Monday, May 3, 2010

Parturient Relations: PR for Dads

Remember these "Five PR's"--the most helpful things you can provide for your partner while she labors...

1. Presence
  • Sometimes all she needs is your loving physical presence.
    • Be “Rock Steady”—the familiar, strong, soothing rock she can hold on to.
  • Be “present” in every way—don’t let your fatigue or fear take your attention away from her emotional and physical needs.
  • Do NOT fall asleep (unless she’s asleep).
  • Do NOT leave her alone unless she demands it. 
    • Some women prefer to be alone while they labor. (But don't go too far!)
2. Protection
  • Be a buffer between your wife and the rest of the world. 
  • You can’t protect her from the intensity of childbirth or from unexpected complications, but you can protect her personal space and surround her with peace and calm.
    • Close doors.
    • Turn off/down the lights.
    • Take over answering questions so she can keep her energy focused on her hard work.  If someone tries to talk to her mid-contraction, gently ask for them to wait or stand between them and your wife until her contraction is over signaling with your hands for them to wait a moment.
    • No matter what happens or how much stress may arise, ensure that she always feels safe and secure.  Remember Jesus Christ’s calm in the storm that frightened his disciples:  “Peace, be still.”
3. Pressure
  • One of the most helpful hands-on ways to help with the most difficult contractions is counter-pressure.
    • Use your hands to provide firm, strong, steady pressure.  
      • Lower back/pelvis
      • Double hip squeeze
      • Knees while sitting with something against her back
      • Hip while side-lying
    • Do not let up until the contraction ends!  (You will probably get tired.)
4. Prompts
  • Your wife will likely not be in a position to remember all of the ways to increase her comfort, so your job is to prompt her.
  • Remember PURRR
    • P Position: Is she changing position every half hour?
    • U Urination: Is she using the bathroom every hour?  (And drinking lots of fluids?)
    • R Relaxation: Is she as relaxed as possible?
    • R Respiration: Is she breathing evenly and as calmly as possible?
    • R Rest: Is she resting between contractions?
5. Praise
  • All of your words must instill her with hope, confidence, peace, comfort, pride, and power.
  • Think of it as your job to help her get to the “finish line” without giving up.
    • "You are so amazing right now!"
    • "I am so proud of you!"
    • “You are doing so well!”
    • Kissing counts! (Some women find kissing very helpful.)
    • When she says, "I can't do it!" reply with, "You are doing it."
    • When she’s reached the point when she thinks she can’t do it anymore, that usually means she’s almost finished, so shower her with praise, encouragement, and lots of statements like: “You are so close!”  “You’re almost there!”  “The baby is almost here!”
    See also:  Emotional Signposts of Labor


The Reluctant Crunchy Mama said...

Wow, awesome post! I want to give it to every expectant family I know!

Ginger Harvey said...

I wondered how you were going to do this. This is awesome and amazing! I think I may post this for some friends and their hubbies!

Hilary said...

Awesome, I'll have to show Greg! We're actually about 10 minutes away from practicing with one of my hypnobabies CDs for the night . . . it makes me so grateful he's so on board with me about all things childbirth!

Terra Jones said...

This is absolutely PERFECT!!!!

HollySteffen said...

this is going in my doula binder.

great jobbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb <3

Heatherlady said...

I LOVE this. Do you mind if I make a hand out of it for my doula dads? It is a really good compilation!