I was born in a nunnery. My father was not allowed in the room and my poor mom had to labour for hours without a birth companion. A positive birth experience for my mother? I would think not, but I’m not sure – it depends on whether my father would have made a good supporting birth companion if he was allowed in!
What is a birth companion or birth partner? In short it is someone that gives you physical, emotional and practical support when delivering your baby (via c-section or labour). The right support during birth (over and above good clinical care) goes a long way toward a happier, positive birth experience. In fact, many healthcare providers support the presence of birth companions as hospital midwives working on a busy labour ward are not always in the position to give continuous, un-interrupted one-on-one support.
There are different kinds of birth companions and each bring their own unique benefits to the birth environment. Who you have in your birth space should be your choice, but should also be made with care as you need to feel safe, secure and respected at all times:
– Make sure your birth companion/s understand and respect your birth preferences
– Make sure your birth companion/s are qualified for his or her role
– Make sure your birth companion/s bring positive energy to your birth space
– Understand what your hospital or healthcare provider’s merit requirements are for the birth companion of your choice