There are lots of practical things you can do to help during labour, although probably none of them are as important as just being there to offer emotional and moral support.

It’s impossible to know in advance what labour is going to be like or how either of you will cope, but there are ways to help prepare including:

  • pack a hospital bag
  • get change for parking and vending machines
  • bring food and drinks

There are also ways you can help during labour:

  • keep your partner company and helping to pass the time
  • hold your partner’s hand, wipe their face, give them sips of water, massage their back and shoulders, and help them move or change position
  • comfort your partner as labour progresses and contractions get stronger
  • remind your partner how to use relaxation and breathing techniques
  • support your partner’s decisions, for example about pain relief
  • help your partner tell midwives or doctors what they need
  • tell your partner what is happening as the baby is being born

Staying overnight

Partners may choose to stay overnight to support a new parent. Our priority is to care for our patients, who are the women, birthing people and babies staying with us. However, we know how important the support of partners is for new families, so one partner is welcome to visit overnight on the ward.

To ensure the safety and comfort of all our families, please note the following guidelines:

  • A recliner chair will be provided for your use
  • Please do not bring your own bed or bedding; hospital beds are for mothers and birthing people and are not designed for sharing.
  • Please dress appropriately and fully at all times.
  • At night, please keep noise and light to a minimum and ensure that all mobile phones are switched off or on silent between the hours of 10pm and 6am.
  • We regret that we are unable to provide partners with meals. Vending machines, shops and restaurants are available for refreshments 24/7