The short answer is... NO!
Your husband can only be your doula if he IS a doula and even then, being the doula to someone you are emotionally connected to, poses certain challenges.
The role of a doula and the role of your husband/partner during labor are vastly different but equally important. Let me explain….
The Husbands/Partner Role:
The role of your partner (who is emotionally connected to you) in labor is a tremendous asset to you in many ways. Your husband/partner provides comfort to you in a way that a stranger is not capable of.
They know you intimately; your fears, your passions your deep concerns and your history. They can anticipate your reactions before you have even had them. They are the person you look to in life for support and they are likely the person you feel most comfortable being your real self with.
You grew this new life together and for many couples, this is their first birth experience ever.
This relationship in the delivery room is incredibly valuable, HOWEVER, it is not the doulas role.
The Doulas Role:
The doulas primary focus during your pregnancy is education, followed by the support of the decisions you make. She is able to answer your questions and lead you to the resources that you seek through relationships that she has developed.
The doula is trained to know what is “normal” and what is beyond the scope of normal. Her experience (both personal and through her work) enable her to support you confidently.
When a doula attends a birth, she brings with her the strength, wisdom and knowledge of those she has served before you.
I have felt it over and over again. There are powers much greater than myself at a birth, that “nudge” me to offer you a sip of water after a contraction or to wipe you down with a cool compress.
That power places my hands in exactly the right spot to ease the discomfort of back labor. It locks our eyes together during transition and our breath almost becomes one. That power somehow tells you that you are normal and you can do this. You respond to it and I am acutely aware that it is not me that you are responding to but the hundreds and hundreds of women I have done this with before you. It is powerful and your husband witnesses it also. It is the greatest gift that I never expected to receive and I feel so alive because I get to share it with you.
A doula cannot take a husband or partners role and a husband or partner cannot take the doulas role.
What I know for certain is that the emotional support of your partner, coupled with the educational and physical support of a doula, make for a kick ass birth team!
Authored by: The Rock n'Roll Doula