• Why would I need a doula? I’ve got my partner’s support!

    As a doula, I may be the only person at the labor beside the partner who is there solely for the emotional well-being of the woman. The nurse, doctor, and/or midwife have other priorities that compete with the emotional care of the woman. A doula’s #1 priority is to make sure the mama’s needs are met in the most caring, compassionate way possible. We stay through shift changes and until after the baby is born. Doulas are not just another stranger with the couple. We know the woman, her partner, her plans and desires; we have the woman’s needs as our sole priority.

    Personally, I can testify that though I don’t know or love you nearly as well as your partner, I very much view being a doula as deep work of the heart. It’s very fulfilling and an absolute honor for me to pour my whole heart into supporting you and your partner during your birth.

    Doulas are also so helpful as an extra set of hands and an extra heart. Labor is HARD work – you’ll need all the loving, compassionate support you can get. Doulas can also provide refreshing and calming outside perspective to the woman and her family. We can direct and coordinate the efforts of the rest of the woman’s support team (partner, mother, sister, friend etc), giving them all something useful to do, reducing stress and helping everyone to work as a team on the woman’s behalf. With our unique and comprehensive knowledge of the processes of labor and birth, we can provide informational support and helps that others on the woman’s support team may not possess.
  • I feel like a doula will take over my partner’s role.

    Oh contraire! We doulas love to support the partner as well as the woman, helping them be the best that they can be, for you. Doulas can actually bring the couple closer together. Several studies have shown that women are more satisfied with their partner’s support during their labor when a doula is present. By making sure the partner’s needs are met (food, drink, reassurance, suggestions), the woman and partner can work more closely together.

    As a doula, I will allow the partner to participate at his or her comfort level. Whether the partner is mostly a quiet observer, sharing the moment with the birthing woman; an active participant providing the main source of support; or shy and unversed in their support role, doulas can roll with that. We’ll fill in and adapt as necessary, allowing the partner to participate as they wish, without leaving the woman’s needs unmet.

    If you’re a partner wondering why the heck you’d need a doula when your mama’s got your rock-star support (I mean that, she needs you!), check out this article. You will laugh and learn. I promise it won’t disappoint.

  • Are you some weird granola lady who only believes in natural childbirth and will judge me if I don’t roll that way?

    Not in the least! Although I do love granola, one way I love to think of doulas coming into a birth is as a ‘blank slate.’ I am here to offer non-judgmental support, taking on your birth philosophy for the duration of your pregnancy and birth experience. I want to support you to have your best birth, helping you understand your choices and options. Whether you wouldn’t touch pain meds with a 10-foot pole or want an epidural from your first contraction, I’m here for you. My agenda is to help ensure that your agenda is acknowledged and followed as much as possible. I will be so familiar with your wishes and birth plan that I may actually think more about it than you, especially when labor is intense and things are happening rapidly! With my thorough knowledge of labor and interventions, I can nudge and remind you or your partner if something is happening or about to happen that’s outside your wishes.

    I will help you make decisions by encouraging you ask questions that will ensure the right information is given to you to make an informed choice. I may also suggest alternatives for you to consider, but I will not tell you what to do or make decisions for you.

Adapted from DONA International Birth Doula Manual, copyright 2012