My husband and I recently had dinner with friends who are expecting their first baby, and it hit me at some point in the conversation that he was almost more insistent (or just louder ;-) about the need to hire a birth doula. I sat back and listened as he went on and on about the benefits of having non-judgemental support, and the many benefits to the whole family. So I asked him to write a blog post about his experience:
5 reasons everyone needs a doula, especially dads
The exact moment my wife told me we were hiring a doula is not clear, but I remember wondering “why?”. There were a lot of sleepless nights and stressful days in her pregnancy, and I wasn’t the pregnant one. I do clearly remember wondering what a doula was, and how that would help. We already had a midwife attending our home birth, how were we going to fit another person into our bedroom? Not to mention the doula was going to be photographing the birth. I had a lot of questions about how all this was going to work, but my smiling, very pregnant wife assured me it was all going to be ok, and I believed her.
It was a great decision.
As the pregnancy progressed there was always someone checking on my wife’s emotional state (and mine). Our doula was not unconcerned with my wife’s physical, medical condition, but was more focussed on her overall well-being. She was very clear with me about what I could do to assist my wife in her journey, and that little bit of information made all the difference.
I had no idea what was going on and I didn’t even know it. But our doula was there to guide my understanding of how the birth itself would happen, and how the pregnancy led into the birth experience.
I didn’t know I wasn’t ready to have a baby. All of my preparation was for naught! I was sleepy and overwhelmed, but so happy to be having a baby at home. I had someone to help me set up the birth tub, tell me where to stand, how to help, and when to ask if I could give a back massage.
Our doula knew exactly what was going on when I didn’t. Some of the birth experience was a little overwhelming for me, but I gained confidence from having a non-medical support person there. She was very kind, and let me know what was happening at each stage of the birth.
She helped clean up. We had a water birth. In our bedroom. In a bungalow in Atlanta.
atlanta doula . decatur doula . photographer