Help, I need somebody, not just anybody.

The lyrics continue to the the great Beatles song, "Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors." This is a true to life, soundtrack tune for labor and delivery. You will need help, and not from just anybody. Ideally your partner is there to support you but not everybody has that. Same as a doula, not everyone hires one but in my opinion, everybody should. Why? To have the eyes, ears and heart of another woman looking out for your every need during your birth makes it a whole lot more relaxing. I could even say that to have a doula present at your birth, you will feel more empowered. When you make the decision to have specific people attend your birth, you have taken control of what you need. 

Now that you have chosen your birthing team, what do you want them to do? You get to ask for whatever you need. When I hold a prenatal visit with my clients, I ask the mother-to-be to start asking me and her partner for what she thinks she might need, knowing very well that it may change when out comes time for the real deal. 

Now is a good time to start experimenting with asking for certain types of touch, words to be used or not used. I have had clients that were as specific as asking their partner not to wear a certain shirt or shoes that they have always disliked. It is so helpful if you can start this process before it is game time. You may already have some fear or worry about what you think you might say or need while in labor, all the more reason to start practicing asking for what you need now. At one birth I attended the mom-to-be was very specific in where she wanted each of her team members to sit or stand. She wanted her husband to the right of her, sitting in a chair, out of sight but within arms reach. She wanted her best friend to sit directly ahead of her so she could see her friends face. She wanted me, as her doula, to hold her left hand. We each took our positions with pleasure, though I wondered if the husband was ok being placed in a tight corner, out of the sight line of his laboring wife. If we hadn't had conversations about this potentially happening, it might have been more difficult but this husband was a gem in following his wife's wishes. 

Here are some ideas of things to start thinking about related to what your think you might need. Ponder these ideas by yourself for a few days and then share your process and ideas with your partner and birth team, most importantly with your doula. 

* I really like it when my partner calls me........

* I really like it when my partner touches me......... 

 * I really want my partner to......

* I don't want my partner to say.....do..... 

* I want to hear the words....... 

 *I do not want my partner to.....

* I am afraid that..... 

 * I am most anxious about.....

* When I am having a hard time with pain, I want my partner to...... 

 *When baby is born, I want to.......

*I am excited about..... 

*I think my partner is anxious about.... 

* I think my partner is excited about,....... 

*I want to sing this to my baby when he/she is born.....