When your partner or loved one is having a baby, it can be a scary but exciting time, and it’s important that you are prepared for what lies ahead.
When giving birth, having a supportive birth partner can make a huge difference, giving a sense of control, comfort and competence, which in turn makes complications less likely.
In hospital, up to two birth partners are allowed in the Labour area once labour is confirmed – subject to any infection control restrictions in place – to provide support throughout the labour and birth of the baby.
When you come to the ward for a labour assessment, it’s important to ring the team first, so the midwife can assess what’s happening and advise you where your partner or loved one needs to be seen, if this is appropriate.
When you come in, make sure you bring your notes with you.
The midwife will then explain the procedure, perform the assessment and explain their findings. If your partner or loved one is not in labour or in the latent phase of labour, and they and the baby are clinically well, they may be advised to go home.
Latent phase of labour
The latent phase of labour is when the body is preparing for labour and your partner/ loved one may start to experience some irregular contractions.
During this phase, the cervix is making important changes to prepare for the active phase of labour and this can take a few days. During this time, it’s important for you to encourage them to eat and drink, little and often, to keep up their energy levels and stay hydrated. They can also take regular pain relief, which the midwife can advise you about.
You may want to run them warm baths, which help to relieve the pain and encourage them to rest and sleep as much as they can.
When your partner is in labour, your role is to be there for them, providing continuous emotional support, encouragement, praise and reassurance, as well as listening to their needs and concerns. It may sound obvious, but it is important to have positive energy in the room when you’re giving birth.
You will be an advocate, representing your partner’s wishes and provide them with physical support, rubbing their back, using cool compresses on their face and helping them to change position.
You can also keep other relatives updated, as mobile phones can be used in designated areas and, if there are two of you acting as birth partners, it’s very important that one of you stays there throughout the labour and birth, to support your partner.
We advise that you bring plenty of snacks – for you and your partner – and that you wear loose, comfortable clothes, as it can get very warm at times. However, please don’t bring in big bulky items – such as car seats – as it’s important that we keep the rooms tidy and free of clutter.
It’s really important that you keep your hands clean, to prevent the spread of infection, so please wash your hands regularly and use the hand sanitizers provided.
At the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital, Grimsby (DPoW), one birth partner is able to stay overnight following the birth and our staff can give you advice about this.
At Scunthorpe General Hospital (SGH), one birth partner can visit from 9am to 9pm after the birth, but there is no facility for you to stay overnight. There is also no designated visiting on the Central Delivery Suite at SGH. On Ward 26, visiting is allowed at designated times.
Please be aware that you can’t swap with another birth partner – and only those who were initially identified as birth partners will be allowed to stay, in order to maintain security. All our ward areas are secure locked and it’s important that if you do need to leave for any reason, you don’t hold the door open or allow others onto the unit.
Our sites are also completely smokefree and smoking is not permitted anywhere within our grounds. You are able to vape but this must be outside and away from any windows or doors.
If the baby needs to be born by operation – for example, a Caesarean section – one birth partner may be able to be present in theatre and during recovery following the procedure – but this varies depending on the anaesthetic used. This includes elective Caesarean sections, emergency Caesarean sections and instrumental births.
Scunthorpe – Ward 26
- 2pm to 4pm
- 6.30pm to 8pm
Scunthorpe Central Delivery Suite
No designated visiting times
Grimsby Maternity wards
- 2pm to 4pm
- 6.30pm to 8pm
On site parking is available. The usual charges are applicable.
Date of issue: January 2021
Review period: January 2024