80+ Ways to Support a Woman During Pregnancy, Labour, Childbirth and Beyond

As mamas, it is true that we must do the brunt of the work when it comes to having a baby – our bodies must bend and grow like we have never imagined. We must forgo our previous much-loved but perhaps not-so-healthy activities (ie. wine-o-clock).

The list of pregnancy-related symptoms that expecting moms must endure seems endless – the nausea, vomiting, heartburn, constipation, Braxton-hicks… The list goes on and on.

And we haven’t even talked about what a treat labour is yet!

The moral of the story is that we as mothers are kind of big deals. So much so, in fact, that sometimes our supportive partners aren’t quite sure how to help us through it all. Because we all need a bit of help, despite how awesome we are.

Here are 80+ ways for partners to participate and help a woman through pregnancy, labour, birth and beyond!

80+ Ways to Support a Woman During Pregnancy, Labour, Childbirth and Beyond (2)

80+ Ways to Help New Moms Through Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum & Beyond


1- Come to prenatal appointments

2- Come to ultrasound appointments

3- Help plan a fun pregnancy or gender reveal party

4- Host a diaper shower with friends, or co-host a baby shower

5- Carry the laundry basket up the stairs (and while you’re at it- do the laundry!)

6- Pick up food cravings when requested

7- Tell her that she is beautiful every day

8- Pick out baby names together

9- Help plan the nursery décor and do the painting and renovations needed

10- Talk to older siblings about having a new baby and what it means to your family

11- Take pregnancy photos together

12- Listen to your partner’s worries and concerns

13- Take care of the pets – including the litter box!

14- Arrange the game plan for when labour strikes, and help pack bags accordingly

15- Attend a prenatal class, and try not to complain the whole time

16- Get her a Snoogle, and half of your side of the bed


17- Help time contractions

18- Help keep her comfortable while laboring at home

19- Make her food to eat while she is in early labour

20- Arrange child care for older siblings

21- Bring some of her favourite music to listen to

22- Call the labour ward when contractions are getting closer

23- Make sure everything including her hospital bag makes it into the car in time

24- Bring her to the hospital with plenty of time to spare

25- Be there to lean on (literally and not) during contractions

26- Feed her ice chips or give her sips of water regularly

27- Give her back rubs or apply pressure to her hips (if she likes it)

28- Tell her how great she is doing

29- Be in contact with friends and family

30- Make sure friends and family give her the space that she needs

31- Apply cool cloths to her forehead if it helps

32- Hold her hand

33- When she tells you she needs drugs, remind her how strong she is

34- Stay calm and sit down if you feel light-headed (the nurses don’t need another patient!)

35- Ask questions if one or both of you are confused about something

36- Help her reposition in bed, on the birthing ball, or in the chair

37- Help her to the bathroom

38- Walk with her up and down the hall

Child Birth

39- Stay supportive while she is pushing

40- Give her sips of water between contractions

41- Hold her hand

42- Help her bring her chin to chest

43- Help her keep her legs up while pushing

44- Whisper in her ear how proud you are of her

45- Remind her how strong she is

46- Request to cut the cord, or if you’re feeling lucky, to catch your baby!

47- Remind healthcare staff to do skin-to-skin between mom and babe, so long as no concerns with baby

48- Take pictures of your new baby, including one with baby on mom’s chest and baby getting weighed

49- Call or text friends and family with the great news

50- Take time to hold and bond with your new baby

51- Do skin-to-skin with your baby, especially if mom if not available due to surgery or complication

52- If having a cesarean section, make sure to come with her to the OR and hold her hand during the procedure

53- Bring mom the most delicious food that you can think of


54- Change the baby’s diaper before feeds

56- If bottle feeding, feed your baby

57- If formula feeding, use best practices

58- Help with the baby’s first bath, or take pictures

59- Ask lots of questions about newborn care

60- Pick up any prescriptions or over-the-counter medications that mom and baby may need (nipple ointment, vitamin D drops, pain killers if cesarean)

