What if I have to give birth alone?
In recent weeks for those pregnant in a pandemic, one of the biggest worries and potential knocks to the confidence of pregnant couples has been the fear of their partner not being there for the birth. It’s certainly been on the mind of my hypnobirthing clients.
And that is completely understandable. Especially if it’s your life partner. Your rock, your ‘there through thick and thin’
The one who helps you stay sane at the best of times, right?
it’s really important you address this fear and talk openly about so that you can press pause on the worry, start feeling more confident and enjoy those last precious weeks of pregnancy
Current guidelines for hospitals are restricted to ONE birth partner accompany you from the established stage of labour only (which means for those of you choosing induction, you may also need to think about this as your partner might not be present all the way through.
And of course, if your partner is showing symptoms of ‘you know what’ then they won’t be permitted to accompany you
Can you control hospital policy? No
Can you control our partner getting sick NO
So focus on what you CAN control and that’s going to help reign in those feelings of overwhelm
Choose a backup birth partner
Ask someone you trust who has your best wishes at heart and will let you get on with things YOUR way (you should have a pretty good idea here but for me, alarm bells ring if they start trying to change your mind when you discuss your birth plan)
Consider practical and logistical aspects swell, do they live close, do they have a family of their own to consider etc?
If there really is no one then you could investigate hiring a Doula as a backup. My suggestion is, If you do hire a Doula then find someone who can offer pre and postnatal support and then if you don’t use them on the day then you can have that support after. (which will come in handy especially as its less likely family will be able to visit)
This will mean a financial investment so only you can make the call here. If it’s really important to you then you could request a payment plan OR ask for friends and family to give you money towards this instead of the usual presents/toys.
2. Revisit your birth plan.
Is there anything you would like to change should your primary birth partner not be present?
This might be some of the small but all important details like; who catches the baby and who cuts the cord? But these are the small details you remember on the day and all play a part in you having a positive experience and giving you a day that you look back on and feel happy, so don’t underestimate them.
It’s very common on the day for your birth partner to be the primary communicator with the care team so decide if that’s still appropriate and if it is, then made sure you’re on the same page.
Look at your coping strategies. maybe all you have on there is some intimate massage techniques and you have to decide if you still want to do that with your best friend/mother in law!
Consider the logistical aspects. IE if you were planning on driving to the hospital is this still possible?
3. Brief your backup birth partner
It’s a good idea to spend some time chatting with your back up birth partner. Talk them through your birth plan, your planned coping strategies and discuss the kind of support you want from them. Is It emotional? Physical? Practical? or a mix of all 3?
Give them the lowdown on any antenatal classes you have done like pregnancy yoga or Hypnobirthing so they understand the techniques.
Now is not the time to hold back, be honest and vulnerable and lay down some boundaries about what you DONT want if you feel you need them.
4. Create your home birth plan
Whether you chose to birth at home or not, the chances are (special circumstances like induction aside) that you will be at home for part of your birth before you make the move in so decide what you want that to look like.
How can you make that super special?
How can your partner be really involved?
Do you want your backup partner to be there? If so then how involved are they?
Plan to stay at home, with your partner in crime as long as you feel safe and comfortable. Birth is less likely to slow down the further along you are and that way they can still be there to support you until you make the move.
5. Get your remote support plan together
Time to get creative. Think about ways that you CAN involve your partner from afar
Take something that smells of them, unwashed old t-shirt etc. Have this packed in your birth bag. Smell is very evocative and will help keep them close. Don’t underestimate the power of this.
Take letters or notes from them that someone can read out to you
Photos of happy times in your birth bag for you to look at.
Have some Pre-recorded videos or audios of them on your phone with words of encouragement
Extra battery packs/charger/something to hold your phone if you want to FaceTime them in the birth centre/labour ward.
Also, think about the plus side of them NOT being there, Yep this might be harder but I want you to give it a whirl. Some examples
Your Partner can be at home to make things super welcoming for your arrival back. Make some nice food etc and they can be (hopefully) well-rested so can take over with the baby and let you get some good quality sleep when you get home.
For peace of mind
Of course, you birthing without them may not even happen but it doesn’t matter. Have a contingency plan sooner than later and this is going to help give you huge peace of mind so you can stop worrying and start looking forward to the birth
If you found this useful then do check out our Online Zoom Hypnobirthing Tasters where you will learn how Hypnobirthing can help you create a powerful plan for a positive birth (no matter what comes your way)