I have my partner/best friend/mother/aunt supporting me - won't a doula just get in the way?
Many people feel that their birth team is complete by having a loved one with them. For some women it can be enough, particularly during the birth. The reality for most, however, is that whilst this support is loving, it is often inadequate for making informed decisions. The preparation process is greatly enhanced when a doula works with you and your support person/team to ensure you are supported in the best possible way.
Given you are Wonder Woman (awesome, powerful, capable), let us assume your birth partner is batman (no need to get caught up on gender here, batman could be your partner, your mum, a friend). Batman needs Robin. Robin is the helpful side kick. Batman gets to be the 'hero', with Robin quietly supporting.
A doula supports your partner in supporting you.
A doula provides:
- Information support and preparation assistance,
- Emotional support, including debriefing previous experiences and addressing your feelings
- During the birth, physical support by either guiding your partner to support you, or taking over if needs be.
- Transitional support in the early weeks with your baby.
A doula's skill is often invisibility - there, but not there, gentle reminding and suggesting, never instructing or taking over. The time you spend together in preparation means that during labour no-one needs to interrupt you, they just follow your instructions using your birth plan. A Birth Map is a very through plan, covering all possible pathways. During the planning phase, each persons role will be detailed, so that no-one hinders You and gets in anyone's way.