What about Dad?


Partners​ ​and​ ​doulas

The​ ​birth​ ​of​ ​your​ ​baby​ ​is​ ​a​ ​very​ ​private​ ​event.​ ​You​ ​might​ ​be​ ​wondering​ ​if​ ​a​ ​doula​ ​will replace​ ​or​ ​exclude​ ​your​ ​partner​ ​or​ ​intrude.

Many​ ​partners,​ ​and​ ​mothers-to-be​ ​as​ ​well,​ ​are​ ​concerned​ ​that​ ​a​ ​doula​ ​will​ ​be​ ​a​ ​“third wheel”​ ​or​ ​will​ ​exclude​ ​the​ ​partner​ ​from​ ​sharing​ ​in​ ​the​ ​birth.​ ​When​ ​you​ ​talk​ ​to​ ​parents​ ​who have​ ​had​ ​a​ ​doula​ ​present​ ​for​ ​their​ ​birth,​ ​though,​ ​the​ ​opposite​ ​usually​ ​turns​ ​out​ ​to​ ​be​ ​the case.​ ​A​ ​good​ ​doula​ ​always​ ​remembers​ ​that​ ​this​ ​birth​ ​is​ ​not​ ​their​ ​experience​ ​but​ ​the parents’.​ ​They​ ​are​ ​there​ ​to​ ​support​ ​your​ ​wishes​ ​and​ ​help​ ​the​ ​two​ ​of​ ​you​ ​to​ ​maintain​ ​your physical​ ​and​ ​emotional​ ​resources​ ​to​ ​share​ ​the​ ​birth​ ​together.

If​ ​one​ ​of​ ​you​ ​feels​ ​reluctant​ ​about​ ​having​ ​a​ ​doula,​ ​talk​ ​about​ ​it​ ​together.​ ​Be​ ​honest​ ​about what’s​ ​bothering​ ​you.​ ​If​ ​your​ ​partner​ ​wants​ ​to​ ​be​ ​the​ ​one​ ​you​ ​rely​ ​on​ ​the​ ​most,​ ​they​ ​may feel​ ​that​ ​if​ ​you​ ​want​ ​a​ ​doula,​ ​it​ ​must​ ​mean​ ​you​ ​don’t​ ​think​ ​they​ ​will​ ​do​ ​a​ ​good​ ​job supporting​ ​you.​ ​Usually​ ​that’s​ ​not​ ​at​ ​all​ ​true,​ ​but​ ​it​ ​helps​ ​to​ ​talk​ ​it​ ​through.​ ​Many​ ​partners actually​ ​find​ ​they​ ​are​ ​more​ ​actively​ ​involved​ ​in​ ​the​ ​birth​ ​when​ ​an​ ​experienced​ ​professional supporter​ ​is​ ​present.

If,​ ​on​ ​the​ ​other​ ​hand,​ ​your​ ​partner​ ​feels​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​(or​ ​a​ ​lot!)​ ​uncomfortable​ ​about​ ​being​ ​present at​ ​the​ ​birth,​ ​a​ ​doula’s​ ​presence​ ​means​ ​you​ ​have​ ​continuous​ ​support​ ​while​ ​your​ ​partner​ ​is free​ ​to​ ​come​ ​and​ ​go​ ​throughout​ ​labour.

Things​ ​you​ ​can​ ​do​ ​to​ ​make​ ​for​ ​a​ ​comfortable​ ​relationship​ ​between​ ​you,​ ​your​ ​partner,​ ​and your​ ​doula:

  • –  As​ ​a​ ​couple,​ ​be​ ​open​ ​and​ ​honest​ ​with​ ​one​ ​another​ ​about​ ​your​ ​feelings​ ​about​ ​having a​ ​doula​ ​or​ ​other​ ​aspects​ ​of​ ​your​ ​birth​ ​you​ ​may​ ​not​ ​agree​ ​on.​ ​This​ ​won’t​ ​be​ ​the​ ​first or​ ​the​ ​last​ ​time​ ​you​ ​disagree​ ​when​ ​it​ ​comes​ ​to​ ​your​ ​child!​ ​Use​ ​the​ ​chance​ ​to​ ​work​ ​on your​ ​problem-solving​ ​skills
  • –  Talk​ ​when​ ​you​ ​first​ ​meet​ ​with​ ​your​ ​doula​ ​about​ ​any​ ​specific​ ​expectations​ ​you​ ​have, or​ ​things​ ​you​ ​want​ ​them​ ​to​ ​do​ ​or​ ​​not​​ ​do.​ ​Be​ ​clear​ ​about​ ​what​ ​you​ ​want​ ​their​ ​role​ ​to be.​ ​This​ ​is​ y​​ our​​ ​birth​ ​and​ ​you​ ​are​ ​paying​ ​for​ ​a​ ​service.​ ​Make​ ​sure​ ​it​ ​is​ ​what​ ​you​ ​want!Don’t​ ​be​ ​afraid​ ​to​ ​ask​ ​for​ ​some​ ​privacy​ ​if​ ​you​ ​would​ ​like,​ ​at​ ​any​ ​time​ ​during​ ​labor.​ ​Privacy helps​ ​labour​ ​progress!​ ​And​ ​a​ ​good​ ​doula​ ​respects​ ​your​ ​needs​ ​and​ ​won’t​ ​feel​ ​put​ ​out​ ​in​ ​the slightest.

Doulas​ ​can​ ​help​ ​partners
➔ Stepping​ ​in​ ​to​ ​help​ ​when​ ​the​ ​partner​ ​needs​ ​a​ ​short​ ​break.​ ​Labor​ ​is​ ​hard​ ​work,​ ​not​ ​just​ ​for

the​ ​woman,​ ​but​ ​for​ ​those​ ​supporting​ ​her!

  • ➔  Offering​ ​suggestions,​ ​when​ ​asked,​ ​about​ ​strategies​ ​that​ ​might​ ​be​ ​comforting​ ​or​ ​helpfulduring​ ​labor.
  • ➔  Providing​ ​reassurance​ ​to​ ​the​ ​partner​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​the​ ​woman​ ​giving​ ​birth.​ ​If​ ​a​ ​partner​ ​has never​ ​seen​ ​a​ ​woman​ ​in​ ​labor​ ​before,​ ​it​ ​can​ ​be​ ​reassuring​ ​to​ ​have​ ​someone​ ​focused​ ​ontheir​​ ​needs​ ​to​ ​answer​ ​questions,​ ​give​ ​an​ ​encouraging​ ​smile,​ ​and​ ​put​ ​everything​ ​into context!​ ​This​ ​can​ ​be​ ​an​ ​amazing​ ​journey​ ​for​ ​partners​ ​too!
  • ➔  Providing​ ​information​ ​and​ ​an​ ​objective​ ​sounding​ ​board​ ​when​ ​you​ ​have​ ​questions​ ​or decisions​ ​to​ ​make.

 

©​ ​2017​ ​Childbirth​ ​International http://www.childbirthinternational.comAuthor:​ ​Nikki​ ​Macfarlane​ ​&​ ​

SandyMeadow​ ​(last​ ​updated:​ ​November​ ​23​ ​2017) ​

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