Active Birth Role
Let’s talk about active labor and how you can be an awesome support for your partner during this stage of labor.
Active labor is the second stage of labor and it typically starts when your cervix has dilated to around 6 cm. This is when things really start to heat up, and your partner will need your support more than ever.
Active labor can last anywhere from a few hours to several hours, and it’s characterised by strong and regular contractions.
If you’re having a hospital birth, now would be the time to start heading to the hospital if you’re not already there. See the image for a reminder of what to look for.
Here are some tips and strategies to help you be an awesome birth partner:
- This is when you’re really going to start needing those touch and non touch techniques you learned about in previous lessons. Use them.
- Be mindful that once you’re in the hospital you’re going to have to be more vigilant both of your partner and of the environment.
- Be prepared to advocate for her wishes using the skills you learned in previous lessons. Have your cue cards if necessary. Use the handout attached as a reminder of interventions that may be suggested at different stages.
- Be patient. Labor can take a long time and it can be potentially boring for some partners (yes, as awful as that sounds, its possible) stay present and remember if you’re tired (or bored) she’s way more tired because labor is physically and emotionally intense.
- Remember that “speeding things up” is not always the right choice as tempting as it may sound.
- Be proactive not reactive
- Remember that informed consent is not always a signature or a piece of paper.
You’re probably wanting a lot more than this but I promised to keep it simple and practical.
Do this and you’ll ace it.