December 2013 Moms

Husbands and delivery

Background: first baby for us both, planning to go unmedicated, husband is really stubborn.

So I have been looking into hiring a doula and my husband thinks that he can handle anything the doula would do. I think he is going to turn into such a mess he may be useless.

For you STMs, how did your SO do when it came time for delivery and such? Would it have been nice to have extra help or did he remin competent? 

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Re: Husbands and delivery

  • My husband did an awesome job during labor and delivery. I gave him the job of timing my contractions and I think it helped him feel like he was actually doing something besides sitting there. While I was pushing, he held my leg and counted through my pushes. He was an amazing support.

    I think you need to have some faith in your husband.
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  • FTM here, but just wanted to say this is why I plan on having my mom in the delivery room when it comes time to push and when I transition. My fiance will do well helping me, but he's such a baby when it comes to needles or blood or anything like that sooooo I think my mom, who is also a nurse, will be a good 'doula' if my fiance starts getting queasy.
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  • SoMoNYSoMoNY
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    Think would have been a great help but ended up with a c-sect because DS heart rate dropped A LOT 10 min into induction.


  • I'm a FTM as well but have maybe asking him to meet with the doula with you so he understands more about what they do. I think it would help him understand why you would feel more comfortable if he was able to speak with her as well. Good luck!
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  • DH has been my only support in my two deliveries.  He's great, though sometimes he's so in awe of what's going on - the whole miracle of it all - that I have to remind him that I need him more than my cooch does!

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  • My husband was there and did exactly what I expected he would do. Rub my head and keep me company. My sister was my major support in giving birth. She'd suggest trying different positions to ease the pain, tell me when to push and held my leg up.

    I wouldn't have had it any other way. I wanted my husband there for support in a very different way then what I wanted my sister there for.
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  • My brother-in-law and his wife used a doula for her labor (2 weeks ago). He LOVED having the doula, because she showed him what he could do to help. She loved her doula, too, because her husband was able to give her massages and counter pressure that really helped during labor. She gave birth in a hospital, so she also liked that the doula knew what she could/couldn't do while hooked up to the monitors.

    A good doula should be unobtrusive but available, and empower both mom and dad to feel more in control. If your husband is squeamish about having a "stranger" around, you might point out that he can't intuitively know which massages will help, or when is a good time to get up and walk around, etc.

  • If your husband is interested/involved in your pregnancy, then he'll be as involved as he can be in the L&D process, too.

    My husband and I (loosely) follow the Bradley method of husband-coached childbirth. I didn't have a doula, I just had my DH. He was incredibly supportive. He timed my contractions, brought me anything I wanted, and reassured me that I was beautiful and strong. Most importantly IMO, my DH would remind me of our natural birth plan when things got scary for me. One of the feelings most women experience in labor is a feeling of despair ala 'I can't do it," and this is when they are selectable to unnecessary medical intervention (disclaimer: epis and other things are great tools for some women, just not us). DH always said that I could do it, and that the baby was coming very soon, and that I was strong and didn't need anything but to listen to my body. He also communicated my needs to the nurses and staff, so I didn't have to feel pressured by them when I was vulnerable.

    If you're concerned, you and your husband should read a Bradley book together so your husband will know exactly what he's signing up for, and you will have made it clear what is expected from him in L&D. If he's still up for it after getting all the information, don't get a doula - have some faith in your DH and give him a chance!


  • Thanks for all the advice! It's still early so we will keep learning and take it from there. Thinking about this stuff is so exciting!
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  • Definitely get a doula - their role is different than your husband's. They know what to expect, what's normal, what will help with labor pains, what positions to try if you're getting stuck, etc. Things your husband wouldn't know about.
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  • Our birth plan was no drugs unless it became unbearable. DH would stand by my head and hold my hand. What actually happened. DS was a week early. The on call dr said I was having Braxton hicks. 5 hours later they hadn't stopped. He said to come in and he would check me. At that point I had already sent DH to class. I called him and told him he better get back. I hung up the phone and my water broke. The hospital was 25 minutes away. We got down the road 10 minutes and DS was out! I caught him while sitting in the passenger seat. I was so proud of my hubby for not passing out while driving. The plan was for him to see nothing and instead he caught a front row seat. Your hubby might surprise you but it wouldn't hurt to have a doula for additional support. Mobile bumper
  • I'm a FTM, but planning to have an unmedicated, low-intervention birth as well. and H will be my only labor support, aside from our midwife (who will probably provide a different type of personal support than my former OB would have). I asked him straight up if he felt like he couldn't handle being the main support or if he wanted me to go ahead and find a doula, and he said he would prefer to handle it on his own. i'm doing hypnobabies and his copy of "The Birth Partner" just came in the mail yesterday, so he'll get reading on that soon. i have complete faith in him and i know that he will be a wonderful support system for me.

