We Are Reading: 50 ways to Support a Woman During Labor

We love this list of ways to encourage and support a laboring woman from Four Mamas Birth Collective, www.fourmamasbirth.com. Great for partners!

1. Greet the contraction with a big sigh.…relax as you let your breath out.

2. Every breath out brings calmness…

3. That’s the way….just like that……

4. Feel baby’s head pressing down…..let the baby come.

5. Stay soft and flexible where you feel the baby….

6. Now it’s coming down……start to rest now.

7. Great! Don’t change a thing.   You’re doing so well.

8. Join right in with your breathing….keep it going in and out….

9. Nice and easy….. use only the energy you need….

10. Drop your shoulders….. loosen your hands…..

11. Stay with your breath… each one opens the cervix more…

12. This one is almost over…..fading away….. go limp like a rag doll….

13. You really have the hang of this. You’re amazing.   I knew you could do it.

14. Here comes another….that’s it, relaxing sighs as you rise up to the top of it…

15. Just give way for the baby… baby wants to come….

16. Keep it going just like that…..easy in , easy out…….keep that rhythm

17. See it happening….the baby is coming down on the inside….. breathe it open

18.You’re a natural…….working so well….a strong woman.

19. Let it go away…..start to rest…….cleansing breath…..Nice going!

20. Meet it with your breathing…. that’s it….getting stronger now…..stay with it…

21. Let it stretch….that’s the baby’s head you feel…….coming through.

22. We’re really getting there….you’re doing beautifully…..you’re inspiring!

23. It’s coming down….slow and easy breaths now…..kiss that one good-bye…..

24. First class work!

25. You’re so healthy and strong!

26. Deep breath right from the start……yes, in and out….match it to the peak…

27. Yes, really going right with it……the circle is widening…..

28. Just a little longer…here, look in my eyes….breathe with me. …just like that

29. Going away now…… go limp and relaxed……you just rest now.

30. I’m here with you, you are alright…….we’ll do this together…..one at time.

31. From the beginning….breathe with me…….yes….yes….

32. Nice and steady…..baby’s sliding through….. heading toward your arms…

33. Stay centered…..no resistance……going with it…..being fluid like water.

34. Good open sounds……going deep inside…. to where the baby is.

35. Easing up now……let it go completely……rest for you and the baby.

36. You’re incredible!   Finding that inner strength. I knew you could do this.

37. Remember, the hardest time is the shortest. Let’s take them one at a time.

38. Deep breath….really surrender……you are safe……

39. You’re the best…working hard…..really stretching…

40. Good pain, baby pain….doing just what it should…

41. OK, it’s coming down the hill…..in the valley now…..time to rest again

42. You’re fully dilated, you can push when you’re ready!

43. I’m so excited for you! You’ll be meeting your baby soon!     What a woman!

44. Few deep breaths now….push at the top of your breath…..pressing down…..

45. That’s it…..way into your bottom….feel baby moving down and out

46. Listen to your body….follow it’s rhythm….push when it tells you to…

47. It’s going away….rest and relax now…save that energy…..

48. Here it comes….feel your woman power pushing your baby down……down

49. Let the baby come out easy now….bottom opens out….blossoming petal by petal……breathe easy…..little nudges….. here it comes!

50. What a miracle! Congratulations, you’re a Mom!

If you are looking a guide to childbirth for dads and labor companions we recommend The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin.

Book Review: “Hold Me Tight” by Susan Johnson (review by Kendra Doukas, MS, LMFT)

Kendra Doukas, MS, LMFTToday, one of our therapists, Kendra Doukas, MS, LMFT, is sharing her review of the book “Hold Me Tight” by Susan Johnson

I just finished re-reading what I consider to be some of the best information about couples and relationships out there, Dr. Susan Johnson’s “Hold Me Tight: Conversations for a Lifetime of Love” (2008). Dr. Johnson is the founder of Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy and her book explores the attachment principles behind human connection, specifically within intimate partnerships. For many people, this book serves as a complete reframe of conflict within couples. We often try and tackle relationship conflict with tools and skill building. While these things are important, they often miss the mark.

In the book, Dr. Johnson beautifully illustrates how the basis of all human interaction is rooted in emotional connection and attachment. The way we feel safe or not in our partnerships mirrors the way we felt safe our not as infants with our caregivers. If we have a secure attachment with these fundamental people then research finds that we both give and seek love more readily. As it is put in the book, securely attached couples “roll with the hurts better.” These couples are also found to have healthier balance of separateness and togetherness, and tend to even like themselves better.

When we fight with our partner, we are essentially protesting the fact that we feel emotionally disconnected from him or her. Tools and skill-building in this case just won’t cut it. They may help temporarily, but they are kind of like taking pain relievers for chronic headaches that are caused by needing to wear eyeglasses. Learning more skills won’t hurt, but it also certainly won’t solve the problem.

Dr. Johnson describes couple interaction as a dance, “The more I –fill in the blank–, the more you—fill in the blank–, which causes me to continue to—fill in the blank” and the cycle continues over and over again. This is why it feels to couples like they have the same argument over and over again. One week it might be about the dishes and another about parenting responsibilities, but it is the same exhausting fight and the same hurt feelings. They only way to solve the couple conflict is for both people to understand the dance in which they are trapped in its entirety and what their individual steps in the dance look like. Then the couple can unite against the dance they are caught in (which is the problem) and move past it.

Although this is quite a paradigm shift for most of us, I believe it is a hopeful one. If we can master our understanding of the cycles we are caught in, then we can change them. And even more exciting is the fact that once they are altered, the purpose of the fight is diminished. The hopelessness so many couples feel can be transformed into feeling safe and secure so that when issues arise, they are much less of a blow.

~ Kendra Doukas, MS, LMFT

Kendra is a therapist at The Catalyst Center. Her specialties include:

Interested in learning more about Kendra or booking a free consultation with her? Kendra Doukas, M.S. LMFT can be reached by calling the Catalyst Center main office at 720-675-7123 or by emailing us directly at CatalystCenterLLC@gmail.com