You may be thinking about utilizing the services of a doula. It all sounds great, but one question commonly arises… Where does the partner fit in?
A doula could never replace the love and support her partner provides. Moreover, she acts as a supplement, bringing specialized skills and strengths to the table.
Early in my career, during a postpartum appointment, a new dad offered his thoughts on the subject;
“Dads sometimes have the hardest task (other than mom) at birth… supporting their partner at the same time they are worrrying about them. Occasionally, fathers who have assured themselves and their partner that they can be the support during labor can be overwhelmed by the sheer power of labor. I really appreciated the relief and reassurance I felt during the birth of our second child.”
Penny Simkin, a founding member of Doulas of North America (DONA), also offers some wise words;
“While the doula probably knows more than the partner about birth, hospitals and maternity care, the partner knows more about the woman’s personality, likes, dislikes and needs. Moreover, he loves the woman more than anyone else there. The combination of partner and doula, along with competent, considerate and caring staff gives the woman the best chance of an optimal outcome.”
When all is said and done, the doula’s role is to facilitate a rewarding, satisfying and positive birth experience for both the mother and her partner.