Dads & Doulas

Let me set the scene. My wife is a couple of months pregnant with our first child and we’re discussing who we want in the delivery room. I’m about to learn a new word — doula.

“I want to hire a doula,” she told me.

“A what?” I say.

“A doula — a birth coach or midwife,” she said.

Silence.

At first, I was offended. I thought this was an experience for the two of us, welcoming our first child into the world together. The thought of a total stranger in the room offering advice like a football coach — “Push, woman!” — completely turned me off. I envisioned myself being relegated to the back of the delivery room, peering over someone’s shoulder while a woman reeking of incense tended to my wife’s every need.

But there’s another important piece of information. My wife intended on having a natural birth and she believed a doula would encourage and enable her to make that wish come true.

When we met the doula that my wife wanted to hire, I was skeptical. She was nice enough — and smelled like a normal person — but the new age vibe in the office worried me. However, after a few practice sessions and meetings I came to realize that the doula would not remove me from the equation of the birthing process, instead she would make sure that I played an integral part. She reassured me that I had a clearly defined role — to be the partner that my wife needed in order to have the smoothest, most successful delivery possible. In fact, the doula made me more a part of the birth than I thought possible.

Not only did the doula walk us through each phase of the birth, she taught us various breathing techniques to use to be relaxed during one of the most stressful times of our life. When the time came to head to the hospital, she met us there, helped us navigate the highs, lows and demands of the birth and kept us sane as the peaks and valleys of the labor washed over us. The doula became like an extended member of our family — a comforting and trusting partner in the most intimate of moments.

As my wife’s labor pains increased, the doula reminded us of the positions we had practiced and breathing techniques, walking us through a sort of choreography to allow the birth to happen freely and naturally. Ultimately, my wife had two natural births and brought two beautiful, happy children into the world.

Having a doula in the delivery room not only gave my wife the confidence and trust to accomplish her goal but allowed me to help her in ways I never imagined. It was not just my wife giving birth; it was us, as a couple, fulfilling our birth plan with the aid of a trusted friend, a doula.

I’m curious. Has anyone else hired a doula? What was your experience? Would you recommend it to others?

Comments

The Beginning
About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

A Little Weirdness is Good…

“People are strange,” said Jim Morrison, “when … [Read Article]

The Instruction Manual for Two Boys…

The following excerpts are 100% real.  The words … [Read Article]

Wander Near…

As a native and lifelong resident of Washington … [Read Article]

Comments

  1. I think your concerns are what most men are worried about when they hear that their wife wants a doula. Your experience should be told to anyone who is considering hiring one.

    • Happiest Daddy says:

      Thanks Brandon. My fears were quickly and completely allayed by the professionalism and care shown by our doula. I would certainly recommend a doula to any husband or wife.

This is what I think...

*