Have you brought up the idea of hiring a doula for your birth or postpartum journey to your partner? Maybe their initial reaction was one of skepticism. I get it! Doula support is slowly making its way in our mainstream culture, but it’s still often assumed to be something ‘’crunchy’’ or ‘’hippie’’ parents do. After all, if doulas aren’t medical staff and you don’t plan to birth in a pond surrounded by birds and baby deer why would you want a stranger there during one of your most intimate moments? Your partner is expected to be your support person and so is your doula. No need to have 2 people doing the same job. It’s a no brainer that the partner is the best suited for this! Well, let me tell you how your partner and doula can work together to support you and also how the presence of a doula has benefits for the both of you!
HOW YOUR PARTNER AND DOULA CAN WORK TOGETHER
Your partner knows you. Your doula knows birth. Doulas can educate you on the process of labour, birth, postpartum recovery, etc. We have a giant bag of tools to help you cope with some of the most common things that come up during those experiences. The thing is, not ALL tools work for everyone. That is where your partner can help us offer the right tool for you. They know you already, have an idea of how you cope, what strategies work for you, your triggers, etc. As much as a doula tries to build a relationship before the big day, they can’t have the same level of intimacy as you have with them. Some of those tools are more effective when provided by someone you trust and are intimate with. A massage or hug during labour can boost your oxytocin levels even more so if given by someone you love and trust.
THE BENEFITS FOR YOU AND YOUR PARTNER
The goal of the doula is that you feel seen, heard, supported, and hopefully have an experience you feel satisfied and happy about. Your partner also wants those things for you, but they are also living this experience for themselves. It’s a big day for them too. They are also living a transformation and transitioning into a new role as a parent. It brings many emotions, feelings, worries, questions. Your doula can hold space for their experience too. She can also take care of some of the more mundane tasks like refilling your water or taking pictures so your partner doesn’t “miss’’ anything and can be fully present during the experience.
Doulas can also educate your partner prenatally about the changes and processes that can be expected. Have you ever seen these Tik Tok videos of parents pretending their kids banged their head on something and their reaction triggers the baby to start crying? When your partner feels worried or stressed, you might pick up on their energy and start feeling like this too. Birth is a process that best happens when you can be in your parasympathetic system, not your flight or fight response. We can’t control the outcome or avoid all stressful triggers, but knowledge is power. If everyone around you is informed about what is happening, they can avoid panicking and instead reassure you. It can also feel validating to you to know that your partner is educated and wants to be an active member of your support team and learn to advocate for your choices and decisions.
Remember, your doula isn’t there to replace your partner. Your doula works for you, literally. Our goal isn’t to impose anything on you or your partner but rather to provide personalized support. We welcome your partner’s help and involvement for that. Alright, so now that you have this post as back-up, maybe you can try having this conversation again? 😉 If they are still resistant to the idea of hiring a doula, invite them for the free 1h consultation !