Updated: Apr 2, 2022
We love your partners! They are VERY important in your birth, but your partner can't replace a doula. If you know your partner you likely have an idea of how they are going to act or provide support in labor. For example, how does your partner care for you while you are sick? Does your partner know your love language, do you know theirs? Is this your second or third baby, how did your partner show up during your first or second labor?
The bottom line is that your partner wasn't created to know the ins and outs of labor, they are there to love you and hold your hand or take turns doing hip squeezes. Here are some ways a doula is different and how we can help not just you but also your partner in labor.
1. Doulas know the ins and outs of labor
Doulas have childbirth knowledge and experience supporting a variety of births. We know the stages of labor in and out and what to expect at each one and how to help. We don't have to recall from a childbirth education class we took a few months ago to help, we can get your partner involved and remind them what stage we are in and what to expect. Sometimes reminding partners that "this is normal" is all they need to feel a bit more at ease.
2. Partners and doulas can take turns
If you are in labor and you love counter pressure or the infamous hip squeeze then let me tell you, that takes some muscle power so having someone to take turns with is always welcomed.
3. Doulas make sure everyone is eating
Labor is a marathon, so doulas remind you and your partner to take nibbles of something to keep energy up. What if your provider has said no food? We remind you and your partner that if you want to eat you can eat. Want the evidence, we know that too!
4. Doulas can make coffee runs
Ok, it doesn't have to be a coffee run but sometimes a little caffeine is helpful for your doula and your partner. Having a doula along with another support person, like your partner, allows for you to always have someone you know and trust with you while someone goes to the bathroom or goes to grab food or coffee.
5. Doulas peek over and make sure your partner isn't going to faint
While it's rare, it's good to have a set of eyes that can check on your partner because let's face it, you shouldn't be worried about your partner when you are the one in labor.
6. (Most) Doulas know how to navigate conversations with providers
Advocacy! Your partner should be one of your best advocates, but in the event that they are not sure what to do we are happy to step in and help! We know how to clear a room from providers but we are also not afraid to ask questions we know you would like to ask but maybe can't think of because...you are in labor or if you are the support person what the heck you learned in that childbirth education class.
Need a little more support during labor?