Choosing a Birth Partner

Research shows that women who receive continuous emotional and physical encouragement during labor are less likely to need pain relief, medical intervention, assisted delivery, or cesarean surgery, and generally experience shorter labors. Additionally, after the fact, women who had supportive birth partners tend to view their birth experience in a more positive light, and some research even shows that they have less post-partum depression, and breastfeed easier.

Wow, right? That all sounds great. So how do you choose? Choosing a birth partner is not as easy as it may sound. Is your partner automatically the right choice? Would a female friend or family member, or someone who has been through labor and delivery before be a better choice? What about your mom? Are you worried about offending someone by not inviting them into the room with you?

The truth is that labor and delivery is typically a long event. Your partner, who may be just as nervous and anxious as you – and may not do very well in the face of blood and guts – may not be the best person to have at your side. This doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be allowed or invited in the room, but perhaps having a good friend or trusted loved one by your side AS WELL, is a good option. In fact, there are many people who hire a doula for just this purpose – to help keep them calm, talk them through the labor and make the experience as beautiful as possible.

The last person you want to choose as your birth partner is someone who is overly anxious, or worried, or who would react badly in rough situations. And yet, you also want someone who knows what YOU want, and who will advocate for you. You want someone who is not afraid to ask questions of the medical staff, who isn’t afraid to intervene, and who pays attention to everything that goes on around you. Remember, you will have enough going on and you will need someone else there to help with the minor details. You should also choose a birth partner who is not afraid to baby you a little bit, and who is truly and earnestly concerned with your wellbeing. No woman wants a birth partner to stand beside her and tell her to ‘suck it up,’ or ‘calm down.’ You need compassion and assistance that is positive during this time in your life.

Many women prefer to have another female, especially one who has already had a baby, by their side when they give birth. Having someone who will make you laugh and will help you pass the time is a good way to stay distracted (or at least as distracted as possible during this difficult time).

If you are really lucky, your partner will be the perfect match. But if not, don’t fret. And don’t be afraid to ask a friend, loved one or family member to sit by your side and literally and metaphorically hold your hand. Do this ahead of time, and make sure that they are aware of your birth plan, and anything that you do or don’t want during pregnancy. Chances are, they will be delighted that you chose them. And, they may be of great help to the baby’s father as well.

Essentially, having someone with you who can remain calm and supportive is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. This is your birth, and you want to be able to look back on it and remember how special it was.  The perfect birth partner can help you do just that. If you don’t know anyone, consider talking with doulas in your area.

Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.

Team Health & ParentingChoosing a Birth Partner

Comments 20

  1. Danielis Gonzalez

    I’m due for may and I’m super nervous I already have a & year old and when I have birth to her it was so long and she was 8 pounds I’m so scared I might have my baby boy as big as her I hope it goes by quicker

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  4. Ama

    My first child was supposed to be me and my husband but my sister came as well but I was really glad so supportive they took it in turns to go toilet eat. Fetch things from car or get babies stuff . Rubbed my back with oils . I was lucky as had a birthing pool so was in a massive suite… I think in my opinion you definitely need 2 a woman is so much better than any man … I am 28weeks 4 days with number 2 gutted due to fibroid may have to have a c section and really don’t want one . Especially with my toddler. He won’t understand money can’t play or pick me up for a few weeks .

  5. Megan

    I had my mum when i had my little girl. She is 8 now and since then my mum sadly passed away :(. I will be having a home birth hopfully and I will have my husband and sister by my side. I’m due 1st September. Xx

  6. Ris

    I’m due in July and so far my mum and hopefully my cousin (if she can make it home in time) will be by my side when I have my first baby. Unfortunately the father has decided again to step out of our lives -.-

  7. Jenika

    My boyfriend will be there with me. He’s my rock through this emotional/hormonal roller coaster. He, however, is not a fan of blood but my mom will be there as well as my birth coach. I kinda want my best friend to be there as well since she’s my go to for advice on anything kid related. She just had her daughter two years ago. They’ll be okay with having three people in there unless I end up having to have a c-section.

