100 Ways A Partner Can Help in Labor | Picture of husband hugging his wife in labor in a hospital gown

100 Ways a Partner Can Support During Labor!

We know first hand how amazing partners and spouses can be during birth, when they know what to do! Here is a list of 100 things you can do to give your partner support during labor and birth, outside of just giving her ice chips. They will make her feel supported, loved and cared for and make you look like a birth pro!

The beautiful images below are all from Take 5 Photography. They provide stunning maternity, birth and newborn photography in the Vancouver, WA and Portland, Oregon areas. Thank you for sharing them with us and giving us chills watching this super dad in action while he gave support during labor! 


  1. Remind her how strong she is!

  2. Keep her busy and preoccupied in early labor – watch a movie, go for a walk, play a game.

  3. Keep hot water bottle nice and hot.

  4. Advocate for her birth wishes.

  5. Go for a walk outside in early labor and hold her when she has a contraction.

  6. Make her laugh. Be you.

  7. Stop making jokes when she gets to that point of seriousness and it’s not helpful. 🙁Where to have a natural birth at Good Samaritan in Portland Oregon | Husband with wife in early labor

  8. Give her a sip of water after every contraction.

  9. Take care of the animals or kids at home so she can relax and tune into herself.

  10. Put a cool ice pack on her head or chest when she’s hot.

  11. Drive safely (and legally) to the birth place. Lots of deep breaths for you too.

  12. Eat and drink throughout labor – you will be a better and stronger coach if you are nourished and hydrated.

  13. Don’t take it personally if she yells or barks at you. She’s birthing a human, it’s hard work!

  14. Keep her bath from getting cold.

  15. Give her a heads up when you leave to go the bathroom. She needs to know where you are at all times.

  16. Encourage her verbally – women need to hear words of support!

  17. Wipe her sweaty brow.

  18. Give her ice chips. (we know you knew this one, but they can be very refreshing).

  19. Feed her bites of applesauce, oatmeal, soup, smoothie or fruit.

  20. Remind her to use the bathroom every hour.

  21. Encourage her to labor at home in early labor.

  22. Keep the room quiet.

  23. Play the music she has planned without her even asking.

  24. Let her squeeze your hand.

  25. Hold her tightly.

  26. Let her cry.

  27. Massage her shoulders.

  28. Massage her feet.

  29. Ask the nurse for a birth ball. Sit in front of her and hold her hands.

  30. Hire a doula and be supportive of her having the extra support. A good doula will make you a better birth partner, can help speed up labor and promote a more positive birth experience for the couple. So support her choice. Realize she is worth the financial investment, as birth is hard and support can help get her through!

  31. Tell her you love her. Simple, yes. Needed, YES!

  32. Talk about the baby. Crazy, but she could forget why she’s even doing this.

  33. Help her make medical decisions so she doesn’t feel alone.

  34. Get her in the bath to relax.

  35. Ask the nurse for more pillows if she needs. Often there isn’t enough in the room.

  36. Lye in the bed with her if she wants to snuggle.

  37. Make sure her phone is silenced. She should be relaxed and tuning in to her body, not answering texts from curious co-workers. 

  38. Don’t be on your phone (unless she asked you communicate with someone). Be attentive to her and not the world, politics or sports that day.

  39. Give her counterpressure.

  40. Text and phone who she wants updated during labor.

  41. Be by her side the whole time. When you need a break, ask for a nurse or doula to take your place. Don’t leave her alone without her knowing. This is why having a doula can help so it’s not all on you.

