Support and encouragement when you're in labour is important - and you may want to share the special moments after the birth with someone you trust and love too.
Your partner may be the obvious choice, but it doesn't have to be him - and if he can't, or isn’t comfortable being there, then it can easily be another person. You could also have your partner along with someone else who means the world to you like your mother, or maybe mother-in-law.
There's some evidence that having another person with you, instead of, or as well as your partner, is helpful to mothers, and can even shorten labour and make it a better experience for you. You could have a close friend, parents or a dear relative.
You'll have health professionals looking after your care all the way through your labour, and of course it's important to feel comfortable with them, and to trust them. Sometimes, a birth partner is a great support in communicating what you need or want to the health professionals, and just being there for you.
Think carefully about who you'd like to be with you. The person you choose needs to be someone:
- You won't ever feel shy or embarrassed with - not just because they'll see bits of you normally kept private, but also because when labour gets to be harder work, you might say things that sound irritated, aggressive or simply abusive.
- Who will be strong and calm all throughout the labour stages. Talk over your plans for a partner with the hospital beforehand to avoid any confusion or issues later.