helping laboring friend - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-07-2004, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a close friend who is due on Feb. 15--yes, very soon! She has asked me to be with her during her labor and delivery, along with her husband. I am completely comfortable with that and with both of them. I will be there for moral support--she wanted a female friend present. I'm honored.

I was wondering if anyone has any advice for things to take to use during her labor. She wants a drug-free and intervention-free labor as much as possible, but is open to medications, etc. should the need arise. I am taking a heating pad and hot water bottle. She may or may not have a jacuzzi in her room (it's first-come, first-served). What things would any of you moms (or others) recommend to take for comfort during labor?

Also--any special things to give her once the beautiful baby has arrived? I plan to get a journal for her--someone on MDC recommended that. What else would be wonderful to receive after the birth? Thanks ahead of time for any ideas at all!
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#2 of 6 Old 02-07-2004, 05:50 PM
 
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Wow, how exciting for the both of you! Best wishes to her, birthing your baby naturally is one of the best gifts you can give.


My doula had lots of tricks up her sleeve for my birth. The best aids I had were: the birth ball (you either love 'em or hate 'em, check with the hospital to see if they have one on site), a rice sock, can be used cold or hot, sport tea (if they let her drink clear fluids, I loved it in between water), something to help with counter pressure (we used tennis balls), soothing music (and a player if none in the room), unscented lip balm, unscented lotion for foot/hand/back rubs ( I was very scent sensitive in labor), and most importantly a calming reassuring presence!

Also, the book Easing labor pain (I think?) was really helpful for positions and techniques. You want to read it before the birth, not as a reference during.
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#3 of 6 Old 02-08-2004, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! I have read and will be bringing a similar book--"The Birth Partner" although I do have "Easing Labor Pain" as well. My friend will be bringing her CD player and some music as well as tennis balls in a sock. I will get some unscented lotion and lip balm as you suggested. I appreciate the feedback.
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#4 of 6 Old 02-08-2004, 02:14 PM
 
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oh, i was going to suggest "the birth partner"! it sounds like your friend is very fortunate indeed to have you coming to help out.

one thing i do as a doula that i will share with you: before you enter the room or home of a laboring woman, take a moment to breathe deeply, leave all your baggage and worries on the doorstep, clear your mind and become settled and calm. you want your eyes and heart to be as open and free as possible when you come in, ready to serve without reservation or distraction. the few times i've forgotten (mostly in a rush to a precipitous birthing), it's only made things more frantic and harried. do this everytime you enter... you will find it makes a big difference in how you interact with your friend.

good luck and happy doulaing!

katje
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#5 of 6 Old 02-08-2004, 04:49 PM
 
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Bring LifeSavers candy! They serve a dual purpose: something to suck on keeps her from getting dry mouth, and they are great for helping her visualize dialation and effacement (as long as she doesn't crunch them!)

I had a piece of pool noodle (about a foot long) for massage & counter pressure (didn't end up using it in labour, but it was wonderful on my back for the last few weeks of the pregnancy)

Snacks for the DH & you would be nice (then no one has to run out to re-fuel) Maybe some sparkling cider for after the baby is born?

~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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#6 of 6 Old 02-08-2004, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the great ideas of things to take to help my friend during labor! I am making a list and going shopping. I love the idea of sparkling cider for after the baby is born! Again, many thanks.....any more ideas are very welcome.
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