The Take Charge Routine for Birth Partners - Preparing For Birth Manual

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The Take Charge Routine for Birth Partners

By Penny Simkin, PT

Reserve this for any time during labour when, or if your partner hits an emotional low. She may suddenly express despair, weep, cry out, want to give up, feel she cannot go on, become very tense and unable to relax or be in a great deal of pain and seem in mental and emotional agitation.

Typically this occurs during transition, but could be at any time - usually due to a sudden drop in oxytocin and an increase in adrenalin.

• Move in closer, your face near hers, and do all you can until she regains her inner strength. Usually her despair is temporary, with your help she can pass through it and her spirits will rise.

• Remain calm - your touch should be firm and confident. Your voice should remain calm and encouraging. • Anchor her - hold her hands or shoulders - gently, confidently.

• Make eye contact - tell her to look at you / open her eyes. Be calm and kind. Eye contact is very powerful indeed.

• Change the ritual - try a different position, breathing pattern, breathe with her or pace her with your hand or voice. “You are doing great. Breathe with me” “Look at me” “Stay with me” “That’s good. Well done” - almost a whisper but enough to get her attention, calm, encouraging, yet solid. Be her rock, her support.

• Ask her in between contractions if what you are doing is helping. Make suggestions for the next one “The moment it starts, we will breathe together, ok. I want you to look at me.”

• Repeat yourself - she may not be able to retain what you are saying to her for long, that’s fine. Say the same things and help her continue.

One step at a time.

Use any of the above as you feel is needed.