Birth Doulas can be a Partner's BFF

May 20, 2023
BY Partum Health Care TEam
Partum Health care team
Doula Partner

Birth doulas work collaboratively with partners to provide comprehensive support during childbirth. Especially for first time parents, the role of supporting partner in the labor and delivery room can be an intimidating one! Some partners are uncomfortable in hospital settings or with the sight of blood. It can also be challenging to see your partner in major discomfort or pain. And of course there’s the reality that sometimes birth doesn’t go 100% according to plan - and the care team will be looking to both of you to make decisions in the moment. For these reasons (and many more!) partners often find the presence of a birth doula comforting and empowering. 

If you’re interested in possibly having a birth doula support you in labor, you may be wondering what your interaction will be like with the birth doula. Here's a number of ways that  birth doulas commonly work with partners:

  1. Education and preparation: Whenever possible, birth doulas meet with both parents during prenatal visits to provide education about the birth process, comfort measures, and various options available. This helps partners feel more informed and involved in the birthing experience.
  2. Emotional support: Doulas can offer emotional support to both the mother/ birthing person and her partner throughout the labor and birth. They provide reassurance, encouragement, and a calming presence to help partners feel more confident and relaxed.
  3. Assistance and guidance: Many partners find they want to support but may not intuitively know how - birth doulas can guide partners on ways to support the mother/ birthing person during labor, including the hours of early labor when contractions have started but are not yet close enough to head to the hospital. Support can continue at the hospital / birthing center and can  include suggesting comfort measures, such as massage techniques, position changes, and breathing exercises. Doulas  can also offer guidance on providing verbal encouragement and being an active participant in the birth experience. 
  4. Breaks and self-care: Birth can be physically and emotionally demanding for partners as well. Doulas can provide temporary relief and encourage partners to take breaks, rest, and engage in self-care. This ensures that partners have the energy and support they need to be fully present during critical moments.
  5. Advocacy and communication: Doulas can help partners communicate with the medical team, ensuring that their questions are addressed and their wishes are conveyed effectively. They can also help partners advocate for the mother's preferences, ensuring her voice is heard during the birthing process.
  6. Collaboration and teamwork: Doulas work as part of a team with partners and healthcare providers. They respect and support the partner's role, acknowledging their unique connection and relationship with the mother/ birthing person. Doulas aim to complement and enhance the partner's involvement rather than replace it.

By working closely with partners, birth doulas aim to create a supportive and cohesive environment during childbirth. They strive to empower partners to actively participate in the birth experience while offering guidance and assistance when needed. It's important for partners to communicate their needs and expectations with the doula to establish a collaborative and trusting relationship.

If you're a partner interested in learning more about working with a birth doula - reach out. We would love to help you find a doula to support you and your partner on this most amazing journey.

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