“My partner will be with me. Why do I need a doula?” Doulas hear this often. Let it be known that a mom in labor benefits from having her partner with her. Even more so if her and her partner have attended child birth classes and had training with a doula. Solets just take a minute and talk about how a partner and a doula work together.
First, lets do a quick summary of the things a doula can do for the laboring mom (There are many!). A doula can hold space for a birthing mom. She can provide support and help connect you with local resources. A doula can be a literal “best friend”. She can be a calm and gentle guide along a path that is new to you but very loved and familiar to her. She helps with comfort techniques, pain control, and positioning. Just to name a few.
Now lets talk about how the presence of a doula can benefit the partner.
• The partner will be able to focus on just loving the birthing mom and being her partner. Their relationship and his/her presence matters (even if it’s just holding her hand) is a huge comfort to the birthing mom.
• The partner can take breaks! Birth takes time. The partner needs food and bathroom breaks too. But often birthing moms do not want to be left alone and partners do not want to leave the mom alone. So the doula and the partner can work together allowing each other to rest, eat, and fulfill their own needs while still having someone with mom at all times.
• The partner doesn’t have to remember everything! Yes, an involved partner is usually incredibly knowledgeable. But as labor gets to moving along and picks up, you do not want your partner searching and trying to remember the right technique, do you? Do you want him/her stressing out over that? The doula is trained to remember. At Earthbound Doulas LLC we can call on a supportive network of fellow doulas if we have a question.
• Having a doula allows the partner to feel less pressure. He does not have to fulfill all the roles of protecting, “coaching”, or guiding the birth. He/She can do what they do best… love mom and he/she can do it stress-free, because your doula is there to fill in the gaps.
• I as a doula am known for gently pushing partners out of their comfort zones (they thank me later!) so that they can have a full birth experience with mom. As well as to not be afraid of their baby and to begin bonding.
I believe the partner should always be part of choosing the doula. As a matter of fact, I always request that the partner be present at our interview if possible. As well as at as many of our pre-natal appointments together as possible. A birthing mom can never have too much incredible support. But she is not the only one who needs support..her partner does too!
Remember…Doulas are for partners too!
By: Terry Rambeaut
Natasha has 18 years of experience working with birthing and postpartum mothers. She is well versed and rounded with experience in holistic wellness and integrative medicine. Natasha focus is to treat the body as whole instead of a symptom.