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Notes from the certified doula.
It seems like today, all you hear about is having a doula on your birth team. Does that mean birth partners are getting replaced? That is far from the truth. Don’t get me wrong, as a doula myself, I think it is essential to have the extra support added to your team. BUT! Don’t forget about the birth partner. I believe they are even more important (in most cases)!
So what do I mean by that? Birth Partners, you are so important. One of the biggest reasons a birth partner can be more important than just having a doula is because they are the rock in this entire journey. Through pregnancy and beyond. They can boost that oxytocin (the love hormone) in ways a doula can’t. And that my friend will get your baby out! Oxytocin boosts help with coping in labor as well.
First off, a doula does not replace the birth partner (if they are able to be there). Actually, most doulas encourage the birth partner to be more involved. Doulas know the intimacy of birth and the latest research and practices. But a birth partner knows YOU intimately. They know your likes, and dislikes. Even those little things that only a birth partner would know.
Are you still thinking that maybe having a third person there will take away the intimate birth experience? Not at all! Doulas are trained to “fade” into the background. And we love seeing couples share those little intimate moments. Plus, if you are feeling like you need a moment alone, a doula is always happy to help however needed, even if not in the room. So she could step out of the room until you are ready for her again (learn more about the advantages of having a doula).
Most importantly, Doulas are there to help keep the birth partner relaxed and focus giving the loving, intimate support to their partner.
Before I get into those much needed tips and tricks. I want to encourage the birth partner to remember that your partner is going to not be able to express herself in the most crucial moments. When in labor, and contractions are super intense, they can’t always talk or tell you what they need or don’t need. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY! If they snap at you or say mean things, it is because they are just trying to ride out those waves of contractions. Just remember, they need you and want you to be their rock. Doulas have learned to not take things personally because they know that mama can’t help it at that moment.
Before labor begins, talk to each other and figure out a plan of comfort measures that you can help with. Try not to ask if they want something during contractions, just try one of the measures, if it isn’t working, she may slap you away, or just try to yell stop or no. That is where the “don’t take it personally” comes in. Just stop that comfort measure and try something else. If she asks you for something, just do it. I know you are there to be there for her, so lovingly, just get what she needs. Trust me, after your baby is in your arms or in your partner’s arms, you won’t care about those moments prior. You will be so in love!
One last note, I just love it when birth partners are so involved. Birth is such an intimate experience for the two of you that can be treasured for the rest of your lives. This is the journey when you need each other the most. Yes, it’s scary, and hard, but so special and worth it.
I hope you enjoyed this article, and got something out of it. If you have any more questions or concerns I am always here to help!
I am Leah. Welcome to The Loving Cedar LLC. Here is where you will find parenting tips and tricks to help you simplify life.