Perhaps the most important thing for your birth partner to remember is that neither of you can ever be completely prepared for the roller coaster ride of birth. So while the plan may cater for snacks, a shoulder rub, and some suitably calming background music, the reality may well call for nothing more than total silence.
Dump the Hollywood version
Labour isn’t pretty or subtle. Whether by watching birthing videos or attending antenatal classes, your partner will be better prepared if he isn’t expecting a Hollywood delivery.
Your partner is your spokesman
It’s impossible to conduct a sane conversation while in the throes of late-stage contractions. Speaking on your behalf, in the event of a decision needing to be made, may well fall to your partner, so it makes sense to spend some time discussing what you do and don’t want.
Keeping the admin in order
Moms who choose a natural birth seldom arrive at hospital in any condition to fill out paperwork. Make sure your birth partner has all the relevant pre-admission and hospital authorisation documents, your ID, medical aid card and cord blood capture kit, if necessary.
Don’t forget the snapper
Chances are your hospital bag includes at least one camera to record the events that will forever change your life. Making sure it comes out the bag, stays charged and doesn’t get dropped into a bath of water is your partner’s job.
Food on the run
Labour is a strenuous process that often leaves moms dying of thirst and desperate for food. Ask your partner to check on hospital or clinic restaurant times to avoid having to wait for the scheduled meal trolley.