Gone are the days when expectant partners were doomed to pace the hospital hallways waiting anxiously for their mothers-to-be to push (and push through) during childbirth. In today’s world partners are welcome in the labor and delivery room, and can take an active role in providing encouragement and comfort.

This shift in expectations and involvement has created a whole new world for growing families. Now a pregnant woman is more supported, appreciated, and honored by the people who are closest to her. The birth experience is now an “our experience” rather than a “her experience”. Many partners are as nervous as they are excited for the opportunity to be an active participant in the birth experience. They are excited to help ease the mother’s labor pains, help her cope, and welcome the baby into the world.

As a member of the support team, a doula is there to help everyone involved, not just the mother. With the support of a doula birth partners are more able to stay involved and helpful as stressful moments arise. Having a calm and knowledgeable person there to assure the birth partner that it is all part of the process helps the whole team bear down and push through at the very intense time of transition.

On the flip side of that however, partners can be a very useful resource for the doula.

For example, local Brooklyn doula, Laura Vladimirova, noted that:

“Birth partners, whether they are the dad, life partner or a family member are such an integral part of the experience and the setting. They know the mother-to-be best, they know if she’s hit a wall or even her history as a woman. This is something we birth doulas have glimmers and suspicions of, but it is a devoted birth partner that can provide that information for us doulas if needed. For the birth partner, it is equally their experience too and they are a truly important part of the birth story.”

The communication and partnership between a doula and a partner is a powerful part of the equation of a great birth experience for everyone. This teamwork can help the laboring mother feel more in control, confident, and relaxed all of which contribute to a more efficient and effective labor.

Here are some real life ways in which By My Side doulas have helped not just the moms-to-be, but also their partner

To see if you qualify for a free doula and to learn more about how a doula can help you and your partner search #311Doula, visit our website dpho@health.nyc.gov, or call us at 718-637-5231.

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