How do partners and Doulas work together?
When it comes to pregnancy, birth and parenting, partners are today accepted members of the mother’s support team. They are actively involved in easing the mother’s labour pain, welcoming the baby at the moment of birth, and helping to care for the newborn at home. Birth and postpartum doulas can support and enhance the partners experience during this special time.
The partner is expected among other things to become familiar with the process and language of birth, to understand medical procedures and hospital protocols and advocate for the mother of his or her child in an environment and culture he or she is usually unfamiliar with. A doula can provide the information to help parents make appropriate decisions and facilitate communication between the labouring woman, her partner and medical care providers.
At times partners may not understand a woman’s instinctive behaviour during childbirth and may react anxiously to what a doula knows to be the normal process of birth. They may be a witness of the pain of their beloved and understandably become distressed. The doula can be reassuring.
Childbirth is an emotional and spiritual experience with long-term impact on a woman’s personal well being. A doula is constantly aware that the mother and her partner will remember this experience throughout their lives. By mothering the mother during childbirth the doula supports the parents in having a positive and memorable birth experience as well as enhancing their long-term relationship.
Partners presence and loving support in childbirth is comforting and reassuring. The love they share with the mother and child, their needs to nurture and protect their families are priceless gifts that only they can provide. With her partner and a doula at birth a mother can have the best of both worlds: her partners loving care and attention and the doula’s expertise and guidance in childbirth.