“Why do I need a doula if I have a partner?”…
Well, for starters, nobody needs a doula. But everyone deserves a doula. Even your partner.
A doula isn’t just there for the person giving birth. A doula can help calm a nervous dad. A doula can remind a frantic grandma that “this is normal”. A doula is there to point out to a withering partner that they also need to take care of themselves and that it’s time to take a quick break for food. A doula is there to make sure you aren’t alone when your partner has to leave the room for a few minutes (partners poop too!)
A doula isn’t just there to support the birth. The doula is there to support the entire birth journey…which includes the partner. They are also tired and overwhelmed and anxious and feeling all the feels of a new baby being born…except the physical pain (for which a doula is there to remind them that their sore feet/hands/ back don’t count today!)
Whether your partner is your spouse, your friend or your
family, they are more than likely emotionally tied to the birth of the
baby. It’s their baby too. Or it’s their
grandbaby. Or it’s their first time witnessing birth. There are a thousand
potential reasons why your partner needs support. A doula can you’re your partner how to do
proper counter-pressure or some them some tips for a more relaxing massage. Having
a supported partners means a calmer, more reassured partner who can support
It’s a full-circle journey.
A doula can help you communicate more effectively with your partner. Have you talked about how what you’d like from them on your birth day? Have you discussed whether you want their prompts for pain meds or whether you’d rather they wait for you to ask? Have you talked about expectations and the reality of sharing the responsibilities of having a newborn? We throw them to birth wolves and expect them to be our everything. We expect them to just know what we want and need, in the moment. We often expect that they read our minds, not only in birth, but in daily life too, and then get frustrated when they don’t do it right. Sometimes that works out beautifully. Sometimes our partners are just fully intuitive to our needs and emotions.
Other times, not so much. Most partners haven’t spent a lot of time around on birth. Some partners have their own sense of insecurities around how to help. There’s no reason for them to feel any extra pressure.