Doulas Support Partners in Birth

Today's blog post comes to us from Rebekah Gilley, one our Birth Doulas here at Calm & Confident Doula Care. Rebekah loves helping partners be excellent support during labor!

Most people think of doulas as support for the person in labor, and this is very true. But another important part of a doula’s job is to support the partner of the laboring person. Birthing Day is a major life event for this person too and one they will always remember! In honor of Father’s Day, we’d like to share some key ways that doulas support dads and partners. 

Doula and Partner supporting laboring parent. Photo used by permission.


1.    Physical support. This picture illustrates how doulas can help partners support the laboring person. Sometimes, partners, you need another set of hands! A birth doula IS that second set of hands. Doulas can also continue the physical labor support while partners use the restroom, eat a meal or snack, or even nap. With a doula, partners have peace of mind that their laboring partner is never alone and always supported. We can also provide ideas and suggestions for various comfort measures and position changes that partners can offer to support the laboring person. 

These parents are perfectly attuned to each other in labor. Photo used with permission.

2.   Mental support. By the time labor starts, most families have a pretty good idea of how they want their birth experience to go, but of course the birth plan can fly out the window once things get going. Doulas help families remember what is important to them throughout the labor and birth. Does partner want to cut the cord? Is privacy really important to the birthing person? Doulas remember these details so partners don’t have to be 100% during the intensity of labor. We also help partners to have questions to ask about procedures and interventions so everyone feels well informed and engaged in the process.

Doula give support for the partner to be completely in the moment. Photo used with permission.

3.    Emotional support. Nobody wants to see anyone they love feel pain, but labor involves pain. It can be difficult for partners to watch their loved one labor for hours, and doulas help partners through this difficult and intense experience. Many partners feel uncertain about how to help, feeling that if they can’t take the pain away, there’s nothing they can do to help. So doulas can help give direction as to HOW to emotionally support the person in labor, since labor itself is often intensely emotionally trying. Doulas offer that direction so that partners can be the best emotional support possible. 

Doulas definitely offer excellent support to people in labor, and doulas support partners as well. With a doula, the burden of responsibility to get the expectant parent through labor is relieved and partners don’t have to “on” for the entire length of labor. They can take care of themselves while trusting that their doula is taking care of the laboring person.