Information for partners banner image

Information for partners banner image

Information for partners

We are here to support you and your partner during this special time in your lives and you play an important role in the pregnancy, birth and postnatal care of your baby.

Becoming a parent can be an emotional experience, you may also have questions or need some support and we want to ensure that you feel involved, informed and respected throughout the process, so we have created this information for you. 

We value your feedback and suggestions on how we can improve our service for you and your family. Please feel free to contact us anytime if you have any questions or concerns. We look forward to meeting you and your baby/babies soon.

Attendance at maternity appointments/units

You are welcome to attend all maternity appointments with the permission of the mother/birthing person, though there may be occasions when we need to talk to your partner by themself briefly. You will be offered opportunities to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

How to support during pregnancy

You can do many things to help during pregnancy, including:

  • Accompany your partner to antenatal appointments and classes. This can help you learn more about the pregnancy, the birth and the baby/babies. It can also show your support and interest in your partner's health and wellbeing.
  • Help your partner to have a healthy lifestyle. This includes you both eating well, staying active, avoiding smoking and alcohol, and your partner taking vitamin D and folic acid supplements.
  • Be involved in making decisions about the pregnancy and the birth. You can help your partner to make a birth plan, pack a hospital bag, choose a name for the baby/babies and prepare the nursery.
  • Help your partner to cope with any pregnancy symptoms, such as morning sickness, tiredness, mood swings or sore breasts. You can offer practical help, such as preparing meals, doing household chores or giving massages. You can also provide emotional support, such as listening, reassuring or comforting.
  • Share your feelings and expectations with your partner. You may have your own worries or fears about becoming a parent, or you may feel excited or curious. Talking openly and honestly can help you both to bond with each other and the baby/babies.
  • Plan ahead for the birth and the first weeks with your baby/babies. Think about what you need to do, such as arranging transport, sorting out finances and time off work, and preparing your home for the baby/babies. You can also make a birth plan with your partner that outlines their preferences and choices for labour and birth.

Supporting during labour and birth

With the agreement of the mother/birthing person, we encourage you to be present and supportive during labour and birth if you feel able to, as well as after the baby/babies are born. During labour and birth, we encourage partners to stay at any time - up to two birth partners can be present in birthing areas.

Here are some tips on how to support your partner:

  • Be present and attentive. Your partner may need your emotional and physical support, such as holding their hand, wiping their face, or giving them sips of water.
  • Help them relax and breathe. You can remind them of the breathing and relaxation techniques you learned in antenatal classes, or breathe with them if it helps.
  • Massage them and help them move. You can massage their back and shoulders, or apply counter-pressure on their hips or sacrum to ease the pain. You can also help them change position or move around to find the most comfortable one.
  • Support their decisions. You can help your partner communicate with the midwife or doctor, and make sure their wishes are respected. You can also support them if they choose to have pain relief or a caesarean section, even if it's different from their birth plan.
  • Tell them what's happening. You can keep your partner informed of the progress of labour and what's happening with the baby/babies. You can also ask the midwife or doctor any questions you have.
  • Cut the umbilical cord. If you want to, you can cut the umbilical cord after your baby/babies are born. Talk to the midwife in advance if you would like to do this.

These are just some ways you can help your partner during labour and birth, but remember that every situation is different and you may need to adapt to what your partner needs and wants.

You can find further information on the NHS website >

Useful reminders

To help your partner during the final weeks of their pregnancy, take a look at the useful reminders below:

  • Ensure that you can be contacted at all times
  • Decide how you will travel to the hospital if you have arranged a hospital birth
  • If you are using your own car to travel to the hospital, ensure that it is in full working order and has plenty of fuel
  • Carry out a trial run to travel to the hospital to see how long it takes to get from your house to the hospital
  • Remember to pack a bag for yourself, including snacks, a camera, and your phone
  • Remember a change of clothes for you and your partner

Visiting times

Visiting times will be discussed with you on your arrival to the postnatal ward, and you will be made aware of any current restrictions.

When you arrive, you will need to tell the ward clerk who you are visiting on the ward.

If you are worried

If you have concerns about your baby/babies in regards to their development or health, talk to your doctor or midwife. They can provide you with accurate information and reassurance, and address any medical issues that may arise.

If the pattern of the baby/babies’ movements change or are reduced, or if the mother/birthing person experiences vaginal bleeding or feels unwell, it is essential to contact us immediately via the maternity triage service. More information about the service is available via this link >

NHS information

Infant feeding

You can play an important role in supporting your partner and your baby/babies with infant feeding. Feeding your baby/babies is an opportunity to build a close and loving relationship with them. For more information and advice, you can visit some of the websites listed below:

Crying

Babies cry for many reasons, and sometimes it can be hard to figure out what they need.

Babies who may be otherwise healthy, can cry excessively and cannot be easily settled. This can be stressful and overwhelming for new parents.

Find out more about infant crying and comforting and management methods via this link >

Safe sleeping

One of the best ways to keep your baby safe and healthy is to follow the advice around safe sleeping.

This includes placing your baby on their back to sleep, keeping them smoke-free during pregnancy and after birth, and sharing a room with them for the first six months. You should also use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition and avoid overheating or overlying your baby.

These tips can help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and ensure a better sleep for you and your baby. You can find out more via this link >

Inpatient comment:

Everyone offered words of such reassurance and kindness. I felt so cared for and the communication with me at all times was fantastic.