Labor Support needs

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Ktotherystal's picture
Joined: 01/21/08
Posts: 108
Labor Support needs

Hi ladies...everyone here is so educated about the whole natural birthing thing so I thought it would be a good place to ask a question I have been thinking about. One of my friends has asked me to attend her birth and be somewhat of a labor support for her. I am not a Doula..but she has chosen to have me come instead of hiring a doula, so I feel somewhat obligated to help her in support ways. What would you want a labor support to bring to your birth at the hospital?? She has had one vaginal birth before...but heavily medicated...epidural, pitocin...the works..and wants the exact opposite this time. I think just being there to support her and having experienced a natural birth myself is what she is thinking of having me there for..but what else should I plan on doing for her..or what else can I do for her? I have said that I would bring some snacks for her in labor so she doesn't have to think about grabbing a bunch of food..especially if she isn't feeling like eating right then. I just need some ideas and thoughts on the situation...What would yo want and how would you want help from someone like me? I have a big mouth and have no problem letting nurses...and everyone else remember whats on her birth plan and making sure that gets stuck to as much as possible...but what else can I do?? Sorry for rambling...just curious of everyone's thoughts on this.

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

Maybe some tools and techniques for helping her relax and ease some of the discomfort she is having. Like my MW's had these socks they filled with rice and lavender that they heated up and used on my lower back during contractions. It was heaven! They also supported me during back labor by pushing on certain spots for counter pressure which I never would have thought of but I loved. You know you hear about using things like tennis balls, massage, birth ball to help as well. Maybe getting together some tools and ideas like that to bring with you so that you can offer those things/ideas during her labor?

mandora's picture
Joined: 07/16/07
Posts: 262

I second the idea of something to massage her back with. I've used that at every birth I've attended, even though most moms say before hand that it's not something they think they'll want.

Also, come prepared with some ideas for different positions for her to try during labour and birth.. that's a big one that I use all the time - with pictures demonstrating them, if possible. I really like 'Ina May's Guide to Childbirth' as it has all kinds of pictures and info for quick lookup in a birth room (same with 'Spiritual Midwifery'). That way all your stuff is in one place. Smile

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

you might consider reading "The Birth Partner" by Penny Simkin--I am a doula-in-training (just need one more birth to get certified) and I found reading that book increased my confidence quite a bit, since it is written for labor supporters and helps you know what to look for to be sure the laboring woman is coping well and what you can do to help if she is not

I didn't open my doula bag at my first birth (it was a very fast labor), but I had in it a tenis ball, a rice sock, lavendar oil and a battery-operated scent diffuser, a long piece of cloth to use as a rebozo (see, some peppermint scented lotion, and my copy of "The Birth Partner"


melloyellochelle's picture
Joined: 12/04/08
Posts: 229

Does she have a husband/partner that will be there too? Maybe come with some ways you can help him get involved more as well. Otherwise, I can't think of anything the other ladies haven't said. How neat you get to be there though. What a cool experience! Smile

Ktotherystal's picture
Joined: 01/21/08
Posts: 108

Thanks ladies! I knew I could count on you! I will add all those things to my bag of things to take with me when the time comes! She is a few days overdue today and her OB is pushing for induction...but I am going to try and hold her off for a week or so. She went into labor on her own with her son...I just want it to be the easiest possible for her...she doesn't need an induction to have to deal with!

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104

Just remember that as labor support, it's not your place to tell nurses or doctors what to do. It *is* your place to remind her about what she wants, and let her know that she can ask for time to consider things, and narrate what the doctor is doing ("she's picking up scissors, maybe for an episiotomy") but be careful to not overstep your bounds & get yourself kicked out. Good luck to you & your friend!

mommys's picture
Joined: 05/08/06
Posts: 6264

Something my doula is going to do that I love the idea of is: take notes on the birth, making a timeline that I can keep and review later Smile There is so much about my first birth that I either don't know or have forgotten.