A lot of partners think that doulas are there to take the place of the partner in the birth room. This couldn't be more incorrect, it's the exact opposite actually. Let me explain to you why.
#1 No matter how skilled you may be, you only have two hands. Having an extra set of hands in the room that are available for non-medical, pure, and genuine support makes such a difference. Being able to go get food or use the restroom or sit down for a few moments because you know she's in good hands. Being able to know there will not be any pressure of doing 100 things at one time because there is another member of the birth team ready to go at any given moment. It's a comforting feeling for partners to know they have a backup in the birth space with them.
#2 Having someone to look to when things get crazy. Unfortunately birth has become so medicalized, and not everyone understands the medical lingo. It can be hard to watch your loved one go through labor, and when nurses and providers throw crazy terminology at you, it can be scary. Knowing you have a safe place to turn when you do not understand something is incredibly convenient. Doulas know birth, and it is our job to share our knowledge and enlighten you so you can make the best decision for you and your family. We have the evidence based, non biased, straight to the point information you need.
#3 Doulas support the laboring mother but we also support you! We want you to be as involved as possible, but we know how tiring it can be. Doulas are able to make sure you stay hydrated, you stay fed, you stay as comfortable as possible. Being able to have someone give you a sip of water when your hands are busy supporting her gives you relief. Being able to have someone stand in your place while you use the restroom gives you comfort. Being able to have someone massage the kink in your back while you stay still because she finally found rest and fell asleep on you gives you the extra support you need. I always say labor is a marathon with an unknown end point. It's so important for all participants to stay as prepared and comfortable as possible.
#4 Doulas take all that unnecessary pressure off the partners shoulders. Partners, we understand there is alot going on, physically and emotionally. Doulas are able to relieve that pressure, allowing the partner to focus on mom and baby. Stress in the birth space is the absolute last thing you want. Being able to relax and know that you can focus on what you need to focus on in that moment, and thats supporting and loving that laboring woman.
As you can see, doulas and partners are meant to work together. It's not a competition, nor do we want it to be! This is one of the most special and intimate times for couples, let us help you embrace that and make the absolute best of your birthing experience.
You know your partner, I know birth. That's why together we are the dream team.