Before the birth, she can help both parents in preparing for birth, and making sure they are well informed as to their choices. She can help the father or partner see what they want their role in the birth to be. She can help prepare them for their role in breastfeeding and to give them an idea of what to expect after the birth, and within the newborn period.
It is her job to help make a protected “bubble of experience” for the couple, within which the birth will unfold. She can help make sure they have their needs met, like bringing food or drink. She can just be present to give them the space to feel safe as the birth progresses. As needed, she can make suggestions as to how the partner may be able to help the labouring mother. She can also step in, when needed, to either give the birthing partner a rest, or take over for a few moments to help guide the mother.
Once the baby is born, she can help the new father or parent to create their own unique role with the baby, as well as to help how they can support the mother. She can help make sure they are looking after their own needs, and she can be on hand to help so that they get time with the baby and the mother. She can also show them baby soothing and baby wearing techniques, and demonstrate baby care.
No matter what her role, the most important aspect is that this is your baby, and your birth experience; both of yours! So the doula is there to nurture you both, and sensitively step in only when needed.
Some ways in which a doula supports the father or partner:
|© Natural Birthing & Postpartum Centre 2007|