You love your partner, and you’re worried for her.
You’re likely nervous about what could happen, what could go wrong, and what the birth itself will be like – potentially you’re even nervous about how you will cope as a father too.
And you’re also likely trying very hard not to let her know just how much it is affecting you because, culturally, you are expected to be strong and brave and to be able to keep it all together for her.
Your partner is going through a life-changing experience as she gives birth – AND SO ARE YOU!
The biggest difference between you both, within that birthing room, is that no one is there to support you as well.
Everyone is there is there supporting your partner – even you!
Who will support you?
A doula certainly can.
Who will support you as you support your partner?
A doula certainly can.
Who will help you as you help her?
A doula is more than capable of helping you so that you can help her.
Who will be able to get things for you when you are otherwise occupied with what your partner wants and needs from you?
A doula can get you whatever you need, allowing you to stay with your partner and support her.
Who will be able to take over your support role when you need a break, a rest?
This is what a doula does, we don’t take your role away from you, we’re like the backup option – quietly supporting from the background and only stepping in when needed.
Who will bring you food and drink when you are hungry and thirsty but can’t physically leave your partner because she needs YOU?
A doula will happily do this for you – you need to eat and drink too!
Who will wipe the sweat from your forehead when your hands are both busy applying yet another hip squeeze in the middle of a contraction, or providing counter pressure for back labour, or holding your partner up as she relaxes back into you as a contraction ends?
A doula can do this for you.
There’s a common misconception in the general community that doulas are only there to support the mother herself, and are there to replace the supportive role of the father/partner/other support people.
This is most certainly NOT TRUE!
While, as a doula, our role is most often that of supporting the mother during her birth it also encompasses so many other things as well, and supporting the mother can mean so many different things too.
Sometimes supporting the mother means supporting the father, her partner or husband, or another support person, as THEY support her.
Sometimes it means just staying on the other end of the phone, calmly speaking to dad and bringing him down from a panic attack because contractions have started and he has, in his panic, forgotten what to do.
Sometimes it means giving dad a short crash course in childbirth education at the prenatal meetings, because he has no clue what happens and quite frankly just the thought of a baby’s head coming out of his partners vagina makes him feel woozy and scares the living crap out of him.
Sometimes it means just quietly reassuring dad, in a quiet moment between his partners contractions, that he’s a doing a great job.
As a doula I do not replace you. I work beside you and help you to support her. I support you so you can better support her. I guide you when you need guidance. I help and aid you when you need aid and help. I share my knowledge and skills with you so that you can know what is happening and when, and how to help your partner.
I assist you to be the best support person that you can possibly be for your partner as she brings your baby into the world.
Dads, I know it’s hard to accept extra help and support sometimes, and I know it’s hard to hear and accept your partner wanting someone else, that isn’t just you, in the birthing room with her as she births your child.
We, the doulas, are here for you too.
We are a tool for both you and your partner to utilise as and if and when needed, to help you both have the best birthing experience possible.
Use us well, and use us the way that is right for both of you, and your partner will thank you for it.
Doulas are there for you too.