pregnancy, birth & lactation services… at home
One question that seems to sit in the back of every expectant couple’s mind is: Uh, how does this doula thing work with Dad?
Many years ago, a dad’s place was in the waiting-room pacing floor while mom went behind mysterious doors to deliver a baby. His only ‘job’ was to hand out cigars to celebrate the birth of junior. Families today have different expectations of dads’ involvement in their babies’ birth.
Most fathers intend to be present while their baby is born and many want to be actively involved in offering emotional and physical support to their partner. But not all dads are the same- while many want to provide much of the ‘coaching’ and hands-on support, others feel a bit unsure about how they will fit into the birthing environment- ‘How am *I* supposed to ‘support’ her? I’ve never done this before either!’ Some families, for cultural or personal reasons, desire dad to have a more reserved relationship in the birth- and this is ok too!
This is where the doula comes in. Doulas are not there to displace dad. I come in to support the whole family through the birth of your youngest member. So if Dad wants to be really hands on, I support mom AND dad acting as dad’s assistant doing things like helping dad get some rest, food or to take a bathroom break, reassuring dad that things are normal and expected, giving dad ideas about new comfort techniques to try or being an extra set of hands in the execution of those coping techniques. Doulas and dads work together as a birth team, supporting mom and helping the family get off to a supported, healthy start!
For dads who wish to be a bit more hands-off, I can support dad to be only as involved as he wishes to be. While Dad remains comfortable and respected, mom receives all the hands-on physical and emotional support she requires for a healthy birth from me- her doula. Families- mom, dad and baby- who experience a supportive, affirming and gentle transition into a family unit are better prepared to take up their new roles in the family and have healthier perinatal adjustments. My goal is that everyone comes out of the birth experience having their needs heard and met ready to take on family life together!
Here are some links about Dads and Doulas:
Five Reasons Dads Should Demand a Doula
Dads and Doulas: Key Players on Mother’s Labor Support Team