I'm hoping to get some ideas from experience doulas. My first client is due in about 4 weeks, and really wants a doula at her birth. Her husband, however, does not. They are young (mid-20's) and after my meeting with them yesterday, it's clear that the husband is totally checked out of the birth. The mom has been preparing herself - reading books, a hypnobabies homestudy course, breastfeeding class, birth plan, etc. But, the dad won't get involved at all. We had our first prenatal yesterday, and dad stuck around for about 30 minutes and then left because the antenna went out and he couldn't watch the football game. After chatting with the mom, it turns out that dad really wants her to go to the hospital at the first contraction and is not supporting her desire of a natural birth at all. He won't go over scripts with her, or practice really supporting her and becoming involved in the birth. And yet his reasons for not wanting a doula are because he want the entire birth experience to be between them, which I understand, but he's really setting her up for a birth experience in the operating room. He's afraid I'm going to hijack his birth experience. I explained my role, and even used a head versus assistant coach analogy to explain that he and his wife are controlling the "plays" of labor and birth. I can be there are the silent assistant on the sidelines being told what to do, or can step in and take a more active roll.
Sorry for the long rant. I really want this woman to have a positive birth experience, and I fear that, as it stands now, it's going to lead to stress during labor and little support. Just curious if anyone else has been in a similar situation and has any suggestions. Thanks.