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Claire, mother of one (born 2011), hometown Birmingham

We both attended antenatal classes so I had lots of support from partner throughout. He was just as informed as I was about what to expect, pain relief options, placenta delivery and ways of coping with labour. We discussed our expectations regarding both pain relief and placenta delivery before coming to a joint decision based on what we thought would be best for both me and our baby. It was reassuring to know that there was someone else who could make decisions for me if I was unable to, although luckily this was not necessary as the birth was natural and straightforward with no need for anything more than gas and air for pain relief. During labour he encouraged and supported me, fetched glasses of water and made sure I was as comfortable as possible. He did not want to cut the cord as he felt it unnecessary and was slightly squeamish about this part. His main concern throughout was the health of me and our child and I know that I would have had full support from him had my intentions or wishes differed from what we had discussed.