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The Importance of the Birth Partner: How They Can Support You During Labor and Birth

Updated: May 24

While we are labouring, we can choose to have a birth partner there to support us as we welcome our precious babies earth-side! This person could be your baby's other parent, a friend, family member or somebody else special to you.

While you're undeniably doing the biggest job of all, your partner plays a HUGE role in this whole process - they're there to help advocate for you, to hold your hand, ensure you're comfortable and provide moral support! This is someone who believes fully in your ability to birth your baby.  

I'm incredibly passionate about the role and importance of the birth partner because during my first birth, my partner was my absolute ROCK - their physical presence and their words of encouragement helped me through those moments of labour that I didn't think I could manage. Their unwavering support during this labour allowed me to feel safe when I was at my most vulnerable, something that more than 16 years later still holds true in our relationship!

The Role of Your Birth Partner in Your Labour

Birth partners also hold a unique power: the ability to trigger the release of the hormone oxytocin, often referred to as the “love drug” or “bonding hormone.” Oxytocin plays a pivotal role in labor and childbirth; its release is what causes the uterus to contract. So, when a labouring woman feels safe, loved, and supported, her oxytocin levels increase, which leads to more effective contractions and a smoother labor process.

Oxytocin is also released through touch: kissing, hugging, massage and counter pressure will also help to stimulate contractions as well as providing natural pain relief at the same time.

Last year I held a private Yoga for Birth workshop for a couple who were planning a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) for their second birth.

A couple of months later the mother returned, joining our Mum + Baby Yoga classes and she openly shared that although they didn’t have the birth they hoped, she still felt elated and empowered from the birth experience.

Why was this?

First of all she felt they were both really well prepared for their baby's birth, together they did lot's of research and planning. Although the birth didn't go as they hoped, she was able to experience labour and said that her partner was AMAZING! He knew exactly what to say and do; she felt as though he really had her back the entire time - and that it gave her a new found love and appreciation for him!!

It's feedback like this which serves to reinforce that it really doesn't matter how your baby is born, what truly matters is how you feel during your birth! And as you can see the role of the birth partner is SO important! When you embrace your role as the birth partner, you can be the catalyst for oxytocin; for the love, and the strength you give as the birth partner during childbirth.

The Importance of Your Birth Partner

Does your birth partner feel prepared for the role they're taking on?  If you would both like to learn together about how to support one another and make the most of your hormones during labour, Yoga for Active Birth is a 3 hour interactive workshop I offer in small groups as well as private sessions for couples to prepare for birth.


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