Doulas and Childbirth

What if my partner will be with me?

Your husband or any other birth partner you choose should be at your side during labor and delivery. This will not change if you decide to have a doula with you during this time. A doula does not replace your birth partner, nor does she take over his role. Many birth partners make excellent companions in the labor room. They provide the birthing mother with security, a familiar voice, and may have attended childbirth education classes with her. Your doula will allow this person (or any others with you) to participate in your birth to the extent that you wish, and within their own "comfort zone". A doula doesn't make a birth partner's presence unnecessary in any way.

Many birth partners, as loving and devoted as they may be, do not feel secure about their role in the labor room. They feel intimidated by the reality of the occasion and may not totally understand what is happening to you all of the time. This overwhelming responsibility can detract from their ability to concentrate on helping you, even if you have had classes together. A doula is trained in positions and techniques that go beyond these classes, and has had much experience attending births. Her presence causes the birth partner to feel more secure, knowing that he or she will not be required to recall absolutely every detail of preparation for birth, and can focus more closely on being with you. A doula will even make suggestions for these techniques and show your birth partner how to use them to help you. She is always with you, which makes a birth partner feel more secure about taking a break or stopping to eat, knowing you won't be left alone. She becomes a guide, and can do much to create an environment in which you both can feel secure.

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© Karen N. Kilson