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Maggi Rohde, Doula
Dundee, Michigan


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Finding The Doula For You

- For Spouses and Partners -

If You've Had A Cesarean


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For Spouses and Partners

Congratulations! You're about to become a parent. As your spouse gets ready to deliver your child, you might be having some nervous feelings. Don't worry -- that's normal.

No matter if it's your first baby or your fourth, labor and delivery can be nervewracking and confusing for you. This is natural, because you're just as emotionally involved with the labor -- not to mention with your laboring partner. It's hard for you to be objective. 1

Doulas Complement the Partner's Role

Doulas bring experience and an additional source of stable support for both parents. With a doula in the room, you can feel free to take care of your spouse and participate with the labor assistant at your own comfort level, without feeling guilty or anxious. If you need to rest or take care of other children, the doula will be there the whole time, and you can be refreshed for when your spouse needs you most.

If you and your partner bring children or other family members to the birth, they can sometimes add to the confusion and stress of labor. Doulas can help them to work as a team, making them feel useful and keeping the stress away from your laboring partner.

Doulas Bring Couples Closer

You might be worried that having an outside person at the labor might interfere with you and your partner's intimate experience. But studies show that partners actually support their spouses more often and more effectively when a doula is present. 2

The ideal situation is one in which the laboring woman's needs are met, and the doula becomes just a reassuring presence. If you find, during labor, that you can provide the level of support and love that your partner needs, the doula can run errands or do other things so that you can focus solely on each other.

Quotes from the father:

"This was our fourth baby and I thought I didn't really need any support or help in supporting my wife, but I had forgotten how stressful it is to see my wife in pain. Having a doula really made a difference, both for my wife, and for myself!"

She'll Help You Get What You Want

Some spouses worry that the doula will try to "push her agenda" onto the parents, to make them have a certain kind of birth. The doula's real agenda is to help your partner have the kind of birth both of you have planned and hoped for. When labor is intense and things are happening quickly, the doula can help remind the hospital staff about your birth plan -- things which might otherwise be forgotten or overlooked.

Your Doula Can Never Replace You

You and your spouse know each other better than anyone. She needs you there to provide the special support that only you know how to give. And the more support you have, the better you can love and nurture your partner. Studies have shown that fathers often participate more actively during labor in the presence of a doula than without one. 3 A responsible doula supports and encourages you and enhances your own support style.

Quotes from the father:

"I heaved a big sigh of relief when she (the doula) walked in. I hadn't realized how much pressure I had been feeling. She not only calmed my wife, she calmed me down."

Next Link: If You've Had A Cesarean

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Safe Passage's Services | My Philosophy About Birth | About Safe Passage
Local Birth Resources | Online Birth Resources


(1) Berry, LM 1988. Realistic expectations of the labor coach. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing. Sept/Oct:354-55.

(2) Klaus MH; Kennell JH. 1997. The doula: an essential ingredient of childbirth rediscovered. Acta Paediatr 1997 Oct;86(10):1034-6

(3) Chalmers B; Wolman W, 1993. Social support in labor--a selective review. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol 1993 Mar;14(1):1-15

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