We are often asked the question, “Can my husband be my doula?” And while we would like to be agreeable… The short answer is… NO!
Your husband can only be your doula if he IS in fact a doula and even then, being the doula to someone you are emotionally attached to, poses certain challenges.
The role of a doula and the role of your husband or partner during labor are vastly different but equally important.
Let me explain….
The Husbands/Partner Role:
The role of your partner (who is emotionally attached to you) in labor is a tremendous asset to you in many ways. Your husband/partner provides comfort to you in a way that a stranger is simply not capable of.
They know you intimately; your fears, your passions, your deep concerns and your history. They can anticipate your reactions before you have even had them. They are the person you look to in life for support and they are likely the person you feel most comfortable being your real self with.
You grew this new life together and for many couples, this is their first birth experience ever.
This relationship in the delivery room is incredibly valuable, HOWEVER, it is not the doulas role.
The Doulas Role:
The doulas primary focus during your pregnancy is education, followed by the support of the decisions you make. The doula is able to answer your questions and lead you to the resources you seek.
The doula is trained to know what is “normal” and what is beyond the scope of normal. The doula’s experience (professional and sometimes personal) enables them to support you confidently.
When a doula attends a birth, they bring with them the strength and wisdom of those they have served before you.
I have felt it over and over again. There are powers much greater than myself at a birth that “nudge” me to offer you a sip of water after a contraction or to wipe you down with a cool compress.
That power places my hands in exactly the right spot to ease the discomfort of back labor.
It locks our eyes together during transition and our breath almost becomes one.
That power somehow tells you that you are normal and that you can do this. You respond to it and I am acutely aware that it is not me that you are responding to but the hundreds and hundreds of women I have done this with before you.
It is powerful and your husband witnesses it also.
It is the greatest gift that I never expected to receive and I feel so alive because I get to share it with you.
A doula cannot take a husband or partners role and a husband or partner cannot take the doulas role.
What I know for certain is that the emotional support of your partner, coupled with the educational and physical support of a doula, make for a kick ass birth team!
Authored by: Randy Patterson