The perfect dream team includes both dads and doulas. It happens after every birth as he is holding his beautiful baby, a dad tells me “we couldn't have done this without you!” Why do some dads hesitate to hire a doula? It seems natural to hire someone who has expertise, experience, and spends most or all of their time supporting families through pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period.
For some dads like Greg “The idea of a doula (whatever that is!) seemed a bit New Age for me; a notion catering to curly haired, alfalfa eating, year round sandal wearing, unicycle enthusiasts. Why would I, a masculine, hairy chested carpenter ever be interested in such a device.” Dads may envision themselves being left out of the experience in some way or feeling replaced by a doula. Stranger danger! Why would my partner want someone we just met present during such a private and personal time in our lives? Dads view themselves as the strongest support person their partner can have, why do we need someone else?
“It turns out our birth doula had all the answers and was invaluable during the arrival of our son. My partner and I had planned a home birth and felt well prepared until we experienced a very short labour that caught us off guard! I quickly found myself pacing frantically in the hallway outside the bathroom door seemingly forgetful I had ever been to prenatal class.” Greg has a great point. A doula is a real life cheat sheet for remembering specific labour positions, breathing techniques, and all of the other information you learned in prenatal classes that you may suddenly forgt. There are many doulas out there, yes even curly haired, alfalfa eating ones. Interview as many as you like until you find the one that fits with you.
This notion of dads being replaced couldn't be further from the truth. A doula wants dad to be number one! A doula should serve as a side kick, helping dads be the leading hero during labour. Teaching dads how to do massage specific to labour, offering position changes, and guiding breathing/relaxation techniques will make dads even more valuable to their partners. Doulas are all about team DAD! This is all taught prenatally, and it is quite common for dads to become nervous and have a lapse in memory when they see their partner in labour. A doula's job is not to take over and do, it's to remind, encourage, and help dads support their partner. There is more than one role in birth. Remember...
Dream Team = Dad and Doula!
There are many roles to be filled during labour. The number one job of any care provider is the health of mom and baby. Doulas speak the language of labour and birth so they can offer insight into situations which may seem unclear. Care providers are not there to provide physical and/or emotional support (although some do),that is the role of Team D! Team D is a well oiled machine that works together to support a positive birth experience.
“How does Team D work? Give me an example!”
Mom is experiencing a lot of back labour and is requiring constant back massage and counter pressure, but she is also hot, thirsty, and struggling to focus on her breathing. How does one person meet all the labouring goddess’s needs? Team D. It's that simple! Why wouldn't we give moms the best of everything. Dads pick a spot they feel comfortable with, whether it's massage KING, ice chip PRINCE, hydration GLADIATOR, or relaxation EMPEROR. Doulas will fill in the gaps and amplify your awesomeness!
Doulas are experts in supporting birth, you are experts on your partners. Together Team D will provide the best possible birth experience.