Father's Day is upon us, so it has me thinking about the role dads play in the birthing room and how doulas support them as well. They're an important part of your birth story too! As a doula I am not there to take dad's place, but rather support him in supporting you.
Here are some ways doulas and dads work together to ensure mom's birth preferences are met and that the overall outcome of her birth, is a pleasant & empowering one.
Doulas make sure dad is fed too
It's not just you who needs to eat, dads get hungry too. We sneak food to dad in between contractions and make sure that they are nourished and hydrated so that they can be fully present during the entire labor.
Doulas take over so dad can rest
Applying counter pressure for hours on end is physically tiring. (Don't worry, we don't let him complain about it though!) We jump in so dad can get a break, run to the bathroom or catch a snooze if he's been awake all night.
Doulas acknowledge dad's feelings
The birthing room is all about you, as it should be. Dads can internalize fears or concerns when a doctor speaks of an intervention they want to recommend, or when you are in pain and they aren't sure if it's normal. Doulas can give feedback to dad to put his mind at rest. Often times they aren't sure if what they are doing is helping. Doulas give them positive feedback and help them find their own groove with comforting you. We also remind them to use words & vocalize how great you're doing, how excited they are to meet your baby etc. (men and words, what's so hard about them!?)
Doulas aren't afraid of your pain
We know pain has purpose and we can encourage you through each contraction, keeping you grounded and confident. Some women lose a little bit of control during transition and dads want to go into fix it mode, naturally. They hate to see their partner suffering. We help you work through those tough contractions and help dad see that you've truly got this, you're almost to the end!
Doulas have postpartum visits
Unfortunately, in America, family leave isn't exactly up to par. Many fathers have to return to work shortly after the baby is born. Doulas help fill in this gap with their postpartum visits. Doulas check-in on you, help you process your labor and delivery, assist with breastfeeding and offer resources as needed. Doulas allow you the space to discuss all parts of motherhood, and help you navigate through these feelings. It can feel lonely to be home all day with a newborn, and some moms even resent their partners because they're able to break away, even if it means while working. 1 or 2 postpartum visits are common after birth. Many doulas offer postpartum packages to assist moms for longer periods of time and offer different services to help during this transition. You can find mine here.
If you want to know more about hiring a doula, and how a doula can assist you and your partner, schedule a free consultation! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org