    it helps that i'm also an extremely introverted person (as is he) and i think that having ANOTHER person in the room would overwhelm both of us. obviously, i have never been through labor before and i have no idea what will actually happen or how i will react, but i'm anticipating wanting to be left alone for a great deal of it and retreating into myself. that would end up making a doula virtually pointless in my situation, and possibly put H in the awkward position of feeling like he needed to make small talk with her, which LOL. he is horrible at that.

    having said all of that, go with your gut. i know this is BOTH of you guys' baby, but it's your body that's going through birth, and if you don't think you will get the kind of support you need from your husband alone, then you need to be your own advocate and make sure you put someone else in a support position. talk to him more about it and try to help him educate himself more on the matter, but don't feel bad about wanting another person to help out. GL! :) 

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  • I went med free last time. My husband did all 12 weeks of the Bradley classes with me, and was very willing and prepared to do whatever he needed to. When the time came, I told everybody to leave me alone and labored by myself in the bathroom of my birthing suite. It's hard to know ahead of time what to expect, I think.
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  • My husband was invaluable during the delivery and able to provide so much support. He was there right with me all 40 hours doing everything he could. He is the reason I was able to use one of my legs in the months after delivery. My husband could only attend to one and the nurse failed on the other.

    Having said that, he isn't a doula and nor is yours. A good doula knows specific pressure points and pain management techniques that a well researched FTM or husband doesn't (even my husband who has delivered dozens of babies doesn't know these techniques). Some even do acupuncture.  If I'd had a doula, perhaps I would have been able to use both legs. 

    Labor is one of the most intense, possibly life threatening experiences you will go through in your life. It is worth it to have a professional at your side whose entire attention is focused on the quality of your experience - not just making it medically safe but making it as positive for you as possible.  If I were going for a VBAC I wouldn't hesitate to get one.

  • Well my husband is not exactly popular around here so I guess this isn't a shocker. Background 1st my bf is my nurse and pretty much deliverered both my girls. Her DH and my DH were in the room during labor, they were watching espn I think. She made her DH leave before the pushing, honestly at that point I didn't care lol. So it was my BF, DH and me during the delivery he was right by my side and kind of encouraging, but once he saw the yucky stuff he almost fainted, literally, he had to have oxygen. Bf told him to sit down " we got this" lol so yeah. He went to the birthing classes and everything, he tried but when it came down to it he wimped out. I'm glad my nurse is also my bf she really helped me feel comfortable, doc came in last minute and " caught" my DD haha. DH managed to cut the cord but he looked like an 8th grade " mean girl" trying to dissect a frog! So in answer to your question I think it's a good idea to have back up!
  • My H was a great support. I always feel calmer when he is around so just having him there was a huge help. I like to just sit quietly during a contraction and he was great about just being quiet when I needed helping me in and out of bed and distracting me with easy conversation when I was having a hard time. He held my leg when I pushed and told me I was doing a good job.

    I prefer it just being the two of us.
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  • I would count your husband out so quick. My dh has been great every time. I honestly don't know what I'd even do with a doula. She'd probably just be in the way.
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  • My DH was useless.  He was great throughout pregnancy and was a great dad as soon as he held DS.  But he was terrible during my 24 hours of Labor and C-Section that followed it.  He just didn't get what I was going through.

    I never really thought of it but that could be why I really wanted a midwife this time.  I know I'll get more support from my midwife than my DH.   

  • lp0lp0
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    My DH is horrible when it comes to anything medical. Hospitals freak him out and needles make him throw up. He stayed up by my head the entire time (in a chair) and tried not to pass out. Honestly I think trying to stay calm for his sake kept me calm. I didn't want anyone else in the room and was thankful for that after DS was born. It was a very special time that just DH and I shared. If you ask him though he will say it was the most terrifying experience of his life but was glad he was there for DS's arrival.
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  • My husband did a fine job but during labor I didn't want him touching me really.  I would say get a doula.  
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  • My Dh came through for both deliveries.  But I didn't have any concerns beforehand.  He was on board with our birth plan and he took time to prepare for his role as my support. 

    It also never hurts to have a doula around.  If you're aiming for med-free, better to have too much support than too little. 

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