Doulas and Dads/Partners

Doulas of Regina acknowledges that there are all kinds of birth-partners – the birth parent, a male or female partner, family, friends, professional support – or none at all.  Our birth and postpartum doulas support the birthing woman and anyone she chooses as her partner(s) or companions.

In North America we’re often taught that a laboring woman needs only her supportive partner to “get through labor”. For this reason many dads/partners (when meet are initially) wonder why the pregnant woman wants to hire a doula, and are reluctant to be “left out” of the process. Doulas support both the mother and her birth partner during labor, which allows for more closeness between mother and partner throughout the labor process. We honor and respect this bond. After the birth, dads/partners are just as happy as the woman that a doula was present, and have become some of our most vocal doula advocates!

Research shows that male partners provide more support, eye contact and hands-on comfort when a doula attends the birth.  Men are more useful, not less, with a doula.  Doulas help partners to be active and supportive to whatever degree suits them, on the continuum of “sitting in the corner quietly” to being very hands-on.  The mother and her partner experience higher degrees of birth satisfaction.  Family bonding is faster and stronger with birth and/or postpartum doula support.  Women have better breastfeeding experiences and breastfeed longer with doula support.  The whole family benefits!

…An excerpt from The Doula by Phyllis Klaus, MFCC, CSW & Marshal Klaus, MD

“Most labor partners have a strong desire to help and participate, and feel useful and necessary to the woman in labor. The woman wants to feel her partner’s love, sense of connection, responsibility and sense of sharing in the intimate experience of bringing their child into the world. But for the companion who shares an emotional bond with the laboring woman, it can be difficult to remain objective and calm when seeing her experiencing discomfort, fear or pain. In addition, the labor partner is usually trying to deal with his/her own share of emotions. In most cases, they will be wondering but afraid to ask, “Will everything be all right?”

“For these reasons, a doula’s presence can be very helpful. A doula provides nurturing, helpful and objective support so that the family member chosen to be present is not alone in supporting the woman through labor. The doula is not there to interfere with the communication between the woman and her partner, but rather to facilitate or enhance it. We have often noticed the look of relief that comes over the labor partner’s face when an experienced nurse, midwife or doula enters the room and remains with the couple. This sense of relief often enables partners to become more relaxed, loving and emotionally available than when they felt they were handling the challenge of labor alone.”

There’s an excellent article written by a dad at http://pregnancy.about.com/od/doula1/a/dads-and-doulas.htm. If a busy dad wants to check out only one thing, then this would be the one.

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