07/2021 
Leah Castro
Area Partner Clovis, NM

As you eagerly await your baby’s arrival into this world, a lot of emotions may occur: joy, anticipation, nervousness, stress, excitement, etc. These emotions grow even stronger as your due date draws closer! For most women, they imagine having the perfect delivery with their significant other by their side, and family members filling the hospital waiting room. However, within our military community, plans are constantly changing, and we are often forced to change our plan for a different scenario. We might have to have a plan that includes giving birth while our significant other is half a world away on deployment, or in another state for training or school.

While preparing for birth, it is always a good idea to have a birth plan in place so you can advocate for yourself and the experience you want. If available, take a childbirth class and enroll as early as possible. Ask all the hard questions, even “stupid” ones, because the better prepared you are the more choices you’ll have during labor. Being armed with knowledge is one of the best tools you can have for labor and delivery, especially if you don’t have your closest support system with you!

While giving birth without your significant other with you is not an ideal plan, it is often one that needs to be considered for military families. Fortunately, there are things you can do to be prepared for the scenario.

 

First, know it could be a possibility.
Knowing that it might happen will help lessen the disappointment if it becomes reality. Having that realistic expectation can help put other plans in place so you will not be giving birth alone!

Make your contingency plan.
If your significant other cannot be there with you then who can be? Does the hospital or birth center have doulas on staff? If not, consider hiring a doula if you think you may be alone for labor and delivery. Doulas are a wonderful support, even if your significant other can be there! Another plan is to have a relative or close friend as your support person. No matter what, find someone dependable who has the time and flexibility in their schedule to be there for you.

Use technology!
We have come a long way since 10 years ago. Now we have the ability of video apps that can allow you to connect with your significant other and have them still be a part of the experience. If anything, you can also document the moments with photos and videos. Birth photography and videography have become popular choices for expecting mothers.

Bring items to remind yourself (and your new baby) of your significant other’s presence!
Pictures can be taped up for you and to the clear plastic cribs that hospitals use, and you can wear one of your significant other’s shirts as you hold your baby. If there is any special music that reminds you of them, play it softly in the background. As a military spouse we are used to planning and making multiple backup plans. If you think there is any chance that your significant other might miss the birth due to a deployment or  training, make the plans now! Having them in place and never needing them will be much easier than not. Keep in mind, no matter what happens, you can do hard things. It’s normal to feel scared and intimidated but know that many other women have gone before you and given birth without their significant other by their side. Hopefully you can find peace and confidence in knowing that you aren’t alone! And of course, keep in mind that Military Mommies Area Partners can help connect you with local doulas and other supportive resources in your area to help you with your labor and delivery experience.

You can contact Leah or find her on the MilitaryMommies.com/leah-castro-2