Six Reasons Partners Love Doulas

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As doulas, we often hear from partners that they appreciated our presence at their birth as much as the birthing person did.

In our meetings with couples before birth, doulas ask partners about the ways they feel most comfortable being involved in the labor. Some partners want to be hands-on the entire time. Others want to take a more emotionally supportive role. Whatever the preferences of each individual partner, we work side-by-side with them to provide an optimal experience for both the birthing person and for them.  

Here are six reasons partners have told us they are glad they had a doula at their birth:

  1. The doula’s knowledge of birth complements the partner’s knowledge of the birthing person. As doulas, we do not see ourselves as a substitute for partners – far from it.  The partner brings a knowledge of the person giving birth that no one else can replace.   Rather, as doulas, we aim to combine our experience with childbirth and labor with a partner’s knowledge of the birthing person to create a winning team.  
  2. Doulas help partners be the best support they can be. Even if partners have attended every childbirth class, during the stress of childbirth they may not remember all of the things that they can do to provide the birthing person with physical and emotional support.  Fortunately, doulas are trained to do exactly that.  We help partners be the best possible labor coach by providing hints, reminders, and advice during birth.  
  3. Doulas know their way around the hospital. A doula will be familiar with the policies and resources available at Swedish hospitals.  We can inform the couple about tools they can request in the hospital that can be helpful in labor, such as hot and cold packs, yoga balls, extra pillows, snacks etc. that the parents may not otherwise know they have access to.
  4. Doulas speak the language of labor. Oftentimes doctors and nurses answer questions or explain what’s going on with the birth in medical terminology. A doula makes sure both the partner and birthing person understand what’s happening and what their options are, which can decrease anxiety and make for a more positive experience.
  5. Doulas can give partners a break. Most labors last several hours, and a doula’s presence allows partners to get bite to eat, a breath of fresh air, or a nap – without feeling guilty for leaving the birthing person’s side. These breaks give the partner a chance to recharge, while ensuring that the birthing person feels supported and cared for through the entire experience.
  6. Doulas keep partners calm so they can experience childbirth to its fullest. Childbirth can be an overwhelming experience for both the person giving birth and for partners. A doula not only provides emotional support to the person giving birth, but also a critical source of reassurance for partners, allowing them to have the best possible experience of the arrival of the baby as well.