I have been a doula for 16 years and my husband is my biggest seller. He knows first hand the benefits of having a doula present at your birth experience, having done 3 births without and 1 with, he is a believer.
The expectations on dads to be the labour coach is quite daunting, and one that is often very stressful and overwhelming for all the dads to be out there. Let’s face it there is a lot to remember, what to pack, what to say, positions she should use, breathing she should do, when to go to the hospital or call the midwife, what all the medical terminology means, being her advocate, navigating with the medical staff, remembering her wishes, massage techniques, and don’t forget – Don’t Panic. On top of all that you somehow have to stay calm while you watch her deal with a lot of pain and discomfort. This would throw the best man off.
In comes the doula. I would like to say the doula is your cheat sheet for labour. It takes all the pressure off dad to remember everything. She becomes your go to for advice, suggestions and calm and comfort. Often the simplest “don’t worry this is completely normal” is all you need to hear. The doula is the enhancer of the dads role. She allows the confidence to set in so that dad can shine at what he feels good doing, whether that is massage, reassuring words, love and affection, provider of props, official position change helper, or all of the above.
I see that dads shine in the presence of a doula.
The to-do list becomes manageable.
The scary unknown becomes calmly okay and normal.
And for those dads that just don’t know what to do, they have guidance for what the CAN do to help.
Doulas love having the dad be the rock star of the delivery room (other than mama of course). We love seeing the confidence emerge and flourish. We love seeing dads get comfortable and involved and offer suggestions to their beautiful partner, knowing that it could help ease her discomfort. We love seeing dads get a hang of the perfect massage technique or counter pressure spot, and know they are making a difference.
Doulas love dads who beam after the birth of their beautiful baby and glow with a sense of pride for the amazing powerful partner they have and the awesome team they were through the birth.
If dads shine, doulas did their job well.