Here at Our Doula we LOVE and VALUE birth partners just as much as we enjoy supporting birthing women and their babies into the world.
This blog today has been created to give you little snippets and insights into the world of birth partners, however, I could honestly write a book on this topic alone. Instead, today you will receive the ‘The Essential Role of Birth Partners' in a very small nutshell, because I need to save space to talk more about this topic in the weeks to come.
To all you incredible birth partners out there, I really want you to know your role is not just valued, it’s celebrated!
What is a birth partner:
I refer to a "birth partner" as someone who is invited by the birthing woman, into her birth space, to provide continuous, non-medical support, during labour and birth. This may include, but not limited to, her intimate partner, family member or trusted friend.
Understanding the Birth Partner's Role:
Birth partners, your role at times can feel multifaceted – you may find yourself in one moment as the key emotional supporter, whilst at other times an advocate and reassuring presence. Let’s discuss in short the significance of each aspect, highlighting how your unique bond with the birthing woman overarches a positive and connected birthing experience.
1. Emotional Supporter:
Your role as an emotional support involves being attuned to the birthing woman's needs, and creating a safe space for her to express any feelings that may arise. Your words, gestures, and simply your presence alone become the pillars of strength, assisting her in navigating the ebb and flow of emotions that unfold during labour and birth.
As an advocate, there may be moments when you become the voice for the birthing woman. As she surrenders into the intensity of each sensation and approaches the moment of birthing her baby, her ability to respond to questions or recommendations may naturally decrease—a common and expected sign of labour progressing. At this point, having an understanding of her birth plan, preferences, and concerns becomes essential. This knowledge empowers you to effectively communicate and collaborate with the healthcare team, ensuring that her choices are acknowledged, upheld and respected.
3. Reassuring Presence:
Your reassuring presence acts as a steady anchor. Your calm demeanour and unwavering support creates a sense of safety for the birthing woman. Whether it's a gentle touch, encouraging words, or maintaining an uninterrupted birth space, your role significantly contributes to a positive and empowering birthing environment.
Birth partners, a heartfelt thank you. Birth support has varied roles, please understand that in navigating these responsibilities, you are not alone; support is readily available for you too. Your ongoing commitment not only ensures a positive and connected experience during birth but also extends into shaping the dynamics of your relationship with the birthing woman, your baby and beyond.
Want to take your birth partner skills to the next level?
Be sure to check out the Partnered Birth Program — your comprehensive guide, educating and equipping you to be the best support partner ever, right from the get go!
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The first program of its kind, designed for birth partners with the wellbeing of the birthing woman and baby in mind.