Your support people can be with you during labour and birth, including your children. If you bring young children, you will need to bring an extra support person to care for them.
Continuous support from someone you trust, from the start of labour, will help your labour to progress. But too many people in the birthing suite can distract you and even slow your labour.
Your support people might include:
- your partner
- your birth partner
- other family member
- a friend
- your doula
- other health professionals – for example, a Reiki or massage therapist.
What your support people need to know
Food isn’t usually supplied for partners or family. They can bring their own or buy it at centre cafes. There's usually a kitchen with a microwave, toaster, and tea and coffee, which your support person can use. Check the centre rules about keeping and storing food in fridges and reheating food.
If your partner is staying overnight, a bed might be provided. Check with the birth centre.
Limited visiting hours give mums and babies time for important rest and care. Most birth centres have visiting hours, although these are often more flexible for immediate family members. Centres sometimes have guidelines about how many people can visit at the same time. Check with the centre.
Some birth centres have this information on their websites. Or you could ask at birth classes or during your pregnancy appointments.