What’s a doula from the Dad’s Perspective?
Okay dads, this is written just for you. Yes, I am a doula. I also love sports. I know you probably have a hundred questions, but I hope to answer a few here. If not, please email.
What is my role in birth?
A doula, also known as birth supporter or labor coach, is a person who assists a woman before, during, or after childbirth. This coach may also provide encouragement to the spouse and family by providing physical and emotional support. Continuous support during labor has been linked with improved maternal and fetal health, including lower risk of induction and interventions. These benefits are particularly significant when continuous support is provided by someone who is not there as family/friend or as medical staff (such as a doula). Sometimes, a doula is hired to support families in the postpartum stages for as long as needed (sometimes, this support can be ongoing for several years)1. A doula, in this role, may care for the newborn while the parents sleep, work or take care of their physical or emotional needs.
So, let’s put that into a sport. How about baseball?
Mom is the pitcher. She is going to control the game. She wants this win!
Dad is the catcher. Not to say you will do the catching, but it is the relationship between the pitcher and catcher that will win the game! The catcher can calm the pitcher and knows her the best.
The doula is the base coach. They watch the field, encourage the players, and knows the game very well.
Head coach is your care provider. He/she is there to take lead of the game when necessary.
Does that make sense? Dad’s you have an amazing opportunity during the birth of your sweet baby to become a new dad and to be the hero of your spouse.
Doulas want you to feel supported and cared for too! This a family job. We care for mothers, babies, and fathers. During the birth process, which can go on for many hours, a doula is there to grant you opportunities to go for nourishment or to take a brief break. Your spouse will be supported the entire time. Once the baby is born and you are enjoying those precious new moments as a family. Many doulas will take pictures for you. When you are settled, your doula slips away to allow further bonding.
In a few weeks, your doula will make an appointment to follow-up. At that time, they will make sure the family is adjusting well. She will offer encouragement, support and be on her way. She is available for other services as requested.
Take care new dad and enjoy your family!
1 Doula. n.d. In Wikipedia. Retrieved August 28, 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doula