Dads to be
People often ask, if your partner is present during labour then why bother with a doula? I believe that not only can I support the mother-to-be but I can also enable the partner to be as involved as much as they want to be. Seeing your loved one in pain during labour and birth can be a challenging and stressful time to say the least. They can be unsure of how to help you and so get stressed. Partners are thrown into an unknown environment and can sometimes feel helpless and that's one of the reasons I am there. Dad's-to-be are as important as mothers-to-be!
Dads need support too
Here for both parents
Labouring women can take courage and strength from their partner but the partner needs support as well and I see that as my role. Many dads find they are under less pressure and feel a great deal more comfortable with the situation because they have someone present who they have both built up a rapport with and who also understands their partner's wishes and how the 'process' works.
Having attended several workshops for supporting fathers, this has reinforced my belief that the father needs as much support from me, as the mum – to the point that in my birth package I will suggest and I am happy to spend time with just dad during one of the ante natal meetings. It is just as important that he is as comfortable with me as the mum-to-be is so that I can help make the experience as wonderful as possible for them both.
As a doula, I feel really strongly that I am not there to come between partners, but to support and strengthen the experience of birth for them both. In my eyes the couple and new baby are the team and I am the team supporter.
My top three tips for Dads at the birth:
1. Never talk to a woman having a contraction
2. Always make sure the woman is well hydrated
3. Know the difference between a hair band and an Alice band
Useful Links for Dad's
Dad books for all different Dads
- Commando Day by Neil Sinclair
- Man with a Pram by Jon Farry and Stephen Mitchel
- Men, Love and Birth by Mark Harris
- The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
Free one day Dad classes
Post-natal depression in Dads
"As the father, there is a certain amount of feeling of helplessness in going through the birth of your first child. So much is unknown to both parents and you are relying entirely on the midwives at the hospital. Having Kayla as our doula took away so much of that worry for me, as I knew she would be with us the whole time, enabling me to focus on supporting my wife. She was wonderful, and even though we ended up having a c-section, it was incredibly reassuring to have one point of contact there at the hospital who could answer all of our questions and provide all the help we needed after the birth as well. Hiring Kayla was the best decision we made!"
Dad of a planned Caesarean - Earlsfield