Worried a Doula Replaces Dad During Labor? No Way!
I've heard this concern many times -- won't a doula replace the father's role at the birth? After all, all the laboring classes are taught with the father taking a lead role in support. What will be left for him?
Plenty! Doulas do not replace the father at the birth. They don't replace the father any more than the nurses, midwives, and doctors do. The fact of the matter is, there's a lot going on during childbirth, and not just for the laboring mother!
So much pressure has been put on men to support their partners in this incredible experience. But has anyone thought about the emotional needs of the father? What about his worries? And how can a few classes be enough time to learn what a doula spends months and years learning how to do?
The fact of the matter is, it's not enough time. It's not enough training. What a doula can do is help the father best support his wife. The doula's presence will allow dad to take breaks and to get a chance to experience the birth of his child without all the added pressure.
Here are some of the ways that doulas help dads:
* Guilt free breaks (Labor can last up to, and sometimes longer than, 12 to 24 hours. How can anyone do that alone?)
* Helping dads be helpful (She's having back pain, what now? The doula knows.)
* Emotional support (for the dad! He's having a baby, too, you know!)
* Lessening the pressure (Why should the father carry the burden of releiving his wife of pain and fear by himself?)
And the best part? Research on doulas has found that having a doula present for the birth increased the positive feelings the mom-to-be and dad-to-be have for each other. A doula doesn't come between you -- she helps bring you closer together, just by being there!
You can read much more about dads and doulas in my book, The Doula Advantage.