You want to hire a Labor and Birth Doula but unsure what the role of your birth partner will be? They still play a vital role in labour and birth. Some are more hands on then others and that’s okay. My job as a doula is to help both of you have the best experience you can achieve.
As someone that knows you before pregnancy, your birth partner can connect with you on levels that no service provider can reach. With the birth of our second my husband was my rock. He knew what I needed and when I needed it. When he was unsure I would help guide him or our midwife would step in to help. With our first he definitely wasn’t as physically helpful (just unsure what his role was) if we had a doula in the room with us I am sure it would have been a different story.
When mother is ready to push or even just at the end stages of active labour being right up at her face is so important. Letting her know your there and with her. My husband talked to me softly giving me encouragment to keep going. This is a great place to be as well to give ice chips or sips of water. Holding her hand is a natural easy way to comfort with out doing much.
Applying cold cloths for some mother’s is a great help. With my second I felt as if I was on fire because everything happened so fast. Our midwife and nurse helped with this initially then my husband took over. By being available to help he was able to take over an easy job and free up our birth team to do other important jobs.
Counter pressure can be applied during a contration and this is a great way for birth partners to get involved. If they aren’t comfortable to do these techniques that’s where a doula is great to have. This amoung other contraction techniques is where a doula can teach you and your partner during a Prenatal visit or can apply them selfs during labour.
Just like above with comfort, support is so important. This can look so different to every birthing couple. With the birth of our first the fact that my husband and mother were in the room with me was support enough. This helped me mentally because they were both calm and joking around. My body and mind were so relaxed just by knowing they were relaxed.
With my second it was just my husband, our midwife and a few nurses coming in and out. The support given by my husband was amazing. Because we had already had one child it was much easier the second time around.
Being present for the birth of our children help to establish a bond from the start. With our first my husband got to touch her little hands right away and held her when we were getting ready to move into our hosptial room. He also was updating our families with news on how everything was and when she was born. Our second he again kept in touch with our family’s and was even able to send a few photos to his parents in England. After the birth I wanted to shower so he got to do skin to skin with her.
Eyes, Ears and Voice
Your birth partner also can help be a second pair of eyes and ears. By knowing and being apart of your birth plan they can help facilitate for you when needed. If questions are being asked and your unable to speak then your birth partner can help answer some questions. For example; a nurse comes in and asks if you want an epidural. Your busy with a contraction and are unable to answer at the moment, your birth partner can speak up and say ” sorry that’s not in our birth plan, but we can discuss this further if something changes.” Or ” yes, she had discussed with me that an epidural would be a great idea right now if we can.” By helping answer simple questions you can focus on what your doing and when your able to talk for yourself it can be a much calmer discussion after. Your doula can also help in this area if needed.