Last Updated on June 8, 2021
At some stage of your pregnancy, you’ll no doubt be considering how you’ll get through labor! Although childbirth is a time unlike any other, the unknown can also be scary.
Therefore, when it comes to the delivery room, most women prefer to have a partner of some kind with them. Yet, whether through choice or circumstance, that’s not always possible.
For this reason, the use of a birthing coach has become extremely popular in recent years.
If you’re writing up your birth plan, you may be wondering if a birthing coach is for you? Here we consider the role of a birth coach and what they can do for you when it’s time to give birth.
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What is a Birth Coach?
You may have heard of a birthing coach referred to as a labor coach, birth companion, or even a Doula. All these terms relate to the same role – a person who is simply there to coach you throughout the process of childbirth.
With you at every step of the way during labor and delivery, a birth coach will be at your side to help you manage as best as possible. Some may also be able to recommend the best parenting classes before you arrive at this final stage.
With their number one priority to accommodate your requirements, birthing coaches can play a vital part with both natural childbirth as well as planned cesareans.
Ultimately, a birthing coach will be the person responsible for ensuring that you experience as close as possible a birth as to the one you have on your birth plan.
What Is the Role of a Birthing Coach?
Not only does the mere thought of having a birth coach at your side settle your nerves during labor, but there are also several vital services a trained birthing coach can offer.
Birth coaches provide both physical support and emotional support
- This can mean explaining and offering to help you maneuver into a wide range of safe, comfortable, and manageable birthing positions.
- They are also on hand to assist with any non-medical aspects of your care that arise.
- Such coaches are also a huge help when it comes to offering encouragement and confidence to your partner throughout the process of labor and delivery.
- Helping you with your breathing, a birth coach can recommend breathing techniques as the labor progresses and work with you through the often-tricky transition stage.
- They are also fantastic at getting you through that fog of tiredness and encouraging you over that finish line when things get tough.
- Explaining everything you’re experiencing step by step, a birthing coach can also help postpartum. For many women, this can be a lifesaver when it comes to breastfeeding for the first time, especially when trying to get a baby to latch on.
The Limitations of a Birthing Coach
As fantastic as they are, it’s also important to note that birth coaches are limited in some ways as to precisely what they can offer you.
It’s, therefore, a good idea to make sure you’re aware of their limitations before you enter that delivery room with them.
Firstly, a birthing coach is not a midwife, and neither are they there to take the role of one. So, a birthing coach cannot:
- Diagnose or treat any medical conditions
- Dispense medicine
- Take your blood pressure
- Take your temperature
- Listen to or check your baby’s heartbeat
- Perform vaginal examinations
- Provide postpartum clinical care
Despite not being able to perform such tasks, that doesn’t make a birthing coach any less valuable. A key member for many women in the delivery room, a birth coach may not be a baby nurse, but they are indeed a savior for many mothers to be.
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Who Uses a Birth Coach?
There are many reasons why women prefer to select the use of a birthing coach. In fact, such services are increasing in demand across America and indeed many countries worldwide.
- The expectant mother may be on their own with no-one else to stay with them, guide them, or even hold their hand throughout their impending labor and delivery. A birthing coach can be a warm, friendly, and much-needed face here.
- Many women find that it is their partner who is the more anxious or nervous about the impending birth! For some partners, the mere thought of entering a hospital, witnessing the sight of blood, or even watching their partner give birth may be too much. A birthing coach can work to reassure both parents at every step of the way.
- Some women may have had previous stressful experiences of childbirth and require additional reassurance this time around. A birth coach is skilled in keeping stress levels down and thinking ahead, reassuring women whenever potential complications arise.
- A lot of women who are about to become first-time mothers like the idea of having someone experienced and knowledgeable at their side throughout the entire labor and delivery.
- Many women whose pregnancies are deemed to be low risk may find having a qualified birth coach at their side an additional reassurance for a higher potential of a natural birth.
- Those younger first-time mothers may prefer to have someone older and experienced to guide them through childbirth. Likewise, those older mothers with considerable gaps in the ages of their children may also value having an experienced and thoroughly updated person to hand!
Why Choose a Birthing Coach?
It is worth remembering that anything you can do to make both labor and delivery as calm a time as possible is most certainly worth it!
For many women, this means accessing the services of a birth coach to not only make the entire process more bearable but also significantly improve the outcome.
Many health professionals will agree that having the best birthing coach at your side during labor can reduce the need for intervention, thus potentially eliminating the need for pain relief.
Improving the success rate of many a birth, the presence of such a coach also means fewer chances of cesarean and a shortened labor.
Overall, risks are significantly reduced when a professional person, such as a birthing coach, is on hand to guide a woman through one of the most demanding of occasions.
Ultimately, a birthing coach could make all the difference when it comes to making your labor and delivery an experience to remember – and one for all the right reasons!