Congratulations on taking the first step in creating your labor support team!
When we talk about how doula support works, it’s important to really make use of and emphasize the word “team.” Your team consists of your partner, your provider, your nurses and your doula, and the goal of everyone on this team is to support and guide you through the birth of your baby. But how does your doula support you without replacing your partner?
Today we'll talk about the ways your partner and doula work together to support you!
Labor can be long, challenging and intense. Of course, your partner is emotionally tied to you and can be affected by the birth experience and seeing you experience pain or distress during labor.
However, your doula, with all of their experience and knowledge, will be impartial and unbiased. Of course, we always create a connection during prenatal care, but a professional doula is detached enough to offer clear-headed support when needed.
Your partner and you have read all the articles, bought all the books and have heard all the birth stories, and that's great! But how many labors have you attended? Even if this is not your first birth, there is no one birth exactly like another.
Your doula, on the other hand, has attended many, many births! We know what labor looks like and sounds like, what's likely to come next, what that procedure is, etc. In other words, we've been around the block a few times! Having someone constantly there (who is a very calm and level-headed presence) throughout the whole process helps both of you; having another person there with ideas on how to manage pain and how to get through each contraction helps you as a couple.
It seems like a simple thing to do: Decide on having a procedure or not. Your doula and you have talked about these things at your prenatal appointment and you knew what you were going to do. Right?
But here you are in this new, intimidating environment after 14 hours of labor and no sleep. Suddenly, you're not so sure what you want to do. Even worse, you may feel pressure to do something you don't.
That's where your doula comes in: With our guidance throughout the decision making process (not making the decision for you), you'll feel satisfied with your choices. And with our help facilitating communication between you and the hospital staff, there's none of that feeling of intimidation or loss of control.
Supporting your partner
Bonus! Not only do we support you and help your partner do the same, we support your partner!
Leading up to the birth of your baby, we get to know you both. What is your partner nervous about or afraid of? Do they faint at the sight of bodily fluids? Do they have a history of trauma that may affect their ability to witness certain things? It's important to have an open and honest dialogue before the birth so that everyone is on the same page from the beginning, and your partner can choose to participate as much (or as little) as they are comfortable.
Your doula knows that no one can replace your partner because of the unique love which is between you. Our role is to help you work as a team.
Experiencing birth together is an experience that can bring a couple even closer together, reaffirming their connection and providing a beautiful memory of their partnership.
What a great way to start your journey of parenthood!