Doulas aren’t just for mums and babies – they’re for dads and partners, too! But let’s talk just dads in this post and make it all about dads, as that’s my area of experience and expertise.
Dads, if you’re feeling sceptical about hiring a doula, wondering if a doula is worth the investment, or worried that a doula may replace you, check out these 3 ways doulas help dads at birth:
#1: Doulas empower you to play your role at birth with more knowledge, skill and confidence
Dads and doulas make a great team – you’re both key members of the birth team and doulas know how important you are. Part of their job is help you be the best birth support partner you can be and to have the best experience of birth you can have.
As someone who is knowledgeable about birth, they know what you need to know to help you as a dad to be ‘birth ready’. They also know what skills you need to have to play your role at birth effectively to make a positive difference for your birthing partner and to help create the best possible outcomes.
Most importantly, your doula will help you find your place of “I can do this!”, so that you feel safe and confident with your birth plan and your role before you’re called to play it during labour and birth. Your doula is a faith-builder who’ll encourage and support you to get there. Not just mum or you as a couple – but also you as a dad.
#2: Doulas are another set of hands and another advocate in your corner
The most important thing that a dad can bring to the birth space is presence. One of the greatest benefits of having a doula on your birth team is that they are another set of hands. And not just any set, but a skilled and caring set.
That’s right – you won’t have to be ‘the everything guy’ at birth. You can split roles so that everything is covered and taken care of. The beauty of this is that you don’t have to leave your labouring partner’s side to go get that drink, fetch that heat pack, warm that towel, fix a snack or anything like that – if you choose. Your doula can help take care of these things quietly and confidently in the background while you stay right in there with your partner, giving her the love, support and encouragement she needs to keep labouring and birthing. Your connection isn’t constantly broken and she can feel completely safe knowing you’re there with her every step of the way.
Importantly, your doula is a trained birth professional and can help you make sense of what’s happening in the moment, translating medical jargon and helping you to advocate for birth choices based your birth plan by informing and supporting you.
#3: Doulas are there to back you up, too!
Who’s got your back during birth, dad? Have you given this any thought yet? This is another huge benefit of having a doula on board – they totally have your back!
If you have a long labour and need to tag out for a while to have snack, break or even a short nap, your doula can step in to provide the support your birthing partner needs while you step out for some necessary and vital self-care.
Also, if any stage during labour or birth you feel overwhelmed and need a time-out to regather and re-centre, your doula can take over in an instant. You’ll also have someone asking if you’re ok and what you need in order to feel safe to step back in to play your planned role. This can be a real game-changer for dads and also for the entire birth experience. Doulas can and do make that huge difference for so many dads!
Perhaps of greatest peace of mind for dads is having someone else there if things don’t go to plan. Practically, mentally and emotionally. Birth doesn’t always go to plan and I know that most dads hold a fear of their partner and baby being harmed during birth. I’m not wanting or trying to play on that fear by advocating for doulas here. Rather, my intention is to highlight the simple truth that a doula will worth their weight in gold in the event that you’re in high-stress situation and need back up.
Doulas are one of the best choices and investments you’ll make on your journey to becoming parents – without doubt or question. Your birth experience and story lives with you forever. It’s one of the peak experiences of our lives. We might as well make it as amazing as we can, right?!
Congratulations on becoming a dad! Wishing you an awesome becoming dad moment and journey. If you’re considering hiring a doula, you’re off to a great start.
Darren Mattock ~ Becoming Dad