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How to explain doula concept to partner

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm currently 32 weeks pregnant with my third child. Right before I became pregnant, I had just completed a three-day doula training. After taking the course, I decided that I would absolutely want a doula present for any future births, because I had a c-section with the first (which I'm certain was completely unnecessary), and a prolonged labor with the second which I was able to have VBAC, but still had an epidural. I just instinctively feel that I can avoid unnecessary interventions and protracted labor with the help of a doula.


So, we had a doula lined up for this birth, someone my partner and I have both known for many years, and she just backed out due to health problems. My partner's response was, "Oh no! That's too bad. Well, you'll be fine. You don't need a doula, you've got me. Plus, you ARE a doula!". Which I'm not, of course, I just completed a training. I haven't attended any births. I think my partner was O.K. with the doula we were going to have because she knew her, but feels threatened by the idea of someone we don't know being there for the birth. I'm pretty sure she's hurt that I think I need anyone besides her there. How do I express my desire for a doula-assisted birth that doesn't hurt my partner's feelings or make her feel displaced in any way?

post #2 of 10

I'd approach it like this-- "I won't be able to doula myself. I'll be in laborland. WE need a doula-- not just me, but I need *you* to have a doula too--so you are free to be with me as just my partner and as our baby's parent.  I need your support more than annything, but the doula is there to gauge how we are both doing, what we both need and when, she's trained and experienced w/labor and birth support and neither of us are.  And she'll give us options you or I may forget when we come to challenges."
Something like that?
 Maybe remind your partner that people sometimes forget that labor is a major experience and transition time for both parents-- and seeing your loved one in labor and/or pain often paralyzes one with fear and/or other challenging emotions. The supporting parent is also vulnerable to suggestion, fear, feelings of inadequacy and vulnerability, etc ., just as the birthing parent is.  There are plenty of doulas who are very sensitive to and supportive of a partner's desire to be your rock,and who will be watchful for when to give the two of you space etc. Let your partner know you want her there at the prenatal visit(s) and also want her input on choosing a new doula. What you are creating is a birth team -- essential is your partner, but desirable to any birth is a doula (usually) or at least, that is what the statistics say. :) Google them for her, she may be able to see it from a different standpoint, a more detached standpoint, if you show her the studies (depending on her personality.)

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your advice. You really helped me put my feelings into words! We're going to the OB this week and will be asking for their doula list, and I will definitely include her in the decision and the prenatal visits.

post #4 of 10

Nice!  Glad to help :)

post #5 of 10

I would second what pp said about doula being helpful for both of you, or maybe even more so for your partner.  During this pregnancy, my dh and I talked about dd's birth and I mentioned that while our doula was nice and great and all of that I didn't really feel like it was really ALL that helpful having her there.  He spoke up right away and said he DID.  That she was incredibly helpful for him.  All I remeber was him being there for me and helping me into different positions, etc.  But what I don't remember was her supporting him to do those things, she was making the suggestions to him.  She was a huge support to him so that he could be a huge support to me :)

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Aahhh...very interesting perspective! Thanks for that.

post #7 of 10

Being a doula myself affected my labor and birth, in that I WAS trying to doula myself.  I did not really sink into laborland as I would have liked to do.  I was too busy analyzing what was going on and trying to think rather than just going with the flow.  At the very least, a doula will help you mentally off load that responsibility.





post #8 of 10

Your OB has a doula list?

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

It's more of an on-call doula list that they keep up in labor and delivery for women who decide at the last minute they need a doula. (Usually young women with no support). But I'm going to try to connect with one of them in advance.

post #10 of 10

Check out http://doulamatch.net/list/birth/mn   as this is a great source for finding a doula! You can read testimonials from previous clients and visit their webpage if they have one.


Great decision on having a doula...Every woman DESERVES one :0)

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