When staying in a hospital, it can be nice to have someone with you to help ease any stress and nerves. This is especially important during the birth of your baby. If it's not possible to have someone with you who you know well and would support you during labour, know that nursing staff is available and very experienced with providing labour support.
After you've given birth to your baby, nursing support is still available. There may also be other labour and post-delivery support people at the hospital who can help you and your baby. Please make your needs known. It is always safe to ask.
Those who have supportive people with them during labour have been shown to:
- Need less pain medications and less medical interventions
- Have shorter hospital stays
- Have a more positive birth experience, overall
It's important to choose people you trust and are comfortable with. They should be supportive and encouraging and should help advocate for your choices throughout your entire stay at the hospital. A support person can be your partner, a family member, a friend, a doula or labour support person.
Clearly communicate your needs and wishes with the person(s) you want by your side before you go into labour. In rare circumstances, your support person(s) may not be permitted to stay with you the entire time. For example, if you had to have an emergency caesarean section (C-section) using general anaesthetic. Every effort will be made to keep you and your support system together as much as possible. You and your family (whoever you label your family to be) are partners with us in your care.
Many birthing centres encourage a main support person to stay with you 24 hours a day to help provide any assistance that you and your newborn may need while in hospital. Be sure to check the visiting policies with the hospital where you plan to deliver your baby.
Sources of Medical Information
- B.C. Women’s Hospital, British Columbia
- Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, Toronto, Ontario