Birth Partners and Doulas
Many times, birth partners may feel like the presence of a doula at their birth will overshadow or interfere with their role during the birth. Others may feel as if hiring a doula means mom thinks they might not be up to the task of supporting her during the birth. Both of these misconceptions could not be more wrong. As a doula, I do not want to take over your role. I want to help both you, as the birth partner, and the mother have the best birth experience possible. My role, as a trained doula, is to enhance the birth experience and support both the mother and the birth partner through this intense and wonderful experience.
Not all birth partners want to play the same role during labor. Some may want to be the primary support. Others may feel more comfortable being an emotional support, rather than a physical one. As a doula, I have worked in a variety of situations, providing both hands off guidance and advice, as well as being the primary support for those mothers whose partners were unable to attend the birth. A birth partner is free to experience birth in the way he feels most comfortable. Often times the birth partner and I work as a team. We will work together to provide both emotional and physical support. For example, mom can be physically supported by one, as the other massages or adds counter pressure to her back.
In the last few decades, birth partners have played an ever growing role in childbirth. However, we as a society put immense pressure on the birth partner to be the main support and to provide mom with whatever she needs. Although birth partners have probably taken a birth class, it may be difficult in the heat of the moment to remember everything they have been taught. I have been trained in comfort measures and birthing techniques and can help fill in the blanks when the situation warrants.
The presence of a doula for additional support can also help dads feel more comfortable taking a snack break or, during a longer labor, getting some much needed rest. As a doula, I am an unbiased, experienced observer, who has attended many births and isn’t as emotionally connected to the situation. I can recognize when a mom needs emotional support and offer reassurance, to both mom and the birth partner, that everything is okay and normal. This reassurance can take pressure off of the birth partner and bring a sense of calm to an otherwise emotionally charged situation
Finally, as a professional doula, I never want to intrude upon the important role of a birth partner. It is my job to support the entire family and simply help in whatever way is needed. My job is to help provide you with an easier, and more positive birth experience.
“Initially I didn’t realize how much a natural birth would mean to me, as the dad. Also, I feared that having a doula present would exclude me from the process. How wrong I was! Amy coached my wife and I to work as a cohesive team through the very active and involved experience of a natural birth. Ultimately, Amy’s knowledge, experience, personality, and attitude towards birth provided a great environment for my wife and I to fully embrace the birthing process, which turned out to be one of the most beautiful experiences of our lives.” – A testimonial from a Beloved Birth Dad