Attachment Parenting

f/u to Bradley post - doula question

We interviewed a doula in our area who I really like and clicked with. I haven't booked her yet because my husband is still really shaky about it. He's pretty much left it up to me to decide, but I think he's really afraid he's going to be pushed aside and made to feel uncomfortable and not a part of the birth. Any thoughts/input on that? Thanks!

Re: f/u to Bradley post - doula question

  • my husband felt the same way, but after meeting our doula, he felt much more relieved.  We just asked her, how do you and the husband interact?  how do you support him as well as the mom?  And she said part of her job was to watch the way we were interacting, to offer suggestions to him that he could offer to me, things like that.  She also pointed out how if labor was long (which it was) she was there to make sure I wasn't left alone if he needed to go out to get something to eat or run to the restroom.

    my husband is such a believer now that as soon as we got our BFP this time, he said, we need to call Lydia! (our doula)

  • The three of you need to have a conversation about who is going to do what, how to keep your husband involved, what you want from the doula, etc.

    We had a great doula experience.  It avoided the situation where DH and I were alone in the L&D room for long stretches between nurse visits.  She was able to stay with me while DH made phone calls or talked to my parents in the waiting room.  She was able to go get my parents after DS was born so DH and I could have a few minutes alone with him.  Sometimes she massaged my feet and helped with pain management and sometimes she showed DH what to do.

    They were each standing right beside me (one on each side and one with each leg, LOL!) during the birth.  DH gave me general encouragement ('you're doing great' 'I can see the head' 'focus') and the doula (and nurse) gave me specific directions about how to push, sit, etc.

    I have no regrets and it we were going to do it again DH wouldn't have any reservations about hiring a doula again!

    Heather Margaret --- Feb '07 and Todd Eldon --- April '09
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  • I'm SO glad we hired a doula.  She was recommended by my midwives, so not only did we click with her, but we knew she worked well with them and the hospital.

    Like pp said, just ask a lot of questions until you and DH feel comfortable about what his role will be.  I think doulas now understand that people may assume that the DH gets pushed aside, so they go out of their way to counteract that belief.  That's the way my doula was at least.

    I will definitely hire my doula for every birth I have.  She came to my house at 4 in the morning to labor with me, and she was on the phone with the midwife on call throughout the night to update her.  Then when we got to the hospital we were able to go right in and the paperwork was waiting for me at the ER desk!

  • Mrs.KLFMrs.KLF member
    I had a great experience with my doula - I honestly remember very little of her during my labor.  Almost all my memories involve my husband supporting me.  I know she was guiding him and I know she took over for him a few times when he needed a break, but for the most part, she was there to make sure my husband knew how to make things easiest on me.  And DH says he can't imagine having to go through it all without a doula - he says she was the best decision we made! :)
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  • My husband was the same way and then we interviewed her and she asked him if he felt put off at all. He said he was worried about the same thing your H is and she assured him that she wanted nothing but us to have a wonderful experience together! She did not want to take his place just to be there to help him help me. Boy was she! I had a 24 hour active labor and she was there for 20 hours of it and I can not imagine doing it without her help and my husband say's the same thing! We were a team but at the same time when she knew we needed our space she gave it to us! We both LOVE her and while I can never imagine not having my husband there it was great to have a woman that had been through it all to be there as a nurturing, totally non judgmental helper. I HIGHLY recommend a doula! Here is a great article on doula's and dads! Also we took our childbirth classes with our doula and that gave us time to really get to know her!

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • We did Bradley and our instructor was our doula...she never pushed DH aside.  In fact, he was grateful to have her there for support and a break, when needed (if only to grab a sandwich and use the restroom).  I was glad to have them both (and my mom) was a great team and each supported me exactly as I need them to...DH felt the same.
  • I'm training to get my doula certification and have been present for a few births already. IME, I try to encourage the dad to be as involved as possible. With one couple, I even showed dad some early labor relaxation and massage techniques to do before I got there. Did your DH go to the first meeting with the doula? If not, I really encourage him to go to at least one (more if possible) of your prenatals with your doula. It'll help him to be comfortable with her presence so that when all of a sudden she's there at such an intimate time, it won't feel so weird. And I really, really suggest you bring this up to your doula too. And be specific. I'm sure she has her own way of making sure that dads feel part of the experience.

    Also, from my personal experience, I didn't have a doula with my first birth. DH was awesome, but I know there were times when he felt kind of helpless. We'll have a doula with our next one and part of the reason I'm insistent on it is because I want someone there to give him suggestions so that he feels more involved this time.

  • Thanks everyone! DH was there for the interview appt, and she does 2 prenatal appts on top of that one so DH will have plenty of time to get to know her. I went ahead and booked this evening....asked him one more time what he thought, and he said he supports whatever I want to do. So I emailed her before I changed my mind again!
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