My husband has played golf on and off for many years, but this past summer he had the opportunity to get out on the links quite a few times. I am definitely a beginner, never having actually been on a golf course, but I was able to join him on the driving range several times.
I really have no idea what I’m doing so my husband spent a lot of time patiently giving me tips. I continued to struggle and in an hour at the range I usually had about 5 good shots ( and countless whiffs!) This continued to repeat itself several times.
Fast forward to today and my first golf lesson with a professional.
The difference was night and day. In one lesson, I only whiffed 3 balls and by the end, almost all of the balls I hit were relatively straight. I started to feel really good with my swing and my instructor gave me some really great things to work on.
I love my husband, and he’s not a bad golfer. But he is not a professional golf instructor. He may know things that work for his golf game but he really doesn’t have the breadth of skills to be able to speak to my golf game. For starters, he’s left-handed and I’m right-handed!
So while he’s very patient and supportive, he doesn’t actually have the ability to be my instructor. And no one would expect him to be.
In a similar way, your partner may be very patient and supportive, but unless they have studied birth, learned about options and interventions, and been trained in ways to support a birthing person through labor, they may not be the best choice to be your doula.
Now I need my husband. He’s going to make a great golf partner. I’m looking forward to having his support and sharing this hobby with him. But my instructor gives me knowledge, tips, and encouragement that he can’t give. Both of them are essential to a positive golf experience.
You need your partner. Your doula has not known you for years and is not going to be there to help you raise this baby. But your doula is there to give you knowledge and tips that she’s learned about birth. She is there to encourage you in a way that your partner may not even know about.