61- If cesarean, help mom change her abdominal dressings when wet or soiled

62- Watch the baby daily so mom can have showers and time to herself

63- Help keep the house tidy so that mom can nap when baby sleeps

64- Restrict visitors so that mom and baby don’t become overwhelmed

65- Advocate for your baby – if crying, make sure that your baby is given back to mom for a feeding

66- Take some time off work- as determined by you and your partner

67- Spend extra time with older siblings to make sure they continue to feel loved and supported

68- If cesarean section, make sure mom is following the surgeon’s instructions on heavy lifting – help her with the groceries, pick up older children, do the driving, vacuum the house

69- Do not pressure mom to begin having intercourse again until she feels ready

70- Take the time to pick up and drop off older siblings at grandma’s or daycare at least once a week

71- Be in charge of diaper duty

72- Get to know normal baby behaviour, especially crying and sleeping

73- Play and cuddle with your baby

74- Encourage regular tummy time


75- Make sure mom stays well-hydrated

76- Set mom up with a breastfeeding station – with snacks, a drink, the remote, phone, breastfeeding pillow, magazines

77- Get up with baby at night to change the diaper and bring to mom if breastfeeding – especially if she had a cesarean section as well as on your days off work!

78- If baby is fussy and mom is frustrated, offer to take and calm baby

79- Make food for both of you when you are home

80- Give mom and baby room in bed if mom chooses to bring baby to bed for night feedings

81- Help mom feel comfortable breastfeeding in public, and support her if she receives any backlash (which she shouldn’t!)

82- Even when times are tough, don’t suggest formula – if she is feeling discouraged, remind her how well she is doing and suggest that you all go see a Lactation Consultant

83- Keep her company and entertained while breastfeeding – make sure that she doesn’t feel isolated or missing out

84- If mom pumps, help set it up and wash the bottles and parts

There you go – 80+ ways to support a woman through pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and beyond! I hope that you have found this helpful and feel free to share it with your significant other or friends and family. And please, if you have other ideas on how to support a new mom, include them in the comment section below!

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Hi! I am a Registered Nurse on a unit that encompasses labour and delivery, postpartum, medical, surgical and palliative care in a rural hospital in Ontario, Canada. I am a mom of two and am passionate about women's rights, mom and infant care, parenting and nursing. I hope to create an educational, entertaining and highly relatable resource for women around the world. Thanks for stopping by! Xo, The Mama Nurse

13 thoughts on “80+ Ways to Support a Woman During Pregnancy, Labour, Childbirth and Beyond

  • July 25, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Love these! Especially the breastfeeding support, that was the most awesome thing my hubby did when I was new to nursing my baby.

  • July 25, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    This is an amazing list! There are so many things a helper/spouse/best friend/family member can do to make new baby time easier on the exhausted mama.

  • July 31, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Wow! great list and very detailed… I wish I had read this before when I was pregnant with my two. But I’m sure this is very useful and informative for mum-to-be out there. #KCACOLS

  • July 31, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Good list, my only issue would be with numbers 42 and 43 – they assume a woman should be on her back pushing which (as a midwife myself) I really disagree with! Apart from that, great tips! ? #KCACOLS
    TheIrishBabyFairy recently posted…Mammy Profile – NicolaMy Profile

  • August 2, 2016 at 3:02 am

    Absolutely LOVE this!!! It can be tough for a new father to fall into his role. Sometimes, they just feel awkward and out-of-place and I think having a checklist handy would be a wonderful idea for the compartmental-like man brain. <3 #KCACOLS

  • August 4, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    This is such a useful post for fathers-to-be with loads of clear suggestions. Thanks so much for sharing it. Thanks for linking with #KCACOLS. We hope you come back again next week.

  • August 25, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Hi ,
    Your post is so so helpful & amazing !
    “80+ Ways to Support a Woman During Pregnancy, Labour, Childbirth and Beyond” ………..i really proud by reading this post !
    Best of luck !
    Thanks !

    • September 2, 2016 at 10:44 am

      Hi Rita, thanks so much for your kind comments. You should be proud! Thanks for reading.


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