Doula?

Discussion in 'Pregnancy Club' started by New-B, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. New-B

    New-B Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello all,

    I'm a 'Dad to be', and I just wanted to get some outsiders' perspectives on this subject. I'm admittedly having a tough time getting my head around it, and need it off my chest.

    My wife seems quite attached to the idea of having a Doula involved. I want to be as supportive of everything she wants and needs over the next 9 months as humanly possible, of course... But I'm having a lot of trouble with this one.

    Maybe it's my "fem side" talking, but I've always imagined what "the delivery room experience" would be like, and I've always looked forward to being the "pillar of strength" that she would need in her hardest moments. (before and during labor). From what I understand, a doula's job is to more or less take that responsibility away from me. The only true "challenge" that I'll have to face that day is being handed to someone else..

    I think I'll feel completely useless, in the way, and at no point will I feel like I'm able to fulfill my most important roll as a father and husband..

    I'm not a selfish person, but we're also open with eachother about how we feel. It seems I'm between a rock and hard place...?

    Anyone's thoughts?
     
  2. Emsy26

    Emsy26 Mum of 4 & Wife-To-Be xx

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    2,624
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't mean to sound 'thick' but whats a doula? x
     
  3. New-B

    New-B Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not thick at all!! That was my first response! To be totally honest, I don't know 100% of the answer, but more or less, I understand that it's a roll held by a female, to help coach through out the pregnancy, and she's committed to be there for delivery as well.

    She offers pre-natal massage, shoulder, head massage, etc. in the closing hours before the delivery. The way it's being "described" to me, is that "the guy" needs a break too, especially if it's a long labor, and she'll send the guy to go get drinks, take walks, use the washroom, etc. A doula would be in addition to the Dr. or mid-wife.

    The Dictionary says this:
    "A doula is an assistant who provides various forms of non-medical support (physical, emotional and informed choice) in the childbirth process. Based on a particular doula's training and background, the doula may offer support during prenatal care, during childbirth and/or during the postpartum period. A birth doula is a care provider for labor. Thus a labor doula may attend a home birth or might attend the parturient woman during labor at home and continue while in transport and then complete supporting the birth at a hospital or a birth center."

    ... Just sounds like I would be the 3rd wheel at my own baby's birth!
     
  4. Whisper

    Whisper Mummy to DD & DS

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,146
    Likes Received:
    0
    a Doula is a woman that assists the parents in the birth of baby, kind of like a midwife but not there for the baby she is there for the mum and dad (partner).
     
  5. Whisper

    Whisper Mummy to DD & DS

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,146
    Likes Received:
    0
    To be honest i think you should both discuss the pros and cons of having a Doula, and maybe even perhaps arrange a meeting with a prospective Doula?

    I can totally understand where you are coming from, but I can also understand why your wife might want a Doula. Obviously no.1 she has A LOT of experience in this area and will be able to coach her in the right direction when needed, she is there pretty much to take the stress away from both of you and i believe she is there to assist you as much as your wife. (aside from the fact that she is going to be doing all the pushing lol)

    I don't think you would be the 3rd wheel at all, she is there to help you as much as you BOTH want her to. She is there to offer support and guidance for BOTH of you.

    It can be a very stressful time especially if you haven't experienced it before, i am pretty sure that my hubby would have liked to have someone with the time and experience to explain things to him properly. As great as the midwives are they often are too busy too give 100% attention (from my experience anyway)
     
  6. Whisper

    Whisper Mummy to DD & DS

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,146
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the Doula should be doing that! Not the Dad i guess it depends on the Doula.
     
  7. Kitten

    Kitten Mummy to Theakston & Nyah

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    6,300
    Likes Received:
    0
    From what I've read the doula is basically an experienced birth partner. I think the pros people see is that she basically knows what she's talking about so can tell the doctors and midwives straight "she doesn't want that" without feeling like she's going to be shouted at, lol.

    Like, if you're in hospital and have your birth plan and the doctor comes in and starts talking about inducing you and telling you what they're going to do and not giving you much choice in the matter, you tend to just go along with it because you don't have the energy/strength/knowledge to argue, whereas a doula will be like "woah woah no you don't, we don't want an induction". But there's no reason why the father couldn't do this, in fact, this is going to be my husbands main role throughout the birth and we're going to spend a lot of time working on the birth plan together so he knows exactly what I do and don't want and when to speak up etc.

