Birth Partners need support too! You may chat with someone that never had a Doula, that tells you “I got through it without one!” Which is true. You WILL get through childbirth without one, but having a Doula will make the entire experience much better for both you AND your birth partner.
A Doula will be there through it all offering unwavering support and encouragement. For some this poses the question, “Well, then what will my partner do?” The answer, whatever they’re comfortable with!
I encourage Birth Partners to be as hands on as they want to be. My intent is not to come in and take over that role. It’s important that you and your chosen Birth Partner feel connected during this experience, and that connection will create a calmness and positive environment for you during labour. A Doula is there to support you and your spouse, at all times.
So how exactly do we support Birth Partners during this time?
Having a Doula allows your Birth Partner to take a break.
A birthing person needs continuous labour support, which could 4 or even 24 hours long. It’s not an easy task for a solo supporter. Even your support person needs to take breaks to eat, use the bathroom and rest. Providing physical support like massage, counter-pressure and hip squeezing can also become very tiring for just one person. A Doula allows your other support to switch off and take a break without them having to feel guilty for doing so.
Doulas can ease anticipation of the unknown.
Prior to going into labour, part of a Doulas job is to educate clients on childbirth and what to expect. However sometimes we don’t grasp certain things right away, or things can happen differently from how we expected them to. A Doula will help you facilitate conversation with medical staff to ensure you understand what’s going on and that you are always giving your informed consent. This allows the Birth Partner to be present and experience all the feelings that come with welcoming the new baby.
A Doula can support Birth Partners in an Emergency.
In the event of an emergency where mother and baby are separated, the Birth Partner often finds it hard to choose between staying with Mom or the baby. Having a Doula as an extra support system allows them to stay with one, while the Doula provides updates on the other so that everyone is looked after.
Doulas can show Birth Partners how to support Mothers in pain.
It’s hard seeing the one you love in pain but there are many ways to support mothers during birth. A Doula is able to support the Birthing Partner in supporting the mother-to-be by suggesting tasks they can do to help and/or guiding them in how to apply counter pressure, hips squeeze, acupressure and other pain-relieving techniques.
Having a Doula makes the birth experience better for everyone.
Having someone that is well educated in the process and potential outcomes of childbirth can be very reassuring for couples. It takes a village of support to not only care for a child, but to also welcome them into the world. If Mom feels confident, empowered and in charge of her birth, the entire experience is enjoyable for everyone involved.
March 6, 2023