What your husband can do whilst you are in labour

  • He can learn the breathing exercises too – then when you’re in labour do the breaths with you – you can follow his lead.
  • This works well if you have physical or eye contact – so either face each other or hold hands or holding your shoulders and breathe together
  • This feels very silly to do at home but its worth practising (and laughing helps promote oxytocin – the love hormone which we want you to be swimming in!)
  • If you want to be alone – let you
  • Make sure arrangements are taken care of – babysitting organised if you have older children, pets looked after, parents informed etc.
  • It’s easier said than done but rest as you will need him at the end.
  • Even if he’s are feeling anxious then don’t show it – just stay calm and relaxed
  • Keep his sense of humour – time flies when you are having fun and this will be your last few hours just the two of you so try and enjoy them.
  • Eat – maybe not a great big burger in front of you but he will need to maintain his energy levels too
  • Encourage you to move around – a really good way of keeping labour progressing!
  • Massage your back or feet to promote relaxation
  • Tell you he loves you
  • Trust you – you may well know the best time to go to the hospital so let you decide when you’re ready to go to the hospital
  • Phone the hospital on the way and let them know you are coming in
  • Be patient with you if you’re grumpy
  • See if there is any last minute things to sort out
  • Respect your wishes with regard to visitors – if you don’t want any then don’t invite them or turn them away if they show up uninvited and if you want the whole family there – make lots of coffee!
  • If you have had an epidural then check that you’re feeling ok and don’t need a top up.
  • Encourage you to be as uninhibited as possible.  By acknowledging your pain in birthing the baby he is supporting you if you need help and showing you that you are not alone.
  • Be there but give you space.  You may not want you anywhere near you at the later stage so follow your cues.
  • Don’t waste words – later stage in labour is not the time for small talk or jokes. Encouragement and instruction are needed – both of which should be brief and direct.
  • Offer encouragement unless you want him to be quiet.
  • If it helps you then breathe the contractions through with you
  • Help you rest and relax by touching your stomach when a contraction is over – remind you to do slow deep breathing
  • It may sound strange but a kiss from a loved one, a moment of reassuring tenderness can produce a spike of oxytocin which in turns helps the body relax and the baby to come quicker.
  • If the contractions seem to be coming closer together and you feel the need to push – then get help.
  • Let the professionals do their job
  • Offer you sips of water and check if you’re is warm enough
  • Stay focused on what is to come – ignore the insults and don’t be hurt if you don’t want him near you.
  • Don’t worry if you focus on the medical staff caring for you.

I’m Penny, a birth and post partum doula and nearly qualified breastfeeding counsellor based in Bahrain. If you need any help then please contact me on facebook.com/bahbabelle or instagram.com/bahbabelle or

tel 35077771