Slowly breathe with her, hold her hand. Wipe her brow and neck, softly rub her, massage her lower back, say comforting words. Just be there for her. This is what she needs. She’ll know you are there, feel your strength, love and care, and will draw on it when she needs it. An amazing gift! She knows she’s not alone giving birth to her baby.

Photo - Couple qui attend un enfant et médecin - Les besoins d’une mère en travail et pendant l’accouchementThe nursing staff is also present during labour and childbirth. They will work with couples during the different stages. The couple can ask them questions, share their concerns with them. If you prepared a birthing plan, this will help nurses understand your needs and fulfill your wishes as much as possible.

The medical team is also there to act if necessary and will be there during the delivery stage most of the time. It reassures parents knowing that a qualified team is there when needed, to act if there are complications.

To continue reading, go to The Need for Intimacy.