Hey Birthing Partners & Support People! This may be a joyous, confusing, overwhelming, exciting time for you! You are expecting a little one (or two!)! Your partner has taken on the pregnancy and you may feel left out or unsure of how you can support them. Here are some ideas of how to support your partner and prepare for your little one!

Learn, Learn, Learn! There’s so much to learn about pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Make sure that you are taking on the load of learning with your partner. Here are some resources to get started: 

  • The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin

  • Fair Play by Eve Rodsky

  • The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

  • Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood—and Trusting Yourself and Your Body by Erica Chen-Cohen

  • Why Did No One Tell Me This by by Natalia Hailes & Ash Spivak

  • Feed The Baby by Victoria Facelli IBCLC 

Go to therapy?!No, seriously. Having a baby is a major stress on you and your relationship with your partner. It can bring up a lot of feelings about your own childhood and how you were raised. If you’ve never been to therapy, then start now. Learn some strategies to calm down during stressful times and process your own childhood to help you be the best parent and partner you can be. 

Your Birthing Partner Needs You in Numerous Ways

Postpartum Essentials - a line art drawing of a baby being cradled with a parent's hand on their head with a very light pink background with peach water color circles and gold glitter accents

Provide physical support to your birthing partner. Pregnancy is such a physical strain on the body.

Your partner may have back and hip pain, swollen legs and feet, or just generally feel pain in their body. Ask about their pain and learn from them how to make it better.

Rubbing their back and feet can really do wonders. Hip jiggles and belly lifts can help with a lot of the strain due to the additional weight. 

Does your birthing partner want you to attend a birth class with them? Birth Classes are an amazing way to learn about the birthing process and how to best support your partner through the birth.

Do the research on what birthing classes are available in your area (or online) and share with your partner a few options and what you think might be best. When you agree on one, sign the two of you up, and add it to both of your calendars. 

It’s a wonderful idea to schedule a tour of your hospital or birthing center. When you and your partner have selected the location for the birth, reach out to schedule a tour of the location.

It’s best to do this about a month before the due date. Make sure to pick a time that will work for both of you and get it added to your calendars. 

Let’s Talk Feeding the Baby

It is imperative to talk not only to your partner about feeding the baby, but also to any support people or birthing partners who will be assisting postpartum. Likely your partner has strong feelings about how they want to feed the baby. 

Ask them what they would like to do. Then, based on what they say, do some research on how to feed a baby that way. Make a list of items you might need to help support this feeding choice.Learn about how you can be involved in this feeding process.


    • Formula Feeding- Learn about what bottle types to try, formula that is available in your area, and make a plan for formula feeding on the go.
    • Combo Feeding- In addition to the above things to learn, you’ll also want to learn about chestfeeding and what type of combo feeding schedule will work best for your family.
    • Exclusively Pumping- For this feeding method, learn about breastmilk storage, breast pumps (how to assemble, clean), how to warm milk up at home and on the go.
    • Exclusively Chestfeeding- You should learn about chestfeeding in general (note- you may need to use “breastfeeding” to search for resources), what a good latch looks like- your different vantage point can be helpful for your partner to make sure the latch is good, find a lactation consultant on your insurance in case issues arise, and discuss with your partner how to deal with nighttime wakeups as a team (more below).

Now Let’s Get into The Nitty Gritty: Nighttime Wakeups!

We highly recommend that you make a plan for nighttime wakeups! It is crucial that each parent gets 4-5 uninterrupted hours of sleep each night.

As the non-birthing person, that means you need to ensure your partner gets enough sleep. In the beginning, it is common that a baby will be waking up every 2-3 ish hours overnight to eat.

Come up with the sleeping schedule so that one of you will be going to bed a bit earlier and the other will sleep in a bit later. The feeding plan will greatly influence how you make this plan.

Formula feeding, combo feeding, and exclusive pumping make this plan a little easier because you can feed the baby in that method while your partner sleeps through that feeding. 

If your partner wants to exclusively chest-feed, then here are a few ideas to consider: is the baby naturally sleeping 4 consecutive hours overnight and is the pediatrician ok with that? If so, then you both can plan to sleep those hours together.

When the baby does wake, you should get up to get the baby, change their diaper, and bring them to your partner to chest-feed.

Your partner may need you to stay awake during the feeding to help them get latched well, keep them awake, or put the baby back down when they are done. This is something you’ll want to have a plan for but notice when it needs to change. 

If the baby isn’t naturally sleeping 4 consecutive hours or the pediatrician is concerned about weight gain, then you have a few options to support your partner.

You could see if your partner would like to pump before bed or offer a formula bottle so you can take a feeding. If they don’t, then you should do the work to get up when the baby wakes- change the diaper, bring them to your partner, and put them back down when they are done.

Postpartum Essentials - a line art drawing of a mother and father cradling each other and a newborn on the father's shoulder with a beige background with green water color circle and gold glitter accents

If the baby needs to be woken up on a schedule, then set your alarm to be the one to do it. Your partner is healing from a major medical event and needs the rest to be able to heal. This is a great way that you can support them. 

Having a baby is a major milestone for your family! Your partner is doing so much work to grow a little baby, so you taking on these tasks to support them will be instrumental. It can feel like being left out when you aren’t the one to carry the pregnancy or give birth, but you can and do play a major role in this pregnancy. You may not feel like a parent until the little one has arrived, but preparing for their arrival can help you get there. We wish you all the best in your parenting journey.

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