The husband and doula are complementary to one another in providing optimal support to the laboring mother, neither the same, nor in conflict. (You would not say to a bride, “You already have a groom, will having a maid of honor replace him?!”)
I could never love the laboring mom like her husband can. He knows her intimately, is the father of the baby she is working to birth, he is one of the main figures in the event taking place. His role is vital. However, the husband has never given birth, nor is he usually very experienced in providing labor support in the same way I am. By my presence, dad is freed from needing to remember every idea mentioned in childbirth class. I can help him to help his beloved, and he can relax into his journey into fatherhood, because I am there to support both parents. Working together, the father’s knowledge of the mother and my knowledge of birth, can give the ultimate level of comfort and support to the laboring mom, and help facilitate a birth experience she will cherish for the rest of her life.