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