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TRUE Or NAY? Holding Your Wife's Hands Can Reduce Labour Pains


Jan. 07, 2020

Did you hold your partner's hand during labour?
Feeling the hand of the one you love clasping yours can flood you with a sense of peace. It assures you of their love and care. But a new
study suggests its effects go beyond emotional comfort. When you hold your partner’s hand, it can actually help ease physical pain even
during labour!
At the start of the induction process to kick start labour, I managed on my own but as it progressed and the pain increased which each
contraction, I clung tightly to the frame of the bed, praying that it would come to an end soon and my baby would be born.
Hours flew by and the pains continued coupled with the discomfort from the doctor’s regular reach into the vagina at the height of
contraction to check the length of cervical dilation. In all this, I got a lot of comfort from holding my mum’s hands and when hubby came
around, he had his fair share of handholding to offer.
This sort of hand-holding comfort has a far-reaching effect than reassurance. A new study shows that holding the hands of your partner
helps to ease physical pain. It fills the distressed spouse with the reassurance of love, care and support even during labour.
Researchers from the University of Colorado noted that touch serves as a form of painkiller. This was tested with 22 husbands and wives
who have been together for a while, they found that when there is a pain, and the other partner touches or holds the hands of the one in
pain their brains work together, which reduces the pain. The more the empathy husband, has the less the pain the wife feels even without
them touching.
Husbands and fathers can offer more than hand-holding to their wives during labour. Here are tips that can come in handy at such a time.
1. Stay with your wife at the beginning of labour or as much as you are allowed
2. Offer to massage of her shoulders and back
3. Clean her face when needed
4. Be on the ground to help her move around
5. Speak words of encouragement and comfort as labour progresses
6. Provide emotional support by showering her with words of encouragement as labour intensifies.
7. Help her use relaxation and breathing techniques
8. Continue to be supportive even when things do not go as planned e.g. she may need to have a caesarean section when a vag*nal
delivery fails
9. Be your wife’s mouthpiece and speak to health care providers concerning what your wife would want while providing information to her
about what is happening
10. Do take care of yourself, so she does not have to worry about your needs.
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