Course Content
Partner Communication Skills
You may be feeling a bit like a fish out of water in the hospital setting, but fear not! This course is here to equip you with the skills to effectively communicate with the medical team and make sure your partner's needs are heard and met. As you prepare to support your partner during labor, there's one skill that's absolutely essential: communication. Your job is to be her champion, her rock, her voice when she needs it most. Effective communication can help you advocate for her needs and preferences, facilitate communication between you and medical team, and ensure that everyone is on the same page. But communicating effectively during such an emotional and intense experience can be challenging. That's why we've created a Communication Skills module as part of our Birth Partner Preparation course. In this module, we'll teach you practical strategies for communicating, advocating and facilitating communication. We'll cover everything from how to ask questions to how to assertively communicate needs and preferences. But it's not just about the practical skills. By mastering effective communication, you'll deepen your connection with your partner and be able to provide emotional support during this incredible experience. You'll be a source of comfort and strength for her during one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of your lives. So, are you ready to take your communication skills to the next level and become the best possible birth partner? Let's do it!
The Stages of Labor
Now, I know what you're thinking - do we really need to learn about the stages of labor? Can't we just wait for the baby to come out? Well, as tempting as it might be to stick your head in the sand and hope for the best, understanding the stages of labor is essential for being an effective birth partner. By knowing what to expect during each stage, you'll be better equipped to recognize when your partner is moving from early labor to active labor, and from active labor to pushing. You'll be able to identify signs of progress, know when it's time to head to the hospital, and help your partner cope with the different challenges that come with each stage. And let's be honest, being able to confidently say "Honey, I think it's time to go to the hospital" will earn you some serious brownie points. Plus, knowing what's going on during labor will help you feel more involved and connected to the experience. So, don't be caught off guard when the big day arrives. Sign up for our Birth Partner Preparation course and learn all about the stages of labor. We promise to keep it fun, engaging, and most importantly, informative. Let's do this!
Non Medical Comfort Measures
While the medical team will be there to take care of the medical side of things, there are a variety of non-medical comfort techniques you can learn to help your partner feel more comfortable and supported during this intense and exciting time. Our Birth Partner Preparation course includes a module dedicated to non-medical comfort techniques. We'll teach you a variety of techniques, including massage, breathing exercises, and positioning, that you can use to help your partner manage pain, feel more relaxed, and stay focused throughout labor and delivery. Learning these techniques is not only important for your partner's comfort and well-being, but it also helps you play an active role in the birth experience. By being involved and present, you can strengthen your bond as partners and create a more positive birth experience for both of you. And let's face it, learning these techniques can be a lot of fun! You'll have the opportunity to practice your massage skills, explore different breathing techniques, and get creative with positioning. Who knows, you might even discover a hidden talent for foot rubs!
As you prepare to support your partner through the birth of your child, you may wonder if learning about interventions is necessary. After all, won't the medical team take care of everything? While medical professionals are experts in their field, it's important to remember that your partner's wishes and preferences are just as important. If you're not familiar with interventions, it's natural to feel hesitant or unsure about whether you need to learn more. However, as a birth partner, you play a crucial role in advocating for your partner's needs and preferences. This includes being informed about interventions and understanding how they may impact the birth experience. In our Birth Partner Preparation course, we have a module dedicated to interventions. We'll teach you about the most common interventions used during labor and delivery, how they work, and what their benefits and risks are. By becoming informed about interventions, you'll be better equipped to communicate with the medical team and make informed decisions with your partner. Remember, your partner's wishes and preferences are central to the birth experience. By being informed and advocating for her needs and preferences, you can help ensure that her birth experience is as positive as possible. Don't leave it solely up to the medical team - as a birth partner, you have an important role to play.
Exercises and Printable Handouts
Here's where you'll find some handy - mostly printable resources so you can whip them out when you need them and save the day! I've also included some very valuable exercises that I highly recommend taking the time to do together. You'll see why when you do them. Enjoy!
Birth Partner Preparation
    About Lesson

    Talk to the Hand!

    Right partners – you may already know the classic “talk to the hand”scenario, but in labor it takes on a whole new meaning and you need to know how to respond – so listen up!! 

    This is the answer to “when should we go to hospital” 

    When your partner goes into active labor (which comes after early labor – do’t worry, you’ll learn more about this later) she’ll start “going within”. So even if you were laughing and joking in early labor, as her contractions 9surges) become closer together and more intense, she’ll need more mental energy and focus to manage the intensity. 

    It’s around this time that she’ll start needing to use deep breathing techniques and your role her is to PACE her. In other words, you set the pace for her breathing. If she’s experiencing an intense sensation she may unconsciously hold her breath or go into shallow panic breathing. Neither of these are helpful. 

    Even if her eyes are closed, and in fact that’s probably your cue, then start slow deep breathing, making sure you breath loud enough for her to hear you. Within a few breaths she will automatically synch her breathing pattern to yours and you’ll notice an immediate change in her response – her body will soften and relax and she’ll manage much better. 

    In other words, without even saying a word, you’ve impacted her ability to cope better and release tension and resistance!! You’re also sending a powerful and reassuring message that you’re aware of what’s happening – you noticed her having a contraction and you responded.

    This is called synchronised breathing and it will probably be your most powerful partner tool (you can thank me later) 

    Anyway, as labor continues to ramp up in intensity, she will become less and less engaged with you and the outside world and more and more inwardly focused. She definitely WON’T want to speak during a contraction and if you do make the mistake of asking her something you’ll get the hand. 

    It’s around about this time that you’ll be wondering if you should go to the hospital – use the image as your reminder. 

    If she’s having 1 contraction every 5 minutes (or less) and each contraction lasts for at least 1 minute AND that’s been happening for at least an hour AND you’re talking to the hand – its probably time to go. 

    Don’t make the decision for her – she’ll probably let you know when she’s ready but be prepared. Be open to having a discussion about  it BETWEEN contractions and remember you still have plenty of time.  

    But the Talk to the Hand is a great gauge for where you’re at and also a reminder that you need to be there fully present because this is it! 

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