    I think it's great that you're so supportive of your wife. Is this her first baby? Do you have family and stuff close by? Maybe she's more nervous about the birth than you realise and wants the extra support of a woman who 'knows what she's going through' or whatever and that she can rely on to speak up for her because she's paying them to do it, if you see what I mean? I can see why you're upset about it though. I think you just need to have a bit of a chat and get to the root of why she wants one so much which to be honest will probably answer a lot of questions and help you figure it out together.
     
  8. Phexia

    Phexia Sort of ttc nr. 4

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    5,218
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've only heard the opposite. That the doula is to support both parents and will never replace the father or take over his role in the birth. That the dad should be more able to focus on the mom & new born baby with the doula there.

    Studies have shown that births with a doula are less likely to end in a c-section and other interventions. I know a doula and she says that sometimes fathers feel out of place during the birth and that one of her roles is to help them understand that their being there is invaluable and help them find ways to be a part of the experience. That she'd never push a father aside but instead just be there if he needs support.

    Of course I can't speak on behalf of all doulas :) but I'm sure most of them would never push the father away. They're just there to support if it's needed.

    I'd love to have a doula attend my birth because my husband doesn't have a clue what do say or do during birth, even if we've already had 2 kids and I've tried to coach him before the birth, telling him what I want etc. He could not keep me calm or give me reassurance but I'm pretty sure a good doula would have. But I know of fathers that "do their homework" and are really supportive during the birth, so everyone's different ;) And of course doula's are different too. If you get one, make sure you both like her from the start :)

    Bit of a ramble, sorry. And forgive my english, not my first language :) (and welcome to b&b btw)
     
  9. New-B

    New-B Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, you certainly all make a good point... That we just need to keep talking our way through this. Funny - communicating always ends up being the best answer, doesn't it!?

    To answer one persons' question, (I apologize, I'm not good at quoting, and everything -I'm a new forum user..haha).. yes, this is her first pregnancy, and we do have lots of family close by. (none of which will be in the delivery room, but they'll surely be just outside the door. :)

    I'm certainly not "patting myself on the back", but I like to think that I tend to be more the type to do his homework, and go into these things fully equipped with the best emotional support possible. Sounds weird, but I've always been that way for people - especially my wife. In fact, even my career is reflective of that..haha. I think that's part of the reason why I'm having such a difficult time with it in my head... It's like the one time in my life where having that skill set could never be MORE important, and I won't even be able to use it to it's full potential.

    Thank you again - all of you - for your support and thoughts. This "forum thing" isn't such a bad idea after all!! haha..
     
  10. marley2580

    marley2580 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Messages:
    6,264
    Likes Received:
    0
    One way to look at a doula is as a buffer between the medical staff and you and your partner. She can allow you to concentrate 100% on supporting your wife by ensuring that you both understand what is being said etc. Also, many women (myself included) feel the need for another woman to be present as well. For me it was my mum, but many women prefer someone such as a doula. There's no two ways about it, you won't understand everything she's going through and experiencing, only another woman can understand some things.

    Remember that a doula is there as well as you, not instead of you.
     
  11. New-B

    New-B Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Marley2580-

    That's another great point. They would certainly add an additional buffer. We're planning also on having a mid-wife though. Is having both not more than enough? I see a midwife (and I may be all wrong here) as a much less "medically focused" woman, with the ability to bring more 'personality' and 'warmth' (not to mention that very important female perspective which I can't provide) to the experience than a Doctor would.

    I think the reasons that I do like the midwife idea are the same reasons that one might appreciate a Doula. Having both seems like more "buffer" than is "necessary" (for lack of a better way to say it)..?
     
  12. marley2580

    marley2580 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Messages:
    6,264
    Likes Received:
    0
    Where are you? If you're in the UK everyone has a midwife and as with anything there are good one's and bad ones. If you're actually hiring a MW that's a bit different and she should be able to perform similar functions as a doula - although a doula has nothing to do with the birth whereas the MW is there to help your wife deliver a healthy baby. Have you asked your wife why she wants a doula as well?
     
  13. New-B

    New-B Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    We're actually in Canada. I haven't asked her why specifically she wants both, but I do know that she wants each of them for what she thinks is different reasons. We're meeting with a couple of Midwife's this week, maybe it's a question we should bring up to them too.. Perhaps if they think they can fulfill the all of our needs, we wouldn't necessarily need a Doula. I'll ask my wife that question tonight.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice