Hei hoa mōu i a koe e whakamamae ana Who to have with you during the birth

Having someone to support you during labour and birth can be helpful. It may also reduce the need for pain relief. Who you have with you at the birth is your choice. Your support person can be your baby’s father, your partner, your whānau or a friend.

Before the birth

The most important thing your support person or people can do is be there to support you.

They may be nervous or worried about what you expect of them, especially if they have not been at a birth before. Going to classes together can help them know what to expect during labour and birth.

Antenatal classes (internal link)

So that they can support you in your decisions, it helps to talk about:

  • your birth plans
  • the things that you would prefer to do and not do.

It can also help to go through your birth plan together.

Getting ready for your pēpi (internal link)

During labour and birth

During labour and birth your support person can:

  • keep you company and help you pass time in early labour, for example they could go for a walk with you 
  • hold your hand, press acupressure points, wipe your face, and give you sips of water and small pieces of food
  • massage your back and shoulders, help you to move about or change position, and do anything else that helps
  • comfort you with positive words as your labour progresses, and your contractions get stronger
  • remind you to use relaxation and breathing techniques, perhaps breathing with you if it helps
  • support your decisions, such as how you have chosen to manage and cope with labour
  • help you explain to the midwife or doctor what you need, and the other way around, to help you feel empowered during your birth process
  • tell you what is happening as your pēpi is being born, if you cannot see what is going on. 

Your support person may also be able to 'catch' your pēpi as they are born, and cut the umbilical cord when it is time for that. Talk to your midwife or doctor about this.

Your support person or people should be there to support you during the first few hours after pēpi is born too.