The Loving Cedar, LLC

Dear Birth Partner, you are so important!

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birth partner

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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.

So how does a mama, a birth partner, and doula make such a great team?

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)

birth support

Powerful ways a doula can help the birth partner:

  • Doulas are there to encourage and help both mama and the birth partner, but sometimes the birth partner needs some EXTRA encouragement, especially in moments when they need to be reminded to be strong and stay grounded. Doulas help calm, and facilitate positive communication. If the birth partner is in “protective mode”, a doula can be an advocate or a voice to calm the situation when things are intense. 
  • Doulas give suggestions on comfort measures, different positions, and suggestions such as maybe it is time to rest or go for a walk. 
  • Doulas remind birth partners to eat and drink, and make sure mama is eating and drinking. 
  • Doulas help birth partners do the thinking, and help remind them of the simple things that can be forgotten as well. 
  • Doulas are an extra set of hands. Sometimes, with long hours of labor, the birth partner may need a break from helping with comfort touch. Doulas are able to step in. Trading jobs can keep everyone from getting too tired or burnt out. 
  • Doulas are fabulous for helping the birth partner understand what is going on. They can help explain things, and give suggestions on how they can help in that situation.
  • Doulas also help after the birth. As mama is resting, the birth partner can have some skin to skin time with baby. Doulas can help give tips and advice on holding baby, changing baby, and encouraging those important skin to skin moments. 

Most importantly, Doulas are there to help keep the birth partner relaxed and focus giving  the loving, intimate support to their partner. 


Birth Partner Support

Tips for the birth 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!



Ok, now those tips and tricks that can help give you and your partner a great birthing experience.

  • Comfort measures, like physical touch can help so much during contractions, especially with back labor. There are many options for comfort measures.  The rest of the tips and tricks are types of comfort measures.  Help your partner find what works and go with it. Whatever it takes to get through that contraction. 
  • Think for your partner, she needs to focus, and not think during labor. 
  • Remind her to breathe. Breathe with her, find a rhythm and help her to focus on your breathing so she doesn’t have to think.  One of my favorite suggestions is having the birth partner sit right in front of their partner, so they are looking at each other. Maybe even holding each other, or their foreheads are touching. And breathing together. Long, slow breaths. The birth partner counts out loud. Breathing in 2,3,4 and slowly out 2,3,4,5,6… (Read more on mindful breathing techniques)
  • Stay in the moment with her, don’t be on your phone the entire time. If she is asleep, yes, that is the time to be on your phone. (You also need rest as well). Stay focused, and cue into what she needs. 
  • Provide food and drinks, for you as well. You need to stay on top of your game, nutrition gives you energy. Don’t bring food that makes your partner nauseous though.
  • Suggest walking around, changing positions, or rest. Rest is so vital during labor. She is going to need rest to keep up her energy. 
  • Provide an intimate environment, candles, music, her favorite pillow or blanket. If she has a favorite pair of socks, don’t forget to pack them!
  • One of the biggest tips for a birth partner is to keep on loving your partner. Intimacy is vital. Kissing, rubbing her back or feet, brushing her hair, or whatever she is needing to help cope through labor.
Remember! You are a rock star birth partner, and she needs YOU the most. Want more tips in detail? Sign up for the free tips for the birth partner checklist!

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.




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