How Does My Significant Other Benefit From a Doula?
As professional doulas, we're proud of our ability to leave our clients extraordinarily happy and satisfied with our services – but did you know that some people in the equation started out as skeptics? That's right – we're talking about the spouse or partner. Many birth partners are just not too sure about this whole doula thing...at first.
They worry that their role will become insignificant.
They worry that you think they are not “good enough” to support you during labor.
They worry that we will “take over” their job and leave them sitting on the couch uselessly.
Those partners who decide to take the plunge and give it a try, end up our biggest champions and enthusiastic advocates for doula care. What did they learn from their experience?
1. That it was okay to receive support for themselves.
Dad: You. Are. Having. A. Baby. Too. Just because you're not the one giving birth, doesn't mean that you don't have the same excitement, fears, worries, and emotions. This is a big deal. You too deserve to receive emotional and practical support during the birth of your child, in the form of encouraging words, bathroom breaks, neck pillows, coffee, having medical jargon and procedures demystified for you - and whatever else you need at the time.
2. That their loved one never had to be alone at any time.
The guilt is real when your significant other is in the throes of contractions but you really, really, need to pee. A doula lets you take breaks to go to the bathroom, eat, let the dog out, and make phone calls to update the relatives without worrying that your partner is alone or scared or in pain without focused support.
3. That they didn't have to become walking birth Wikipedias.
In a complete role reversal from just a few decades ago, partners are now expected to be the perfect birth coach – trained and educated, ready to do and say the right thing at exactly the right time. While this is awesome if it suits you, not everyone is able to or even desires to put in months of classes, books, and training to play this role – and that's perfectly okay. While it's always a good idea to attend a childbirth class, a partner with a doula doesn't have to remember every single fact about birth and positions and squats and peanut balls – the doula can support them in being the best labor partner they can be, at their desired comfort level.
4. That the doula actually enhanced the intimacy in their relationship.
Far from shunning them to the couch or waiting room, professional doulas strive to facilitate deep intimacy and connection between parents during labor. Whether by dimming the lights and asking for privacy, fetching things so they never have to leave their loved one's side, reminding them which comfort techniques to use, or any of the million other doula tricks, parents who use a doula usually find that their connection in the delivery room is deeper, more intimate, and more meaningful than ever thanks to being freed up to focus on taking comfort and strength in each other.
The emotional and physical needs of a support person during labor and delivery are all-too-real, and a doula can fill in all the cracks within the maternity care system to ensure a fantastically positive, memorable, and relaxed experience for you as a couple. We at Doulas of Central Maryland invite you to take the leap and discover just how good birth can really be with the support of a doula!