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Five reasons why I wanted him in the birthing pool with me…

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When I first mentioned the possibility of joining me in the birthing pool for labour, my suggestion was met with point blank refusal and a look of shock. My husband Dave is not the stereotypical ‘hippy’ homebirther’s partner. He’s very much a footie loving, City working bloke. The thought of a home birth was a bit scary for him at first and he needed some convincing. The thought of him getting in the birth pool with me also (at first) filled him with horror. However, as is the power of the Babies in Waiting course, he became more open to the idea over time. As the big day approached, I had warned him that he better have his Speedos to hand. Interestingly, when I was labouring and I did turn to him and ask him to get in, he didn’t hesitate. He put a pair of swim shorts on and got straight in. He even looked a little pleased by my request. But why I hear you ask…why would you want him in the water with you? Well, here are my 5 top reasons…

1) To help with the floaty feelingI wanted someone to anchor me (pun intended Hypnobirthers) in the water. I felt weightless and it was easy to change my position BUT I wanted to feel grounded enough to focus on breathing through my surges. The squishy side of the pool just wasn’t cutting it, I needed a human. Not just a human the other side of the pool, but someone IN the space with me. Hubby was the only man for the job. The only person I felt comfortable with being that close to at such an intimate time.

2) To support OxytocinThe love hormone oxytocin is required in labour because it stimulates the surges. The best way to ‘feel the love’ is to be as close as possible to your love. I wanted a cuddle and I instinctively knew that’s what my body needed.

3) Labour is a team effort.Natural labour in my opinion takes as long as it takes. In the absence of a special circumstance, I’m in it for the long haul. I want to feel that the people supporting me are with me all the way. I wanted to know that my husband was ‘present’ during the labour and birth. I think sometimes in a homebirth; a birth partner could be distracted by other tasks and I wanted my husband to be fully focused on the job in hand. He had previously nervously joked about ‘popping to the shops’ when I was labouring. I wanted to make sure he was close to me at all times!

4) First view of baby togetherIn the pool with me means the same view of baby as I get when they are born. It’s such a special moment, it’s worth sharing.

5) To be my protectorIn the water with me, he could pick up on anything that might have been a distraction to me and support me to overcome it. Being able to let go completely knowing that someone that you love and trust is physically close to you and will be your spokesman so that you can focus fully on your labour is brilliant.

Planning a water birth? Why not invite your partner to join you? It really is amazing. xx

Written by EmilyComments/responses welcome. Please email me at info@babiesinwaiting.co.uk