Doulas and Partners
“Asking your husband to be your sole guide through labour is like asking him to lead the way on a climb of Mt Everest. He may be smart and trustworthy, you may love him, but in the Himalayas you’d both be a lot better off with a Sherpa!”
Some people worry that having a doula will be unnecessary if the father or partner are to be there, others that the doula might take over and push the father/partner out of the picture.
Neither of these is correct – a doula and your chosen birth partner are an ideal team, working together to fully support you. I will also support your chosen partner, allowing them to take time to enjoy the birth.
When a doula and father/partner work together I often think of the father/partner as offering emotional support, and the doula as offering functional support. Your chosen partner knows you best, knows how you look when you're worried, what calms you when your stressed, and events that have shaped you. You feel comfortable with them, telling them what you need, or what touch soothes you (or when to leave you alone!).
When I felt stressed I looked over at you and you looked so calm, that made me feel like things must be OK.
I have experience supporting people throughout birth. I know what to expect and am not fazed by the experiences of labour.
I can offer the father/partner suggestions and reassurance. I will stay focused on your plans, making opportunities for more questions to be asked, or for things to be explained differently or alternative options explored.
I can use my knowledge and training to suggest a position change that might be useful, to wrap a comforting rebozo around you, or offer an affirming word if things get tough.
A doulas role is to oversee the labour and birth, making sure that both you and your partner have as positive birth experience as possible. Knowing that someone else is responsible for looking out that your birth plan wishes are respected is often a great relief to fathers/partners. It allows them to get lost in the experience, and be tuned in to your emotional needs. Just knowing someone is there to support them helps fathers/partners stay calmer and more relaxed, allowing them to enjoy the birth.
During our pre-birth meetings we will chat through techniques, such as massage, visualisation, breathing, relaxation and hypnobirthing that you can practice together before the birth. This allows you to spend time together preparing for the birth, as well as providing you with a tool kit of ideas to use once labour begins.
Beverley made the birth of our child as amazing and stress free of an experience for both mum and dad as it possibly could be .