To doula (verb) means to support and care for. While there are professional doulas, you don’t need to be a professional doula to doula. Doulas have been around since time immemorial, it’s long been a way people have moved through life stages and transitions with support. There are many ways you can doula or co-doula your partner through their birth. Below are many resources. Before diving in, check in with yourself about the following:
- First and foremost, what type of partner do you want to be? How do you want to show up? What strengths do you bring to the table? What are your fears?
Then, get a sense of how you’re currently supportive by default…we all have a default tendency…these are some common ones…where do you identify yourself?
-Are you in “gathering” mode (that’s the provider)?
-Are you in “vigilance” mode (that’s the protector)?
-Are you in “manager” mode (that’s the keeper)?
-Are you in “yoda” mode (that’s the breath companion)?
-Are you in “personal trainer” mode (that’s the movement supporter role)?
You may be in one or more of these modes or not at all, and still be in the partner role – how is that? It’s because we all will take on roles differently, assign different importance to different aspects of the role and bring our unique skills and perspectives to them. Define what your role as a partner is for your family, what that looks like, what’s important to you & what’s important to her.
See Part II for a deeper dive & some resources now that you have a sense of the type of partner you want to be.