Role of Doulas

Having both a midwife and a doula in a homebirth is nice. My midwife mentor and one of the column writers for Midwifery Today, Marion Toepke McLean, cautioned us early on that when midwives do too much labor support, our judgment of what is going on may be clouded. Sometimes labor is very long but very normal. If you have been providing labor support the whole time, you might have the tendency to transport too soon.

A doula can be very helpful in splitting the load and can also assist the midwife as an extra pair of hands. I would caution doulas against taking over the father’s role as one of labor support, however. He needs to bond to the mom and his baby. We are in and out of clients’ lives and need to leave strong seeds of support planted. We must also be careful not to usurp the mom’s power. This is her birth.

Jan Tritten

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