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Likeradar's avatar

Advice for a birthing helper?

Asked by Likeradar (19580points) October 8th, 2008

One of my closest friends is due to have her first child fairly soon. She’s single, and has said she’d like me to be with her when she gives birth. I am so honored and would love to be as helpful and supportive as possible. I don’t have kids, nor do any of my other close friends. I’m unable to attend birthing classes with her due to a scheduling conflict.

For those of you who have been a birthing coach/helper or who have had children, what advice can you give me?

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15 Answers

basp's avatar

Just be there for her. Be there physically and emotionally.

augustlan's avatar

Hold her hand. Hold her leg(s) when the Dr. asks you to. Keep a cool moist washcloth on hand, to gently wipe her face and neck with. Help her see the humor in the situation. My best friend was with me, in addition to my husband, for all 3 children. It was a wonderful experience for both of us. Good luck!

fireside's avatar

I have an old friend who is training to be a doula.
Maybe look up what they do?

krose1223's avatar

Just listen to what she says. Stand by her side until she says otherwise. I remember my mom was driving me crazy by telling me every time I was having a contraction. “Ok, you’re about to have another…ok it’s at the peak….just a few more seconds it’s almost over…” I was just thinking “Seriously?! I know when I’ve having a freaking contraction just shut the *%$# up!!” Moist washcloth is a good thing like augustlan said. Keep a bin near by because there is a good chance she will want to throw up in the transition phase. (Right before she starts pushing.) Honestly, I didn’t really pay attention to anyone after a certain point. The best advice I would give her is to focus on something on the room. Whether it’s a spot on the wall or a chair, whatever, tell her to just focus on that. Take deep breaths. None of that “hehehehoohoohoo” crap. I’m pretty sure the deep breaths help with the contractions better, and the other stuff just makes you hypervenhilate. You’ll do fine, it’s a beautiful thing. Just let her know her wish is your command. Congrats!

jasongarrett's avatar

Pay attention to the what the doctors and nurses are saying and doing. Your friend won’t be paying attention, and is likely to need your help in making decisions.

Plan ahead of time what she wants during the delivery. For example, does she want an epidural, or would she rather try to avoid drugs and labor in a bunch of different positions? Labor doesn’t lend itself to rational decision-making—discussing and documenting as much as possible beforehand will only help.

Judi's avatar

remind her to breathe.

beverleybrooke's avatar

Just do what comes naturally. I’m sure you will suprise yourself with your empathy, and it is such a good feeling to be able to support a friend at a special time like this.

cdwccrn's avatar

How did it go??

Likeradar's avatar

Hasn’t happened yet… she’s due the day after Christmas but her obgyn says it could be any day now.
Thanks for asking. :)

augustlan's avatar

Please let us know, okay?

Likeradar's avatar

I will. Thanks for caring, guys. :)

Likeradar's avatar

A healthy and absolutely beautiful baby girl was born last night!
The washcloth suggestion was great- it seemed to help her.
In retrospect, there’s nothing I could have done to prepare- it was just an amazing experience.

augustlan's avatar


Nimis's avatar

It’s hard to prepare for “amazing”!
Congrats, Likeradar!

cdwccrn's avatar

Congrats! You will never forget.

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