Doulas Support Dads
In my experience, Dads require support during labour and postpartum almost as much as mums do, their needs are just different and not always recognised.
Some partners are reluctant to have an outsider at their birth. They worry they won't be needed if there is another support person involved. To the contrary, most couples, after the birth, express how much they appreciated having an experienced support person, and how it contributed to having a more positive birth outcome.
I support the Dads during pregnancy to discover the role they would like to take during the birth of their baby. I teach couples skills they can use to enhance and ease the labour process. Dads enjoy learning practical skills that they can practice during pregnancy with their partners and later use in labour.
During labour, I support the Dads with gentle informative communication. Most Dads appreciate a little guidance from their doula, especially when everything is so different to what they were expecting.
If Dad needs a break, I can support Mum while he is resting, updating family, having a snack or visiting the bathroom. So often Dads feel guilty and unsure about leaving their partner's side during labour. This guilt is often alleviated when the couple have me at their side.
During pregnancy and labour, I inform the parents about how to navigate the hospital, this often removes a lot of the stress from Dad, allowing him to be more relaxed, which is what the birthing Mum needs.
During labour, I explain the benefits, risks and alternatives of the different procedures being offered, so even after labouring for hours, you can make the best decision for you and your family.
Dads often become quite overwhelmed at the intensity of labour. Having me there at your side, helps reassure the Dad that everything is going normally, and his partner is okay. During most hospital births the staff are unfamiliar to you and they may change shifts in the middle of the birth, sometimes numerous times. I will be a continuous and familiar support person. We will have met numerous times before the birth to establish a trusting, respectful relationship.
What the Dads thought