Woman-to-woman support has been a cornerstone of birth support throughout human history. Whether medically, physically or emotionally, women have long been depicted helping other women as they transition into motherhood.
The recent (in the grand scheme of things) addition of fathers to the childbirth process has been a welcome and needed evolution in birth support. But this can sometimes lead to concern about a trained and professional support person also joining the team.
Common fears/questions from partners often include:
- What will my role be if a doula is there? Aren't I enough?
- Will she put pressure on me to aid my partner in a way I don’t feel comfortable with?
- That's a lot of money - do we really need her?
Instead of explaining my very biased (yes, doulas are amazing!) point of view, I reached out to some dads I've previously worked with. Here’s what they had to say:
During intense or stressful situations, our bodies automatically go into fight, flight or freeze mode. As labour is often a situation you have not encountered before, there can be a lot of stress as you realize the intensity it brings to your significant other. Neither fight, flight or freeze results in a supported and happy mother. Due to past experience and training, doulas are able to navigate these stressful situations by providing information, coping techniques, and support to both you and your partner.
I often explain it this way: when you train as a firefighter you don’t simply read books and then expect to know how to approach a fire. Instead you practice with your team, you experiment with various scenarios, and your body learns muscle memory relevant to your situation. A doula is part of your team, can help you practice for labor, and can help you recall those “muscle memory” moments when the stressful moments hit.
Partners are the most important member of the support team. Your decisions, thoughts, opinions, and feelings directly affect how mother/baby cope and thrive. As doulas, we are there to support you in this essential task so that you and your partner feel closer and more connected through the birth process than ever before. We're here for you dads - we're on your side.
What were your concerns about hiring a doula? Did hiring a doula turn out like you thought it would?
Bethany is a DONA International Certified Birth Doula and mother to an incredibly adorable micro-preemie. Supporting women from a heart space of wisdom and experience, she holds great reverence for mothers and the birthing process. Her passion lies in creating and cultivating an environment of trust, knowledge, and confidence both prenatally and in birth.