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For Partners; The Simplest Yet Most Important Thing You Can Do For Moms in Labour.

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

For Partners; The Simplest Yet Most Important Thing You Can Do For Moms in Labour.

As a childbirth mentor, I consider myself privileged to be able to talk intimately with women about issues that really matter to them.  I am going to share with partners, something that came up very intensely with the women I hung out with recently in an exclusive mamas only group.  It can be an issue defined by our modern technological times, and yet has probably existed throughout the ages, excepting for maybe the times when partners didn’t accompany mothers into the labour room.  But again, the activism of those times flourished from a strong desire for partners to be present with women through labour.  And it is our definition of “present” that lies at the crux of the discussion.  There is an important distinction to be made between being in the room, and really being there.  It is the difference between being present and being attuned.  Our human existence I am sure, has always been ripe with opportunity for distraction.  But our modern times have offered us powerful technology which serves us beautifully; to broadcast the excitement of our birthing status, to capture vivid photographs and video of the moment, to connect this beautiful event to family and friends.  But each of these opportunities for outward connection come at a cost to our personal connection to the ones in front of us.  And in this particular moment, she really needs, and more importantly wants her partner beside her and focused.   An important question to ask oneself is how present can one really be, when also engaged in one’s mobile phone?

The birthing space is sacred space.  If the energy is set properly, she will be able to transcend into a primal place where coping with the challenges of labour are much more manageable.  When we are occupying this space with a labouring mother,  she can feel safe when she knows she is accompanied, where people who are tethered to the material world have her back.  We are basically NASA, for her space mission.  She is incredibly vulnerable, and desires to know that she has caring and unwavering support for her, as she journeys to bring baby through.  If she is constantly being pulled off track to look back to see if her support is around, she may not be able to go as deeply as she can go.  This can ultimately make things more difficult for her, perhaps even complicating the process.  Additionally, women will simultaneously worry about partners.  They understand that partners will need some time for self care, and that may look like a need to “tune out’, or tune into the phone for a break.   Again, ideally she is in a space where she is unaffected by the needs of her partner.  Labour is a big job for mothers and partners, and plans need to be made so that all are cared for.  Mothers who are worrying about partners needs, are not able to stay deep.  Again this can be at the cost of managing through labour.

There are some easy solutions to these challenges.

-Have a conversation before labour commences around the expectations/hopes/boundaries, for technology use in                                           labour.  Maybe parking the phone/tablet  for the duration, or perhaps only pulling it out when taking a break outside the                               room may be a solution.

-Have additional support for labour, so that partners can get a break, and mamas always have competent support from                                   the ground.  She doesn’t have to worry from either end.

-Bring someone in to do tech; photographer, filming…let partners be in the experience, not busy documenting.

Partners come to me all of the time asking the same thing; what can I do to be helpful?  And I think the basis of the answer is really just being present.  With an encompassed attunement to a woman in labour, it becomes obvious what it is that she needs; water, a warm blanket, love and encouragement.   For the most part, above all else, women want their partners beside them. She wants to feel that presence, the intimacy that delivered a couple to this moment in life.  This is part of building the foundation for the family, journeying through together.  Best of luck.

 

Warmly,

Corina

 

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