...even though the partner is with you during birth
Do you too ask yourself why you'd need a doula if the partner is with you during birth?
A doula cannot only bear a helping hand for you but also for your partner. Birth for the mother is such a unique experience at all levels. Though the father is not physically involved in birth it touches him emotionally, mentally and affectively as much as the mother.
It's his child that he procreated and his flesh and blood that will be born. Just like for the mother it's also for him an experience that changes his life. He too cares about how it will be, that the baby is healthy, if everything goes well,...
Besides that the baby deeply effects his affectivity, he sees the mother of his child in a way he probably has never seen her before.
When the woman is in hard labor there can be tears, maybe she screams, you might hear sounds you never hear from her. There can be excretions that she doesn't control with her mind. Maybe she rejects the partner. She is as Michel Odent says so nicely on another planet - to pick up the soul so it can come to this world.
The thoughts the father has for his baby and/or to see the mother in this exceptional state can confuse him. Nowadays the partner is not really asked if he wants to be in the birthing room. It is not questioned rather than expected that he is there.
For some men it's ok, for others it might be too much to be "on the front line" and they'd need support.
Here a doula can help so much. A doula is always on the woman's side (as long as that's what the woman wants) and so there is pressure taken away from the man. He can leave the birthing room when he has the feeling that he needs a few moments for himself. He knows the woman is in good hands even when he is not with her all the time. A doula is a woman - a skilled woman who knows how a female body/birth feels because she has the same experiences.
A doula doesn't replace the partner and by the way she never replaces a midwife! Midwives are very important and we need them. Still midwives (especially in the hospital) in comparison to doulas often can't stay with the woman all the time.
The job of a doula is to stay with the woman for the entire birth. It means the woman is never alone, only if the woman wants to be alone. That's why a doula can bear a helping hand in addition to the partner and to the midwife.
What do you think about it? Talk to your partner how he feels to be with you during birth. Ask him about his opinion. He might want to have some support too.
PS. By the way if you look at history birth has always been women's matter. It's been only since the 1970s that men are in the birthing room...
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