Pregnancy - labor coach; Delivery - labor coach
You have a big job as the labor coach. You are the main person who will:
Whether you are helping the mother breathe or giving her a backrub, you will also be a familiar face on a hectic day. Just being there counts for a lot. Here are some tips for getting prepared.
Before the big day Arrives
Labor coaches should go to childbirth classes with the mother-to-be before her due date. These classes will help you learn how to comfort and support her when the big day arrives.
Get to know the hospital. Take a tour of the hospital prior to the birth. A tour may be part of the childbirth classes. Talk with the staff on the labor and delivery unit to get an idea of what will happen on the big day.
Know what the mom expects. You and the mother should talk ahead of time about what should happen on the day of delivery.
Natural childbirth is very hard work. A woman may decide on natural childbirth at first, but find that the pain is too much to bear when she is in labor. Talk with her ahead of time about how she wants you to respond at this point.
Write down a plan. A written plan for the labor and delivery will help make things clear ahead of time. Of course, when the contractions are in high gear, many of those decisions may change. This is OK. Give her your full support around how she wants to get through her labor and delivery.
When the day Arrives
You might be at the hospital for many hours. So remember to bring things to the hospital for yourself, such as:
It may take a long time for the baby to be born. Be prepared to wait. Labor and delivery can be a long process. Be patient.
At the hospital
When you are at the hospital:
DONA International. What is a doula? www.dona.org/what-is-a-doula. Accessed June 12, 2018.
Kilpatrick S, Garrison E. Normal labor and delivery. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, et al, eds. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 12.
Thorp JM, Laughon SK. Clinical aspects of normal and abnormal labor. In: Creasy RK, Resnick R, Iams JD, Lockwood CJ, Moore TR, Greene MF, eds. Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 43.
Review Date: 4/19/2018
Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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