Many future mothers ask me why it is recommended to use the services of a doula if the partner is willing to take an active role in the childbirth. It is important to understand that the spouse and the doula fulfill two completely different roles. The spouse and the doula are not exclusive of each other; on the contrary, they complement one another.
As doula, I believe that it is vital to involve the partner throughout the delivery process (if it is his will of course) and to be attentive to his concerns. It is important to remember that the childbirth experience can also be challenging for the partner: how to cope with the beloved’s pain? It is not uncommon for me to see a desperate partner who does not know how to comfort and assist his partner in such situations. Often, I suggest offering him tools such as massage, especially in the lower back and breathing together with the pregnant mother, thus making him an integral part of the childbirth process.
My presence also allows the partner to feel more comfortable and to leave the delivery room to relax, go for a coffee and so on. In the same way, I am sensitive to the needs of the couple to have moments of intimacy just the two of them.
* Throughout the site, the reference to the term “partner” includes both male and female as the case may be.