Friday, December 5, 2014

Four Reasons Why Husbands Want Doulas - Even If They Don't Know It Yet!

When I told my husband I wanted a doula for the birth of our second child, Joe was more than a little hesitant. Even after he met my doula, Marta, he still wasn't sold. Not because he didn't like Marta - but because he still wasn't sure why I felt like I needed a doula if he was going to be present at the birth. 

After our baby was here, though (read my birth story here), things changed significantly and Joe has become the biggest advocate for doulas that I know. Each time we find out a pair of our friends is expecting, he immediately turns to the husband and says "You need to make sure you hire a doula for your wife - trust me."

Since Joe has become such a huge advocate of doulas, I asked him to write his thoughts down for me so he could share a husband or birth partner's perspective about why doulas were so beneficial to the birth process. If you are a husband or birth partner, I hope you find this to be beneficial. Please feel free to ask Joe questions in the comments as well!
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Watching my wife endure pain is stressful for me. It's stressful for any guy. Especially when I can't fix it, don't know what's normal, don't know what's a problem, and don't know when to intervene and rescue. No matter how many birth videos, or birth books I may read, it all tends to go out the window when the person who is my emotional support system is screaming.

That is why every guy will thank themselves for getting a doula to help them through the birth process. A doula is a coach. A doula equals both convenience and peace of mind.

Here are my top four reasons why you, the husband, need to hire a doula.

1) Nurses and doctors will continually come and go, but a doula will stick around. Doctors operate on their own schedule but a doula is there for you through the whole process.

2) I can't rightly ask a doctor to help me and hand me a wet cloth to brush my wife's forehead, but I can ask the doula to help me. This is huge since many pain management techniques impair mobility of one or both partners.

3) When I feel like everything is chaos, the doula can say, "this is normal,” or  “try this." As the birthing expert, my wife will believe her before she believes me. This really helps both soon-to-be parents to let go of their worry and relax, which in turn helps labor progress.

4) With a doula present I felt at liberty to leave the room for a breather without feeling guilty. It might be to get a soda, use the bathroom, or just decompress with a brief lap around the ward. The point is my wife is not abandoned with no one to help her.

The saying goes that the first time the wife hires the doula, but the second time the husband does. Don't let the price tag make you blind to the help you both need. Many doulas will work out payment arrangements with you to help fit the cost more easily into your budget.

If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area, I highly recommend our doula, Marta of Dragonfly Doula. Do yourself a favor and get in touch with her or a doula in your part of the country today. You'll both be glad you did.

About the Author: 
Joe describes himself as a skeptical researcher and a hesitant convert to an eco-friendly lifestyle. While many of the healthy choices his family makes were initially driven by his wife, Joe has come to embrace several greener lifestyle changes after seeing the financial and health benefits firsthand.

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  1. I think my husband would agree with all of those statements. We hired a doula for our second birth and we were so happy we did!

  2. We had a doula for both of my boys. Frankly, I felt like the doula was more helpful with our second. This may sound bad but my husband had just gotten a huge promotion (in terms of responsibility) the week before our second was born. He was home but able to work during the first several hours of labor because I had a doula. He felt like he could take care of other stuff instead of just holding my hand the whole time and then, when it was time, he was right there in the midst of it.

  3. We also decided to hire a doula for my second birth. My husband wasn't sure but wanted me to feel supported. Afterwards, he was glad that she was there to reassure me through a natural water birth and take some of the pressure of my squeezing their hands during transition time!

  4. I absolutely loved having a doula! My husband felt lost and often anxious with our first birth, even with a midwife. We both loved having a doula for our 2nd and 3rd births. I recommend having a doula to ALL my friends!

  5. I don't have children but the idea of doulas has always seemed like a very good one to me. It's great to see the husband's side as well.


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