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Why Hire a Birth Doula? A 3-Part Blog Series. Part 2: Will a Birth Doula Overshadow My Partner?

I have a supportive partner, why would I want a birth doula too? Doulas are here to support both the birthing person AND their support person/partner. Birth doulas do not take over or overstep the role of the partner. On the contrary, they help to enhance the support your partner can give.


I remember when I was expecting my first baby. I must have read somewhere about birth doulas (I didn't know about postpartum doulas until way too late for me - what a missed opportunity!) and I just KNEW.

I had to have a birth doula.

I knew that my partner loved and cared for me and our unborn baby. But he knew even less about pregnancy, labor and the birth process than I did. I wanted him there with me 100%. I also knew that I needed someone else in that space who got it on a different level, someone who understood the birth process as a physiologically normal event - as something we are made to do. Enter the birth doula.

My husband, like many partners, was on the fence about the need for this 3rd person in the room. What about him? Didn't I think that he was enough? Didn't he know how much I loved him? Didn't I want to share this intimate special moment with just him? Well, yes and no.


The presence of a doula ADDS to all of these things!

  • With my doula there, my husband was free to focus on me. The pressure was off of him to understand all of the medical jargon and even much of the labor process. Furthermore, doulas often meet with clients prenatally to walk you through what to expect during labor and then can help your partner to navigate the birthplace experience (while you're busy laboring and being supported all at the same beautiful time).

  • With a doula at the house during early and active labor (and, with my second baby, ahem, transition), my husband was free to focus on cooking for me. You might think that sounds weird but one of his love languages is food and so during both of my labors, when we were still at home, I could hear him rattling away in the kitchen while my doula supported me through contractions. And I'll tell you now, this worked perfectly for both of us.

  • I remember with my second baby, there were several moments when I was sure he was going to be born at home (this was not the plan). I was starting to spiral. During one such moment, I was on the floor between contractions, and I looked up and saw two beautiful faces. One was my husband whose face reflected love and admiration for me, and one was my doula whose face reflected calm and confidence in me. Those two layers of support where absolutely what I needed to get up and go back to the car so I could have my baby at the hospital. I NEEDED both of them in that moment. I'm not sure how things would have gone had we not added a doula to our plan.

  • Another wonderful way that birth doulas support partners is giving them space to be cared for and to take care of themselves. When I was attending births, almost all partners selflessly offered me the cot or recliner for a nap. I never accepted, however, because I was there to support BOTH of them. By supporting the partner and giving them time to rest, sleep, eat, go to the bathroom, make phone calls, take a break etc., I was supporting the birthing person as well. Also, supporting the partner matters a lot! This is a HUGE day in their life as well and they deserve love and nurturing too.

If you're expecting a baby, I highly recommend looking into birth doulas in your area. You won't regret it. I can lead you in the right direction if you live in my area, and if don't, you never know, I might have some connections near you too!


Thanks for reading this far and check out the other 2 posts from my birth doula series: "What's a birth doula?" and "I want a medicated birth so why would I need a birth doula?"




- Hilary, I've got your new family needs covered.



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