Dads and doulas work together to help you have the best birth experience possible.

Women with many varieties of birth plans are hiring doulas to help support them during their birth and the postpartum period. This makes my doula’s heart smile! Studies have shown that having a doula at your birth lowers your chance of having a cesarean section and women are more likely to have a positive experience with their birth.

BUT….doulas aren’t just there for the moms-to-be. They play a key role in helping dads. Doulas offer dads invaluable emotional and practical support during the overwhelming experience of childbirth.

I have had the wonderful opportunity to support many dads during all kinds of births. Some dads are very hands-on and love to be part of the action. While others like to be quieter and calmer in the room. Having a doula there to help guide dad will make a world of difference.

At the first birth, I attended as a doula the dad was so awesome. He was the one in the partnership that read every book and watched every video. Dad was very prepared for what could happen.

I got a call from them at 4 pm on Christmas night, “Kim, my labor has started!”. Dad already had an app running and was timing the contractions. They told me it was time for me to get to their home and help support them.

When I got to their home dad had mom sitting on the birth ball. She was moving her hips side to side. Dad was down on the floor right by her side breathing with her. Shortly after, it was time to go to the hospital.

After arriving at the hospital, mom continued to use the birth ball. Dad continued to be right by her side breathing with her. I was able to support them both. We continued giving mom back rubs, cold rags, lots of encouraging words, and other support along the way. I was able to support dad by giving him guidance and reminding him of things he had already learned about.

When it came time to push dad was right up next to mom’s head. He continued breathing with her. He told her how amazing she was and how great she was doing. My job was to support the mom’s legs while she pushed her baby out.

I love how this dad was so involved. My hope is that they look back on their birth and remember the amazing connection they had during this experience. Although I believe my role as a doula is very important, it is ultimately about the birthing couple.

It’s common for dads-to-be to worry that having a doula during delivery might push them out of the main labor support role. I want to reassure you this is NOT the case.

Here are four important ways doulas can help make your baby’s birth a beautiful, memorable experience for you and your partner.

Around-the-clock Support

Doulas offer continuous labor support, starting from that exciting phone call telling them that your labor has started. They stay at your side until a few hours after your baby is born. Unlike nurses, doctors, and midwives, who have shift changes, doulas will stay with you the entire time. Yes, if the labor is extremely long a backup doula may be called in to take over if needed, but most doulas don’t end up having to do this.

Knowing that you have a doula there to support you for the long haul is reassuring to both mom and dad-to-be.

Doulas Support Your Vision

Doulas are there to back you and your choices if that means a water birth at home or a planned c-section in the hospital. Some families want their doula to be more hands-on, it is the client’s direction that determines what type of support is given. It is not about what the doula wants. As a doula, I am more focused on fostering the connection between the mom and dad. Your doula will talk with you during your prenatal visit to get an idea of what kind of role you and your partner would like her to play.

An Extra Set of Hands

There are a lot of benefits to having a doula with you throughout the entire delivery experience. All-day care means your partner can rest, relax, or take a break if needed. A doula can step in when it comes to necessities like getting water or a meal, taking photos, and even updating friends and family. This frees up your partner so he can fully concentrate on supporting you.

Bringing Wisdom and Experience

Most of the time dads are experiencing birth for the first or second time, but doulas have attended a number of births and are a wealth of experience and knowledge to draw from. Doulas can reassure a worried dad that the moaning is in fact normal, or that pushing can take a few hours for a first-time mom. A doula will talk to you and your partner through decisions that may need to be made during labor. They can offer various ways to comfort you, including changes in position, massage, and relaxation techniques. Dads and Doulas work together to support the mom-the doula brings her knowledge of birth, and the dad brings his love for you as the laboring mother.

Expecting Parents Want to Know

The question is frequently asked by skeptical dads/partners, “Will a doula try to take my place?” The answer is “Absolutely not!” As the father/partner you love and have a history with the birthing mother. You are knowledgeable about how she deals with pain and stress. You are aware of areas where she may be challenged and know of ways to support her.

Why Hire a Doula?

As a doula, I have extensive training and knowledge about the birthing process. I have skills in physical, mental, and emotional support, as well as comfort techniques for the laboring mother. I have experience supporting families before, during, and after the birth of their baby.

A doula can also take some of the stress and pressure off YOU–the partner–by keeping track of labor. You can hold the laboring mother’s hand for hours without having to worry about timing contractions, or thinking about effective position changes.

Doulas can give you suggestions on helping the mother stay comfortable. They can provide you with breaks during a long labor, and give you a chance to eat or rest without worrying about leaving mom alone. You may feel concerned seeing the person you care about in pain, and a doula can remind you of the intensity of normal labor, and that mother and baby are fine. A doula will help support you both throughout the labor so that you and your mom get to have the best possible experience on your baby’s birthday!

To read more about the benefits of Dads and Doulas.

Together, doulas and partners are the perfect combinations for a winning team!

Contact me today, so we can get you that winning birth team!