Guide for Labor Coach

The birth of a baby is a miraculous event. One that mom and labor coach will never forget. 

As the labor coach, you can play a valuable part during this important occasion. 

Plan Ahead

  • Practice relaxation techniques. This can be very calming after a long day.
  • Encourage her to get plenty of rest or sleep the last few weeks before her due date. 
  • Do things together in the last few weeks that are relaxing but not too tiring.

Be Prepared

  • Have her suitcase packed, except for a few last minute items.
  • Have the phone number of the doctor, clinic or hospital close at hand.
  • Plan travel arrangements. Have a back-up plan to get her to the hospital in case you cannot take her there yourself. 

When Labor Begins

  • If labor begins at night, stay calm and encourage her to relax. A back-rub or a warm beverage may be soothing. Start timing contractions. 
  • If labor begins during the day, continue with light activities. Start timing the contractions.

Timing Contractions

  • Time the frequency of the contraction. The frequency is the number of minutes from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next contraction.
  • Time each contraction. How many seconds does it last? 
  • Usually, first time moms should come to the hospital when the contractions are 6-8 minutes apart. 

When You Get to the Hospital 

  • During the admission process the nurses will help make mom more comfortable. 
  • Try to stay with her during labor. She will need your encouragement and companionship. 
  • Try to have outside details taken care of before you come to the hospital so you won't be distracted as birth approaches. 
  • Help her with her breathing and relaxation techniques. Continue to time contractions. During her contractions, count with her, or tell her when the contraction intensity is decreasing.
  • Reassure her often. Talk softly, but in a firm and caring way. Try to keep the atmosphere quiet and relaxed. Bring in music if you think it will be helpful. 
  • Mom may become warm or have a dry mouth during labor. Sucking on ice chips or using a wet, cool washcloth may be helpful. Bring Chapstick or Vaseline for dry lips. 
  • Massage may be helpful. Use a firm, slow touch. Use counter pressure to the lower back if mom is feeling back pain. Help her change positions. 
  • Mom's emotions change during labor. She may be talkative in early labor and become more serious and sensitive as labor progresses.
  • Remind mom to use a focal point. This will help her concentrate. 
  • Take care of yourself too. Take short breaks. Remember to eat.
  • Help her state her needs to her labor nurse or doctor if she needs medicines. 
  • After getting pain medicines, some women doze between contractions. Let her rest. She may seem confused as contractions become stronger. Talk to her in a calm, direct manner.
  • If she gets the urge to push, call the nurse so she can check labor progress. Keep eye-to-eye contact with mom and help her use pant-blow breathing. Her labor nurse or doctor will tell her when she can start to push. 
  • During the delivery, watch and help as needed. Pushing can be a lot of work. She may need you to help support her back. 
  • If you feel dizzy or weak, let your labor nurse know. You may need to sit down or walk out in the hallway for a minute or two. 

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