Dimensions Midwifery believes partners and families play a central role in pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care. We strongly encourage your active involvement!
How can I support my pregnant partner/family member?
One of the best ways to support the pregnant woman is by joining her at appointments with the midwife and childbirth classes. You can also offer your help at home – doing additional chores around the house and spending more time with other young children at home.
Consider taking one of the childbirth education classes that encourages active partner/family participation, such as Bradley. But, even without a class, you will be her advocate, so make sure you know what she wants in labor, and inform her care team.
Specifically, you can hold her hand, offer encouraging words, bring ice water when she asks, assist with breathing techniques, massage her body, and sit on the bed behind her to support her with a variety of labor positions. During pushing, if she’s lying on her back in the bed, you can help support one of her legs and give lots of positive verbal support. After the birth, have your camera ready to take photos of the newborn. Offer plenty of hugs and kisses to your strong new mom! Then, when she and the baby are ready, help with breastfeeding, hold the baby so she can sleep, or make all those phone calls to friends and family awaiting the good news. There are many ways for you to be involved, so let the midwife know if you want some tips.
What role do I have in breastfeeding?
You are also an important advocate for breastfeeding, which can have positive long-term effects for both mother and baby. You can:
- Learn about breastfeeding and its benefits, so you can teach others.
- Understand that breastfeeding is not always automatically easy for a mom and a baby. So, be a cheerleader and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Take care of mom. Again, help her out and remind her to take care of herself, so she is best able to provide for the baby.
- Overcome criticism and run interference. If the mom is being criticized by friends or family, step in to explain the benefits of breastfeeding. When too many well-wishers want to stop by, mom can be overtired and breastfeeding can be delayed. So, don’t be afraid to turn folks away or re-schedule them for a more convenient day/time.
How will I know how to take care of a newborn?
You and baby will get to know each other with time, so you’ll understand different cries and signals with time. But, trust your instincts…you’ll know what to do!