The Role of Your Coach
No matter how and where you give birth, having a labor coach is one recommendation that does not change. Your labor coach will offer support, comfort, encouragement, and assistance all throughout labor and delivery.
Traditionally, a woman's partner has been her labor coach, but now many women make other choices. Some women choose a close female friend, mother, sister, or other relative. Other women rely on the services of a professional doula who is trained in offering support during labor.
According to the CDC, the number of induced labors has doubled since 1989. Current rates show 20.5 percent of all births are induced.
Choosing someone other than your partner does not have to mean your partner is left out of the process. Most health-care providers have no problem with several people being present at a birth to offer support to the new mom. Some women designate one person as the photographer and another as their personal coach. Whatever works for you is perfectly acceptable. Some partners simply do not do well in the role of labor coach, and recognizing that and making other arrangements is sensible.
Your coach should ideally attend childbirth classes with you, so you are both prepared. Make sure you are able to reach the coach day or night as your due date approaches. You may wish to arrange for a backup coach in case your first choice is unavailable for some reason. Some hospitals require that the coach attend classes while others do not, so be sure to check into this so you can meet requirements.