Here at Birth at Home in Arizona. Many times women may say, “What do I need a doula for? — my husband will be there.” Sometimes husbands say, “I don’t want a doula there — I want to be there for my wife, not have a doula elbow me out of the way.” This post explores the topic in more detail, so go read it.
While it is possible for men to be such good labor support as to make a doula redundant, or for doulas to make men feel redundant, this is somewhat rare. What is much more typical is for doulas to help the dad help the mom, for example, by suggesting various comfort measures that are just not blatantly obvious to most men. [And if most men are like my husband, it would have to be blatantly obvious! :-)] So, dads and doulas are usually partners in labor support, complementing each other’s skills and abilities (as well as letting each other have periods of rest if need be), combining forces to make a great team to help the laboring woman.