Labour of Love; The Ultimate Guide to Being a Birth Partner by Sallyann Berresford
Review by: Samuel Todd – Birth Centre Manager and Professional Midwifery Advocate, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Published by Dandelion Books
Publication date: 16th October 2020
Labour of Love has been written to equip birth partners with the appropriate tools and knowledge to support women during pregnancy and childbirth. This guide details the pregnancy journey and how to navigate, prepare for and decide on birth preferences and options.
There is sufficient detail on place of birth options (home, midwifery unit, obstetric unit) to inform decision making, with specific information on transferring from preferred place of birth in labour. I believe more women would consider the option of a home birth after reading this book, as it is written in an unbiased way with vignettes that portray the benefits of birthing in the comfort of your own home.
From the viewpoint of birth partners, this guide provides all that is required to navigate the process of birth and its relevant stages, in a way that is understandable without being too simplistic. I am sure the information would enable birth partners to be effective in their role, rather than feeling underprepared and scared of the process.
Sallyann’s P.R.O.T.E.C.T.S acronym has been cleverly designed to ensure birth partners can remember all the relevant parts of their role that could be considered their responsibility and will be something I incorporate in my practice when facilitating birth preparation. I particularly valued the chapter on Birth Plans and how to make these effective. As Sallyann states, “In my experience, midwives really want to help women achieve their dream birth, so will work closely with women and their birth partners to ensure that everything goes well”. There is an easy-to-navigate Resources section to signpost birth partners to evidence to support decision making which is beneficial.