This is one of our most common concerns/questions when we meet a new couple who are thinking about hiring us. As the partner and primary relationship in the birthing person's life you may have many questions and concerns.
You don't want to be replaced.
You don't want to feel useless in one of your
transformational moments as a family unit.
You also need support and to be heard.
As doulas our job is NOT to replace you.
Most of the time our birthing clients have incredibly involved, supportive partners. Partners who are just as passionate about the birth process and how their baby will enter the world.
Or throughout the process they learn and become very into the whole journey, which they maybe didn't expect.
Regardless we do our best to involve them in each meeting and conversation as well as the decision whether to hire a doula or not. One amazing reason to have a doula is when the time comes to decide WHEN to call the midwife, or WHEN to head to the hospital, we are well versed in labour/contraction patterns and with our experience have the ability to make an educated guess about at what point in the labour your partner may be. We come to your home and take the stress and the unknown away so you can be just caring for your partner, and not worrying about anything medical or scary. We tell you whats normal, or what's not, and act accordingly.
"Why do we need a doula? Aren't I supportive enough?"
Of course you are a wonderful support. As your doula, we can help you shine even brighter. Helping you learn new positional and hands on pain relief techniques, and tapping you out when you need a break. Suggesting things that we know from birth experience that you may not think of, and leading by example with verbal support that you will start to imitate. Saying things that Doulas say doesn't come naturally to most people, but hearing our coaching makes you feel a little more comfortable with phrases that are good in the moment.
"I want to be involved in every minute, we don't need a doula"
Your job as a partner is to be a support for the birthing person. We help you make sure YOUR cup is full, so you can be present, energetic, and engaged. It may seem backwards but we encourage you to sleep during the early labour times (which are often the middle of the night), and nap when you can. We do our best to prepare the birthing person to also sleep through, or quietly rest during that time as well. We talk about eating nourishing foods, and keeping hydrated. The better care you take of yourself, the better care you can take of your baby, and your partner.
"We have a midwife, why do we need a Doula?"
Yes your midwife is a super important part for your birthing experience, but they have a. lot of responsibilities to their college which involve paperwork, and they can't be hands on, and verbal support like you need. A doula can help fill in the gaps and ease the stress on the midwife if the birthing person isn't coping well, but they have things they need to do.
" We have an OB, why do we need a Doula"
A doula heads up: You'll barely see your OB when you're in labour. They will come in and check on you occasionally, and then arrive when your baby is crowning for the delivery, and be gone just as quick. They are not a support person. They are not going to give you ice chips, they are not your constant cheerleader, and their verbal encouragement is going to be minimal.
Your nurse is going to be a much more important part of your team, but that is a lottery. You may get nurse who is incredible, but she, like anyone employed by an institution, has other tasks to do that will interfere with your continuity of care.
Deciding on a OB as your care provider is one of the best reasons to hire a doula, and having someone present to help you slow down medical speak, encourage you to ask the right questions, and to give you support/break is so helpful.