Spouses, Partners, and Friends Can Offer Labor Support

Who knows you well enough to help you through labor?

The Benefits of Family and Friends

Throughout human history, women gave birth at home with the assistance of their mothers, sisters, friends, and partners. And while it may not have been called "labor support" hundreds of years ago, that's certainly what it was!

Some things haven't changed over the centuries. Friends and family can still offer the physical and emotional support that can be enormously helpful in getting a woman through the difficulties of labor. Whether it's a foot massage, a cup of ice, or a kiss on the cheek, there's nobody who knows what you need -- and what might bring a smile to your face when you're feeling defeated -- more than the people who are closest to you.

Your labor support will also serve as your main source of communication with the obstetrician or midwife. There may be times when you're too tired to argue about your labor preferences, or when your brain isn't working quickly enough to understand the medical jargon being thrown at you by all the doctors. If complications arise during labor, your labor support may have to make some difficult decisions about your delivery. By having your partner, a family member, or a close friend serve as your labor support, you can be assured that you are being represented by someone who knows you well and has your best interests at heart.

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