Will My Doula Get In The Way Of My Partner Supporting Me? And Other Questions About Doulas And Dads
Whoever said you don’t need a doula obviously never had a birth attended by a doula.
Sure, they may have survived, but it would have been so much better if they had a doula. Birthing a baby is one of the most physically and emotionally demanding tasks a woman will accomplish. It only makes sense that she should have continuous support throughout the experience.
A doula, a doula is there for you however your birth unfolds.
She will be there in the middle of the night. She will be there if things go quickly. She will be there if things take days. She is your person.
In the end, when you hire a doula, both mom and dad get a major win. A doula opens space for you two to bond as a family as she moves around quietly and confidently taking care of all the little things that go on behind the scenes at a birth. .
So what is it a doula does exactly and how does she support the family as a whole, specifically dads? Find out here.
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1. Having a Doula Frees Dad From The Position Of Always Having To Anticipate What Is Coming Next.
When our grandparents were having babies, men weren’t even allowed into the birth room. Since then, dads have come to play a central role in speaking up for a birthing woman’s needs and coaching her through the birth. This can be an incredibly beautiful thing. It can also be a big job and a lot of pressure. Having a doula can free a partner of their responsibility to both facilitate the birth and coach the mom. This allows them to be present with their own feelings of excitement, joy, or nervousness that are an intrinsic part of becoming a parent.
2. Birthing Partners Cannot Take The Pain Of Birth Away From The Woman They Love.
There are many beautiful ways that dads can support their partners through birth. Words of encouragement, being a strong and steady comfort, back rubs and simply witnessing this profound event are priceless contributions that a birthing person will not forget. However, it is hard seeing the person you love most in the world in pain. And no matter how much he wants to, he cannot take the journey of birth from you. A doula can help him remember the ways he can participate and be productive in his role as a supporter. She can also help him perfect his backrub and anticipate the changes of the next stage of labor when a new backrub will be needed.
3. A Doula Can Give A Dad A Break
A birthing person really needs continuous support. Whether the birth is 5 hours or 25 hours, it is intense and takes focused energy. Even dads that want to be the main supporter need to eat, drink and go to the bathroom. Sometimes they even need to sleep or check-in with anxious grandparents. Having a doula allows dad to take a break when he needs it. It also means that if dad doesn’t want to leave his birthing person’s side that he will be brought food and drink along with the birthing mother.
4. A Doula Can Support A Dad In An Emergency
Although true birth emergencies are rare, sometimes they do happen. If for any reason mom and the baby have to be separated, a doula can stay with the one dad is not with and provide updates to help them stay connected as a family.
5. Having A Doula Makes Birth Easier For Everyone.
There is immense value in having a person there that has supported many women through the same journey. Birth has a wide range of normal. It challenges both moms and dads in new ways. Sometimes the things you thought would be the most helpful are the worst and the things you never thought would help are life-savers. A doula has a toolbox that years of training and experience have brought her. These tools can help reduce mom’s pain, help her focus, and help her do the things that bring baby closer or get into better positions. Even with these tools, the intensity of birth forges an immense intimacy between partners. When birth is easier for the mother, it is easier for the partner as well.
Does Every Family Need A Doula?
No, studies have shown that doulas can reduce the risk of c-sections, shorten labor, and improve relationships. But, that doesn’t mean that every family has to have a doula. One of the gifts and challenges of birth is learning to understand what you as an individual family need. It is good to spend some time thinking about the needs of your family before you decide to bring a doula into your birth.
As a doula, I am immensely and profoundly grateful to be a part of each birth I am invited to. Knowing that my quiet strength can remind parents of their own strength is one of my greatest joys. It is a gift to witness couples grow and change through the process of birth. And ultimately, to be a part of a family being reborn.