There seems to be this notion that as soon as a birthing person hires a doula, that their partner’s role in birth becomes redundant.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Doulas are educated professionals who give you and your family the tools you need to make your own informed decisions around your experience, and to provide you with the support to bring your ideal birth into reality.
We do not replace dads/partners!
In fact, and I was having this conversation with a new client just yesterday, we would prefer to help your partner support you in your birth than to just do it ourselves. And this is why:
Oxytocin is the hormone produced when we look into the eyes of another person we are attracted to, with people we trust, when we have sex, and when we look at our babies.
Hopefully, your partner is someone who you love and who you trust. When active labour kicks in, the main hormone at work is oxytocin – the love hormone. And oxytocin levels must remain at a higher level in order for a more effective natural labour and birth.
So not only is it desirable for partners to be involved in the birth, it’s arguably a one of the more important elements of the birthing process. Not only is it fulfilling to a partner to be involved, see their baby being born, and be a support for the birthing person, it’s playing an important role on a chemical level in the birthing person’s body.
I personally love to see partners get involved in the birth of their baby. Touch, massage, eye contact: these all help with keeping oxytocin levels up and bonding with baby – and each other – for both parents.
Not only that, but often – even if I’ve known a client for a while, we may have met a few times before birth – I am still essentially a stranger to my client – they put trust into me, but they certainly don’t know me as well as they know their partner, and I can never expect to be a replacement (nor do I ever wish to be).
So please, dads and partners, do not be downtrodden or upset if your partner wants a doula at their birth, because doulas are there to guide you both. We can help you with ideas on how to assist the birthing person, provide you with assurance and confidence in your ability to do this together, and guide you on techniques to help you both through this incredible process.