The birth of your child is a very intimate experience and one you will hold close to your heart for life. Having a doula’s support during labour and birth has been found to dramatically improve birth outcomes. When I casually meet pregnant women, and tell them I’m a doula, I often get this response “I’d love to have a doula at my birth but my husband wouldn’t be comfortable with that”.
So, I started asking Dads the big WHY, here a a few of their responses.
“I already have so much financial pressure!”
Investing in your baby’s start to life and being prepared for the unforeseen.
Being a dad for many men carries a huge financial commitment. Many first- time dads find themselves under extra pressure to provide more income now a baby is on the way.
All the men I’ve supported during the birth of their children have this opinion in common “our doula was worth her weight in gold”. Let me tell you why!
The doula is there to protect the birth space for both mum and dad and is present for the duration of the birth providing physical and emotional support for both parents. Doula support reduces complications which means your baby is less likely to spend time in special care and your partner is less likely to need surgery along with all the extra costs. Having a doula at your birth also means mum is less likely to have postnatal depression. Mums that have a doula are more likely to meet their breastfeeding goals which also saves money.
“I’ve already attended so many birth related appointments.”
Doulas will work in with your time schedule
Let’s face it, we are very time poor these days. Men who are working hard to provide for their families feel this same time pressure. Hiring a doula means more birth related meetings. Most dads have already attended a number of classes, “How many classes do you have to attend, I thought this was a natural event, surely we know all we need to know?”
Dad is the most important person in the room next to mum and baby. What he feels is important. Sometimes when birth doesn’t go to plan dads find themselves needing lots of support. The doula is there to listen and make sure he is taken care of too. That way he can focus on being the dad and the partner while the doula can focus on helping them get information, having their concerns addressed and ensuring their questions are answered.
“It will be too many people in the room”
Doulas respect parents need for privacy
Birth is a very intimate experience. If you’re planning on birthing in a hospital it isn’t going to be a private event. A doula will do her best to create a private comfortable place for you to birth in amongst all the comings and goings of hospital staff. The doula creates a space for the dad to focus on his partner and her needs without worrying about all the people around them.
“I won’t be needed”
Doulas don’t take dads place
Rest assured, you’re important and the doula doesn’t do anything to disrupt your relationship with your partner. She’ll even give you more ideas for helping your partner feel comforted and cared for.
Doulas meet with both mum and dad during pregnancy to establish a trusting working relationship. Doulas support dads to find the role where they feel comfortable during the birth of their child. The doula doesn’t tell dad what to do, she supports dad in his role, meanwhile ensuring dad stays fed, hydrated and rested.
In a nut shell, dads need support during birth and this fact is often overlooked. For more information on how doulas support dads refer to my website https://www.flourishmumsandbubs.com.au/supporting-dads/
One dads story about the benefits of having a doula present at his baby’s birth
My wife and I have recently had the pleasure of being able to introduce our first baby girl into the world.
In the lead up and preparation time to our birth we attended a couple of courses to give us the back ground and understanding to achieve the type of birth we wished for. During one of the classes we were introduced to the concept of a Doula and the work they do.
My feelings walking away from the class were, it’s a great concept but more than likely not for us. The main reason being, I felt we had invested in the two courses already and this natural phenomenon would just take it’s course in the hands of the midwives at the hospital.
A little while later my wife came to me and asked if we could get Jodi on board as our doula to assist with our birth.
At this stage I still felt a little skeptical about the necessity, concerned about adding additional meetings into my already busy schedule and if we could truly afford a doula.
At heart, I knew it was something my wife felt she needed and being concerned with my work schedule it was good to have a backup plan in case I was caught up when labour began.
At forty-one weeks pregnant, the night finally came when labour begun. I had come home from a massive day at work to find my wife having waves of back pain. I sent Jodi a txt and let her know things had started and I’d call when we needed her.
I have to say it was a full night of massaging, counting contractions, toilet going, minute timing, journey plotting and trying my best to assist my wife with emotional and physical pain. Needless to say, when the sun finally rose the next morning we were completely shattered and I knew I needed the assistance of Jodi.
When Jodi arrived, she offered to relieve me and I was finally able to get some rest for an hour or so. In that time Jodi managed to relax my wife and got her moving and excepting her contractions. Jodi had totally transformed her from fighting the pain to moving freely down the path towards giving birth by the time I woke.
Jodi’s experience softly guided both us every step of the way to getting ready to leave for the hospital. Once we arrived Jodi was our guide to ensuring our dream birth went according to plan. Needless to say, we had the most perfect drug free water birth and my wife only needed to push once!
None of this I believe would have been achievable without the assistance of Jodi. Not only the birth but the days following the birth Jodi was my lifeline in looking after both my wife and our daughter (Mali). Jodi is one of those beings who, through her wealth of knowledge and experience is totally spot on, knowing how to deal with each situation as it arises.
I cannot recommend having a doula highly enough!
I’m glad on this occasion of my life I don’t have to say in hindsight, “I wish we had a doula.” Instead we have the most beautiful memory of our perfect birth.