Expectant mums and dads in South Essex Get help in South Essex Why a Pregnancy Pal? Birth Buddy support Some of our Pregnancy Pals offer 'Birth Buddy' support during labour and birth. They are happy to 'be there' by your side. Or, if you already have a birth partner, they can help him or her to prepare for the birth. Whether it is an expectant dad, grandparent or friend, we are there to help and support them too. We are here to support the choices you make. If you choose to have Birth Buddy support, this is how it works Getting to know each other during the pregnancy helps you to feel comfortable. You will normally be offered a backup Birth Buddy too, just in case your main Birth Buddy has an emergency or sudden illness when you go into labour. This very rarely happens but it can be reassuring to know there is someone else who can be with you. You phone your Birth Buddy when you go into labour (yes, even in the middle of the night!); Your Birth Buddy will come to your home and support you during early labour; If you are having a hospital birth you can go to the hospital together (they can’t take you in their own car but you could travel together in a taxi). How a Birth Buddy can help you during labour and birth A Birth Buddy gives you practical and emotional support. This may simply be having someone to hold your hand and to help you understand what is happening and why. Our Birth Buddies are trained to provide the following support: Finding comfortable positions whilst you are in labour; Simple breathing and relaxation techniques to help you to cope with contractions; Helping you to understand what’s going on and what the midwife is saying; Making adjustments to help you feel more comfortable e.g. dimming the lights, fans to cool the temperature; Giving you hand or back massage if you would like it. After the birth A Birth Buddy can be with you while you are feeding your baby for the first time and can help you to settle on the postnatal ward if you are in hospital.