Pregnancy and Parenting Features

Picking a Labor Coach

The majority of women choose their baby’s father to be their labor coach. However, there are a number of situations where that isn’t practical (or desirable). If he’s no longer part of the picture, or is unwilling to be your labor coach, you’ll still want someone to be there to support and help you through labor and delivery.

There are a number of other reasons why women might choose someone else to be their labor coach. A few examples include:

  • Partner is on duty in the military or other critical job that doesn’t allow him to be there at the time of birth. If your husband or partner is in the military or has a job that could call him away suddenly, you may want to pick an alternate labor coach even if you do expect that he’ll be home, just in case.
  • Partner doesn’t do well with stress or pressure. News flash: giving birth to a baby can be stressful. You need someone there who will make it easier, not harder. If he goes nuts under pressure, you might want to have someone else (or at least someone additional).
  • Partner doesn’t do well with blood. It’s crazy, but some of the toughest guys out there go weak in the knees when they see blood. If he can’t handle it, have an alternate handy.
  • Partner unable to attend Lamaze classes. Even if he’s supportive and wants to be in there with you, he’ll be of limited use if he doesn’t know what he’s doing. If your partner is unable or unwilling to attend Lamaze classes while you are pregnant, find someone who can go to labor and delivery classes with you. That doesn’t mean your partner can’t be in the room. It just means you might need the extra help.

If, for whatever reason, you decide to choose someone other than your partner to be your labor coach, there are a number of things to consider. You want someone you can trust, of course. You want someone who you don’t mind seeing you when you’re in a very vulnerable state. They’ll be able to see everything, so you’ll want someone who you’re very comfortable with.

Common alternate choices for a labor coach include:

  • Mothers
  • Friends, especially “best friends”
  • Sisters
  • Grandmothers

A good labor coach can make a world of difference in your labor and delivery experience. Choose your labor and delivery coach carefully, and make sure they attend Lamaze classes with you well ahead of your due date.


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