Labor is an intense time for the mother and at her most vulnerable state there are certain things she needs to hear. These are best said by her number one supporter: the partner. Not all mothers are blessed to have a supporting partner, so other supporting friends and family need to take note as well. Here are 20 things to say during labor to best support the mother.
“You look beautiful”
A raging storm is happening within her. Remind her that the chaos is internal and she looks amazing.
“Each contraction bring progress.”
Sometimes labor seems like it is without end. Remind her that every single wave brings her one step closer to holding that baby.
“Relax completely with this next contraction.”
Tension creeps in during labor and she needs you to point it out. If you see her hand tensing up or her toes curling, softly run your hand over them and remind her to relax.
“You are doing amazing!”
Proclaim how proud you are to her! You are her biggest cheerleader!
“You can do anything for a minute.”
Contractions are only a minute with a break in between. She is capable; remind her.
“Isn’t she doing fantastic?”
While complimenting her is important, so is pulling in your birth team and encouraging that atmosphere. When your nurse or midwife walks in, use this to pull them in to encourage her!
“Picture baby moving down.”
Visualization is so beneficial during labor and delivery. Baby is squeezing down a very tight tunnel and any tension makes that journey more difficult.
“You are so strong.”
There will be a point (or many) where she will not feel strong. Remind her that she is a warrior and she is doing a great job!
“I am so proud of you.”
There are few things that feel better than knowing your loved ones are proud of you. Remind her.
“Take each contraction one at a time.”
It can feel monotonous hour after hour of laboring. Sometimes it is easy to loose yourself remembering “there are so many hours left!” Don’t let her fall into that trap. One contraction at a time.
“Open and down”
This is the summery of every delivery. Her body needs to open so baby can come down. Use words to help her visualize this movement.
“Let go. Give in. Surrender.”
Right before the pushing stage she will hit transition. You will recognize it from the coined phrases “I can’t do it” and “No more.” These signs are GREAT. Encourage her to let go! Surrender is so important.
“Hold your breath as long as it comfortable.”
Breathing patterns are not necessary, but don’t let her hyperventilate or deprive herself of oxygen from holding her breath. Remind her to breath comfortably.
“Relax between contractions to save your energy.”
At this point she is pushing during contractions. Take advantage of that break between contractions to relax and regain some energy.
“Baby is almost here!”
When you see that first little bulge and tuff of hair, let her know! Baby is so close!
“You are already doing it!”
Most women have a point when they say or think “I can’t do it” or “I don’t want to do it.” In those cases, remind her that she is already doing it! It’s almost done!
“Push to the point of comfort.”
Pushing doesn’t have to be bearing down with all her might to the count of ten. In fact, that is usually pretty inefficient and a waste of energy. Unmediated mothers especially can feel the desire to push and can control it to the point of comfort.
“Breathe baby out.”
That last push or two, remind her to hold back a little. Ease baby out gently.
“You did it!”
Once that sweet little peanut slides out, share your excitement, joy and pride in her accomplishment!
“I love you… and our baby!”
That rush of Oxytocin will hit and the room will be full of love. Give those emotions words.
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