The Role of the Doula with Couples


August 18, 2014

The role of doulas in working with couples varies per each couples needs and desires as well as per each doulas awareness, intuition and energy in working with women and their partners. I had the honor of presenting a talk on this topic to The East Bay Doula Group this past August in Berkeley, California. Please feel free to browse the powerpoint presentation that I used as a means of sparking a conversation and planting seeds.


The East Bay Doula Group came up with the following list of “seeds doulas can plant” when working with couples:

  • Incorporate each parent during consult visit and prenatals
  • Asking each parent about their ideas of each partner’s role
  • asking each parent about their own birth stories
  • Asking partner what his concerns and fears are?
  • Bringing up the topic of self-care and couple care
  • Modeling compassion “during the wild ride”
  • Assess couple’s communication pattern and think about balance
  • Giving space for partner to speak and couple to interact, rather than doula always leading
  • Taking time and making space for each person’s perspective
  • Expanding the myth of the angry woman in labor
  • Active listening skills to empower//not always fixing or giving advice
  • Being mindful about the language you use and it’s implications
  • Less criticism and more openness to different parenting styles/needs/desires
  • Partners can help without breasts!
  • Modeling
  • Understanding parenting together will mean negotiating
  • Always think about what works for each individual family, as opposed to things being the way you were trained in…
  • Consider what process couple went through to conceive
  • Honor each parent’s strengths
  • Realize parenting is a dance journey

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