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  • Published 28 December 2023
  • Updated 29 January 2024
Building Your Birth Team: Choosing Your Support Team

Choosing who to support you at your birth is crucial to creating your best birth experience. You may want only your romantic partner beside you. Or you may want your mother, sisters, aunts, and friends present. Here are some ways to choose who will support you during birth.

What kind of support do you need?

Think about what makes you feel comfortable and safe during situations that are intense or painful.

  • Do you feel better when you have several people around you?
  • Do you prefer to be alone or have just one person with you so you can focus inward?
  • Do you appreciate having someone there who has been through a similar situation?
  • Do you want to have people around you who will be very vocal?
  • Do you want people there who will keep the mood light-hearted? Or people who will be quietly supportive?

These questions can help you decide which people from your support network will be the most supportive and helpful for you during labor and birth.

What do you want to avoid?

Just as important as thinking about what you want during labor and birth is thinking about what you don’t want. For example, there may be close friends or family members who you love very much, but who are very opinionated and may question your choices. This can introduce unnecessary stress during labor, which you may want to avoid. Or you may want to cultivate a very calm and centered space, where particularly gregarious and outgoing people might feel out of place and disrupt your experience.

Focus on your needs

Everyone present at your birth should be there to support you and your needs. If there are people who want to be present at the birth, but who will not serve to make the birth experience a positive one for you, let them know firmly, but kindly, that they will have other opportunities to be involved, but that being present at the birth isn’t one of them. It is okay to prioritize your needs. It is your birth, after all.

Other ways to include people

Some loved ones may be disappointed that they aren’t asked to attend the birth. But they might appreciate being included in other ways. For example, the outgoing friend who might have the wrong energy to be in the room for your birth, might be the perfect person to ask to organize a meal train for after you get home. Think about how you can include your loved ones in ways other than being physically present at your birth.

Practical concerns

Some hospitals have limitations on how many visitors you can have with you during labor. In addition, for both hospital and home births, the space may dictate how many people can reasonably be in the room. So, keep in mind these practical considerations when deciding who to invite to your birth.

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