22 weeks pregnant

By the time you are 22 weeks pregnant it may be a good time to start thinking about who you would like as a birthing partner. It is important to have someone who is going to be well prepared and is happy to be there with you and who you feel comfortable drawing emotional support from.


Pregnancy 22 Weeks – Birth Partner

It is a proven fact that choosing the right birthing partner can provide you with a powerful and positive experience with memories that can last a lifetime. Providing you with the required emotional support can also help you to relax and feel more confident about what’s happening to you, therefore shortening the labor process and also the need for pain relieving drugs and medical intervention.

Although your midwife will be with you during labor, it is unlikely that they will be there for the first stage of labor when contraction timings begin as this stage can sometimes last for many hours before it is necessary for any medical professional to be present. If you are having a hospital birth then you will be checked on periodically during this stage but if you would like someone present throughout then you need to have yourself a chosen labor companion.

22 weeks pregnant – Things to consider when deciding who is going to be with you throughout the birth:

  • Are they going to be well prepared?
  • Do they want to be there?
  • Are you close to them?
  • Are they calm, level-headed and rational in times of stress?
  • Do you feel completely comfortable, relaxed and uninhibited in their company?
  • Are they going to be able to effectively communicate your needs to your medical team?

22 weeks pregnant – What your labor partner may be required to do:

  • Help you to relax and release tension by breathing with you and massaging your back, tummy or feet, knowing when to watch for signs of tension or the onset of a contraction.
  • Being able to support you physically by holding you and allowing you to lean on them.
  • Offering encouragement, praise and reassurance.
  • Helping you to change position regularly.
  • Know what’s in your birth plan and what your requirements are.
  • Reminding you to empty your bladder every hour or so, keeping you comfortable so you’re not too hot and giving you drinks or ice cubes to suck so you remain hydrated.
  • To not be too controlling or overpowering, knowing when to leave you to your own devices and when to intervene.

Be sure to discuss between you what your feelings and/or anxieties are surrounding labor so that you are sure that you understand each other.

Some people you may consider as your birthing partner:

  • Your partner – This is usually the most natural choice as your partner is someone you should already trust and feel comfortable with and most partners want to be there for the birth of their child that they may already have a special relationship with. Doing antenatal classes together is a good way to prepare him for this. Not all partners, however, are comfortable with this though and if that is the case then it is probably better for the both of you if you choose someone else.
  • A female friend or relative – Many women that are close to their mothers are usually happy to have them there as they can provide great unconditional support. Watching their grandchild being born will be a moving experience for them too and they will also have the advantage of having gone through the process themselves although things may have changed a lot since then. A sister or a friend that you are close to (especially if they have a child of their own) can be a good choice.

  • Birth Doula

  • A doula – a Greek word meaning ‘female servant’. A birth doula will not be involved in the process medically however they are trained in every aspect of childbirth and will be there to offer emotional support and advise throughout as they are experts at knowing the special kind of physical and emotional support a woman in labor requires. By the time you are 22 weeks pregnant you will need to decide if you are going to be hiring a doula or not as you will need to meet them long before your due date to familiarise and get to know them. They can also offer invaluable help and support in breath feeding and caring for your newborn. Many hospitals only like you to have one birthing companion so if you would like more than one then it is best to check with your hospital first.

Remember that it is hard work supporting someone through labor so your birthing partner will need to look after themselves too, keeping up their energy by having something to eat and drink, ensuring that they wear loose clothing so they don’t become too hot, staying relaxed and taking a break if they need to.

At 22 weeks pregnant you may still be experiencing a steady gain in weight (usually around half a pound or 225g each week) with your pregnant belly seeming rather upright by now.

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STAGES OF PREGNANCY DEVELOPMENT

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