  42. Squeeze cold ice cloths down her chest when she is in a bathtub.

  43. Rub her back. Light or deep massage, whatever she prefers.

  44. Let her inhale aromatherapy/essential oils to help with pain relief.

  45. Know her birth plan and wishes before birth.

  46. Don’t touch, if touch is bothering her.

  47. Hold her hands tight while/if she gets the epidural.

  48. Breathe with her.

  49. Show her you are with her and she is not alone.

  50. Hand massage.

  51. Getting her to take big deep breaths for baby after the contraction is over.

  52. Carry the bags into the birth place. Only take what you need for birth.

  53. Kiss her forehead.

  54. Kiss her cheek.

  55. And kiss her hand.

  56. Kiss her the only way you can kiss her if you know what we mean (making out can help speed up labor, so start some french kissing if she’s up for it 🙂

  57. Tell her she’s amazing…cause she is.

  58. Tell her you are proud of her.

  59. Stay by her head if you feel queasy during the pushing stage.

  60. Offer her chapstick. Better yet, help her put it on.

  61. Take photos or video if she wishes. Ask her what she wants long before birth happens. Or hire her a birth photographer if she desires – this day comes one time!

  62. Keep her hair out of her face. Ladies, you know how annoying hair in the face is!

  63. Help keep her vocal tones low…moaning, groaning is great!

  64. Slow dance with her.

  65. Tell her she CAN DO IT! And IS DOING it!

  66. Tell her what a great mom she is already. She may need to hear this.

  67. Keep the lights dimmed. More pain relief hormones are released in the dark.

  68. At home, light candles. At hospital, use LED candles.

  69. Keep unwelcome visitors out of her space. She gets to decide who she wants and you are the gatekeeper.

  70. Don’t eat right in front of her. Take a walk or bathroom break. Yes, it’s okay to eat in the bathroom that day 😐

  71. Keep your breath fresh. Mints, gum, toothpaste are all essential for close coaching.

  72. Believe in her.

  73. Hire a doula. Partners say it’s the best money ever spent.

  74. Tuck her in with a cozy blanket.

  75. Don’t EVER talk about the possibility of pooping on the table. And if it happens, don’t mention it.

  76. At home, time contractions for her to see if they are getting closer together. Once at the birth place and in active labor, focus on her, not timing contractions.

  77. If she’s nauseous, grab a bark bucket (look away if you need to).

  78. Have thick skin that day.

  79. Pack the car fully before taking her to the birth place.

  80. Don’t talk about how tired you are. Or that your knees hurt. It’s all about her in this moment.

  81. Don’t show fear. When you have a question, quietly ask the doula or nurse about it.

  82. Show her affection and adoration.

  83. Be her cheerleader.

  84. Put her hair in a ponytail.

  85. Take a partner centered childbirth class with her willingly. This is super romantic and will pay off when you know what to expect for birth and how to support in the different stages of labor.

  86. Say the baby’s name.

  87. Allow her to get primal and vocal. Can sound scary, but this is a pain relief tool.

  88. If you need a nap, have a person who SHE trusts and wants support from, give you a break.

  89. Be her #1 fan.Mom and dad kiss after giving birth naturally in a Vancouver, WA hospital

  90. Fall in love with her that day (if you are present, and watching her…it is bound to happen).

  91. Listen to her needs and wishes in the moment.

  92. Be flexible. Something could work for a time, and then it could change.

  93. Don’t work or check emails during the labor. This day comes but once. Be present.

  94. Help her stay relaxed.

  95. Help her make medical decisions. Talk them through with her. Ask for some time alone to discuss and make a plan you both feel good about.

  96. Remind her she’s not alone.

  97. Help her change positions every hour. This helps baby

  98. Fan her during pushing. THIS part is super athletic and she can be very hot.

  99. Thank her for her hard work and giving you a child. Gratitude means a lot.

  100. Be in awe of her power (and tell her about if for years to come).

 


To sum up how to be help her and support during labor – be present. Birth is hard work for the both of you, but in the end you will have a baby to love on for the rest of your lives. Birth should be a team effort. When the mom-to-be knows that you are right by her side and not doing this alone, her labor can be faster, easier and of course more positive. So be engaged that day. Don’t sit on the side lines. This is your time to shine in your first act as a parent.

 

 

 


For more tips to get you ready for birth and learn more on how to support during labor, read 9 Tips from a New Dad on How to be a Strong Birth Partner!

Excited to give birth with your partner now and be an amazing birth coach while you support during labor? Join our partner centered Bradley Class in the Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR areas to get you ready for the hard work of birth, so you know what to do when the time comes! A good birth class that includes the partner can make a world of difference!