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6 Reasons why a birth partner Needs a Doula

Check out this great article from the Doulas at Nashvile Birth and Babies!

Sometimes when an expectant mom decides that she wants a doula, she is met with a bit of resistance from her birth partner. The birth partner may feel that the doula will take their place and that they will not be able to be as much of a part of birth as they want to be if a doula is there. Many of them feel that they have sufficient skills to support the birthing woman, especially if they have taken a good childbirth education course. The birth partner may also feel that a doula is an unnecessary expense. Today I'm going to give birth partners 6 reasons why having a doula is a benefit to you! ​​1. Doulas Make Sure Partners Are Taken Care Of! While the focus of birth is on the mom and baby, birth partners and dads also have needs during birth. You may need to eat a meal, brush your teeth, take a nap, take a walk, get a shower, change clothes, etc. Having a doula gives you an opportunity to do these things without leaving mom all alone. Not only that, a doula may be able to help you know when a its a good time to do these things. 2. Doulas help birth partners be involved. Even birth partners who are well-prepared for birth may find a moment or two when they are unsure what to do or how to help. A doula will look for opportunities for a you to be as involved as you want to be. It may be as simple as inviting you to a particular place where you can be close to mom when space is limited. It may be that the doula reminds you of things that you learned about in your childbirth education class, or in meeting with your doula, that may be helpful. It may be that a doula shows you just exactly what kind of massage or what kind of support may be helpful in a particular moment. 3. Doulas help birth partners relax. In addition to giving you a chance to take a nap, a doula helps you relax about the process of birth and about things that may be happening in the room. If at any point there is confusion or concern about what is happening, a doula can help explain things to you which often gives birth partners peace of mind. 4. Doulas give birth partners freedom. In two different births that I have attended, a birth partner who had been planning to be present during the entire birth was, for their own reasons, overwhelmed and needed to leave the room for a while. They had the freedom to do so because they had hired a doula to stay with the birthing woman while they left. Birth is an emotionally rich time and birth partners are sometimes surprised by just how and when those emotions hit. A doula gives you the freedom to feel those feelings while the birthing woman is still supported. 5. Doulas give birth partners a team mate. It is fairly common for a birthing woman to need physical support, massage, help with positioning and other things that may be physically demanding for her birth support team. When a birth partner is taking this responsibility on themselves it can be exhausting. Sometimes they become too tired to effectively support the birthing parent in those ways anymore. When you have a doula present you can each take turns supporting a mom and keep yourselves from wearing out. In addition, when you both are present you can do things together that one of you alone could not do. For example, the birthing woman can lean on one of you while the other provides massage or counter pressure. ​ 6. Doulas Love Birth Partners! We do what we do because of our love for the birthing family. We recognize how much your presence at birth means to the birthing woman. If you and the birthing woman are in a committed relationship, then there is no possible way that a doula could replace YOU in the birth space. As a doula looks for ways for you to be involved in the birth process she will also seek to recognize when it is YOUR presence that will be most helpful and when she needs to take a step back. She will give you privacy when it is needed and hopes to help you BOTH have a positive birth experience. It is sometimes said that “Doulas make Dads look good!” This is true for all birth partners. When you have someone there to cheer you on and help you out, you get the credit for being an amazing support for the birthing woman!

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