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Deepening Connection During Labor
pregnant person with partner holding belly
April 21, 2024

"Have you ever thought about birth as a way to deepen your partner's connection?" My mentor, Whapio, a traditional midwife, sparked a thought-provoking conversation on the role of partners in the birthing journey. She talks about partners as the guardians of birth, entrusted with the sacred task of creating a space where their loved one can feel safe, undisturbed, and private. Imagine the depth of connection that blossoms between partners when one takes on the role of guardian for the other during labor, providing the three essential elements we yearn for safety, tranquility, and intimacy. In this blog post, let's explore partner practices that can nurture this bond, making the birthing experience even more profound and memorable.

  1. Birth Classes:
    Attending childbirth education classes together can be immensely beneficial in preparing both partners for the labor experience. These classes offer valuable insights into the stages of labor, pain management techniques, and each partner's role during childbirth. By learning together, partners can establish a shared understanding and approach, fostering a sense of teamwork and mutual support.
  2. Eye Gazing:
    During labor, amidst the waves of intensity, taking moments to engage in eye gazing can be remarkably grounding and reassuring. Try starting with just 60 seconds and gradually increasing the time with each session. Avoid sharing any words during the exercise. Locking eyes with your partner can create a powerful connection, a silent reminder of your shared journey, and the strength you draw from each other. In moments of doubt or discomfort, meeting each other's gaze can provide a sense of calm and reassurance, strengthening your bond in the face of adversity.
  3. Comforting Touch:
    A slow and firm touch can be particularly soothing during labor. Whether it's holding hands with gentle pressure, providing massages with firm, steady strokes, or embracing in a warm hug with a gentle but firm hold, physical contact can serve as a powerful source of reassurance and strength. By offering and receiving touch, partners can create a sanctuary of comfort amidst the intensity of labor, fostering a more profound sense of connection and solidarity.
  4. Affirmations and Encouragement:
    Words have the power to uplift, inspire, and reassure. During labor, partners can play a pivotal role in offering affirmations and encouragement to each other. Simple phrases such as "You're doing amazing," "I'm here for you," and "We're in this together" can provide immense comfort and motivation during moments of doubt or fatigue. By verbalizing their support and belief in each other, partners can strengthen their bond and create a positive, empowering atmosphere throughout the birthing process.
  5. Shared Breathwork and Visualization:
    Incorporating breathwork and visualization techniques into labor can enhance relaxation and promote a sense of connection between partners. Sit or lie down comfortably, close your eyes, and take slow, deep breaths together. Envision a peaceful scene or a comforting image, such as a serene beach or a tranquil forest. As you breathe, imagine yourselves surrounded by love and support, drawing strength from each other's presence. You can create a harmonious rhythm that eases tension and fosters a more profound sense of unity by synchronizing your breath and visualizing together.

Experiencing pregnancy and childbirth differs for partners, but engaging in these practices makes them feel more connected and involved in the journey. Here are some prompts partners can use to deepen their connection during labor:

  • "What can I do to support you right now?"
  • "I'm here with you and believe in your strength."
  • "Let's take a moment to breathe together."
  • "You're doing incredible. I'm so proud of you."
  • "Close your eyes and imagine our baby in your arms. We're almost there."

Birth is a sexual experience where the hormones of lovemaking peak to cause contractions. Intimacy is key in labor, and fostering closeness between partners during this intimate time can enhance the birthing experience. By acknowledging the sensual nature of birth and embracing intimacy, partners can deepen their connection and create a supportive environment conducive to a positive birth experience.

Continuous support during labor has been shown to have numerous benefits for both the birthing person and their partner. Research indicates that continuous support from a companion, such as a partner or doula, results in shorter labors, a reduced likelihood of interventions, and increased satisfaction with the birth experience. Many find that having a doula alongside your partner can be an added layer of support.

Labor is a transformative journey that allows couples to deepen their connection and support each other in profound ways. By engaging in practices such as attending birth classes, eye gazing, comforting touch, affirmations, and shared breathwork, partners can foster a sense of unity, strength, and empowerment throughout the birthing process. These moments of connection enhance the labor experience and lay the foundation for a resilient and loving partnership as you embark on the journey of parenthood together.

Suppose you're interested in learning more and preparing for your birth with your partner or curious about how a doula could further enhance your support network. In that case, I invite you to visit my website at and sign up for a free consultation. Together, we can explore personalized strategies to help you and your partner feel confident, supported, and empowered as you welcome your new addition into the world.

As Whapio beautifully articulates, partners as guardians of birth create a sacred space where love, trust, and intimacy flourish, shaping the birth experience into a profound celebration of life and partnership. Your partner is the person who will know you best in the room during labor, so naturally, deepening that connection will support your vision for a positive and empowering birth experience.