How Will I Know If She's in Labor?
Determining whether your partner is in labor is a crucial step in the childbirth process. Make sure both you and your partner know the difference between real labor and false labor. Having this knowledge will better serve you when the big day nears.
There can be something quite alarming about watching your partner begin to experience contractions. Not only does it signify the beginning of the most nerve-wracking phase of her pregnancy, but it can be hard for many men to helplessly sit back and watch their loved one struggle in pain.
How can you help if you think your partner is going into labor? Here are some tips:
- Don't hesitate to contact your birthing professional—be it a doctor, midwife, or doula. Treating pregnant patients is their job, they're used to it, and they handle calls from concerned parents-to-be every day.
- Remember to help your partner with her breathing and maintain steady and supportive physical contact with her.
- Distract your partner in any way that you can in between contractions. Is there music or jokes or stories she enjoys hearing?
And don't forget to bring your own bag of tricks to the hospital, too. Your partner is really going to need you to be there for her. Pack some things to help "get you going" when you feel tired. If you have an MP3 player, put together a "Pump Me Up" playlist you both can listen to if you need it. Pack a few snacks, too. Having an energy bar or some fruit on hand can also be extremely helpful for when your baby decides 3:30 in the morning that it is finally time to enter the world.