  8. M

    I’m due april 5th and I will have my partner beside me. He calms me down.
    I would feel very weird if dad was there 🙂 or my MIL. This is the moment just for me, my love and our baby girl

  9. Estrella

    Omg Cassie! Today, 11/24/15, I’m 28 weeks, 4 days pregnant (a day behind from you) so obviously my baby is also due in February AND it’s also a boy!! On top of that I also have another child and it’s ALSO a boy, mine is older than yours though. But it’s kind of funny how you and I have things like this in common and we are total strangers! Lol

  10. Cassie

    This is my second child I’m having another boy 🙂 I’m 28 weeks and 4 days pregnant I’m going to have the same people I had with me with my first son my boy friend my mom and my dad.. Some say it’s inappropriate for your dad to be there but to me I don’t think it is my parents were so supportive and helped a lot and plus my dad and my son now have a huge bond between each other he is a proud grandpa he got to welcome his grandson into this world and that meant a lot to him and my mom my son is now 3 turning 4 in January and we will be welcoming my second son Kristopher in February 🙂

  11. Nicole

    I am 28 weeks and 4 days pregnant and I’m taking my mum and boyfriend in! 🙂 my first child and 20 years of age but my mother has has 9 girls so she is proberly the best to take in and my boyfriend doesn’t want to miss it for the world his first child as well cannot wait to welcome our daughter into the world! So don’t be worried this is your time to shine and everyone should respect your decision 🙂 good luck everyone!

  12. Doris

    My partner is out of the country and I don’t want to choose anyone this is my first time though buh I have decided to do it alone with God on my side

  13. Lovinah

    Here in my country….hospitals don’t allow any personal member of the family in to the labor ward except doctors or nurses of the hospital. You can’t even make special request like inviting ur husband, mother or mum in law except they are medical personnels. I’m a FTM, i will go by their rules this time. I’m working on having a water birth, in my house with my personal doctor’s assistant during my second pregnancy. I’m sure I will be the first person to attempt it in my region.

  14. Shanan

    well I am having major issues with the father and I really do want him to be there but I don’t he will be there for me and understand it’s about me at that point and baby health everything is so complicated and I have my best friend as my partner at the moment I hope things change and he is able to see his son being born but he just might not make the cut. I have 70 days til my birth wish him luck 🍀

  15. Jess

    I know other than my husband my dad would be the best person for encouragement and keeping me calm as he used to work at the hospital. But I feel like it’s not appropriate to have my dad there… Still got time to decide tho.

  16. Dominique

    I see comments from women curious about who to choose in the birth room and some who are scared to offend family by not having them there. STOP WORKING ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK! This is an incredible experience and you want someone to keep you calm and happy. If you are stressed out when around certain people outside if this scenario.. they may not be the right fit. As for offending people. You are pregnant. Hormonal and can choose or not tell whoever when you go into labour. If having family even in the waiting room like me would stress you out, maybe not telling them your in labour and waiting till after is best. I’m due may 12th and plan on not telling anyone I’m in labour until after the baby is born. The last thing I need is knowing my stressful family is in the waiting room for me or having them come and visit and tell me ‘everything is going to be alright’ or ‘it will be over before I know it’. Of course this is my personal view on this situation. My husband, who I am lucky is stable, will be with me as well as our midwife. Good luck with your own deliveries!!!!

  17. Hayley

    i am due 22nd of July! 🙂 still very Early! But I was thinking of my mum and best friend, but I don’t want to upset my partner or his mum! Oh dear!

  18. Kenzie

    i am due June 17th 2015!! We are a day apart,I am also a person who cries if I stub my toe..or hit my shin,:) you are not the only one

  19. Mercedes

    Me I’m a soon to be mom on June 18,2015. I am the type of girl that would cry her eyes if she smashes her finger. My husband thinks I should get an epidural. And I was also reading about who to have around. Would ur mother be a good person to have around during labor since she’s been through the experience having you?

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