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1. Remember that only your partner knows what she is experiencing. Follow her lead as you offer support. Never assume that you already know what she will need in labor. Avoid being overbearing.

2. Offer suggestions for what you can do such as a massage, dimming the lights, or something to drink.

3. Stay attentive to her level of relaxation, and remind her of techniques that may help her relax.

4. Remember that you partner will be doing the hardest work of her life for several hours. Just as she should pace herself, you should pace your own efforts so that you can support her through the entire labor and birth.

5. Remind your partner not to remain lying on her back after exams. This is uncomfortable because it cuts off the circulation in the vena cava, a large vein in the back. She may remain there simply out of inertia.

6. Stay focused on your partner through her contractions. If someone (i.e. nurse) enters the room, you can acknowledge her after the contraction is over.

7. Help your partner find the most comfortable position in which to labor. Assist her in positioning pillows in the best spots.

8. When rubbing her back, remember the following points:
Rub exactly where it aches. She will tell you where that is.
Rub the spot in a small, tight circle.
Use the heel of your hand or the front of your fist.
Place your hand on the spot BEFORE the contraction begins.
Rub with a slow movement in one direction.
Press inward with a lot of pressure and let the skin move with your hand.

9. Keep observers to a minimum.

10. Reduce the noise in the environment at much as possible.

11. Remind your partner to relax her jaw during the pushing stage to keep her pelvic floor relaxed.

12. By the time you get to the pushing stage, you partner is likely to be extremely fatigued. Remind her that it is almost over and she will soon have the baby in her arms.