There is something very powerful about having the father or non-pregnant parent of the baby take an active role in the birth process. Dads and partners have birth instincts, too! We teach birth companions our best doula secrets so that they feel completely prepared to support the mother on her birthing day. Partners are NOT taught to be labor coaches. A coach is someone who calls the shots and assigns positions. A coach is in charge of what happens on the field. Birth companions are the mother’s support and strength, but they don’t coach or direct the experience. The birthing woman is in charge.
Expecting partners have their own fears and worries surrounding pregnancy, birth, and parenting, and those fears can affect the confidence and emotional state of the pregnant mother. Therefore, it’s vital for birth companions to read, practice and prepare just as diligently as the mother, so that she can feel that support and confidence. We require birth partners to listen to the affirmations daily, to take part in all of the readings, assignments, and homework, and to be actively involved in class. Every week we will learn and practice a variety of time-tested doula skills, which have long been used by professional doulas to support and guide a woman through childbirth. We have discovered that when dads and partners feel sure of themselves, that self-assurance affects the mother in a positive manner.
One of the reasons dads and partners make the best birth companions, is because birth is a “love story”, the story of how mom and baby first met and fell in love. Our desire is for every woman to come away from her birth feeling proud and strong. The more loved, protected and intimate a woman feels in labor, the more comfortable her labor will be, regardless of where or how she gives birth. Deep physical and emotional relaxation enables the release of the Love and Labor hormones: oxytocin and beta-endorphin. It is vital that you learn to work with your partner and your body’s birthing instincts to create that oxytocin response.
Some of the Doula Skills we practice in class
- Deep relaxation scripts for labor Anchoring
- Slow dancing and spiraling
- The Belly Lift
- Endorphin Massage
- Scalp, face, neck and shoulder massage Hand and foot massage
- Counter pressure
- Basic rebozo training
- Music for relaxation
- Safe use of aromatherapy in labor
- Techniques to prevent and relieve back labor
- When to go to the hospital or birth location
- How to time expansions (contractions)
- Position changes
- Eating and drinking in labor
- Pushing positions
- Creating a peaceful birthing environment
- Understanding informed consent / refusal
Dads and partners, remember that birth is a Love Story, and you already know exactly how to love her. You’re better at it than anyone else in the world, and so together you write your unique story. Within you there is innate, biological birthing intuition, every bit as powerful as the birthing mother’s. You just have to learn to let go of your fears and tune into your instincts to protect, support, love, honor, and serve your partner as she brings your baby to the light.Lauralyn Curtis
We will also show you how partners and doulas can work together to create a powerful circle of support during labor. Doulas do NOT replace partners: they support and guide the couple through the journey. Doulas take care of all those little details that might become stressful for the new family, enabling mom and her partner to remain focused on each other and on their baby. Think of a doula as being like a “wedding planner” for birth: They know all the best birth professionals and are experts at dealing with them, they have lots of ideas and resources for you to draw from, they know lots of tricks of the trade that can make the experience easier and more comfortable, and they make sure that the beautiful couple they are serving are the center of the event.
Can you have a great hypnobirth without a doula? Absolutely you can. Each couple needs to discuss their options and make the choice that makes sense for them. But make sure you at least consider it.