Nobody here said "every woman must hire a doula". I have never hired a doula but I don't see why a woman can't choose that. Your opinion, on the other hand, seems to be that NO woman should hire a doula- you have made that pretty clear. I didn't miss your point, I heard it loud and clear when you basically said that a man who is anything but a woman's 100% labor support is uncaring, uninvolved, and that the woman is "writing him off" and why even be married?! Those are such ridiculous claims, I can hardly begin to unpack them all. A doula is not a "stranger" as you have asserted, at least no more a stranger than a midwife! It is not "aberrant" or "gross" (your words). Doulas are as involved or uninvolved as a couple decides. It does not necessarily mean that a father is not there as a coach or support person or whatever role the couple sees fit. Doulas and fathers as birth assistants and midwives and WHOEVER else the mother/family wants to be there can all contribute to a positive, perfect birth experience.
What about women without a partner?
What about women with a partner who is faint at the sight of blood?
What about women who just desire to have a strong, knowledgeable female presence at her birth and the father helps in making that decision?
Why can't each woman decide what is best for her birth, hopefully with the consent and input of her partner, without feeling judged by people who think and say things like you have?
Men can be educated, wonderful and invested in their families AND STILL have a doula present at the birth.
Sigh, you are missing my point. Daddies should be educated, wonderful and everything a woman needs.Men who are invested in their families shouldn't even blink when it comes to stepping up. Especially if you are already paired with an awesome midwife. I'm here to say that I find the MDC "every woman must hire a doula" attitude offensive.
I agree with what you say here! My husband is wonderfully supportive, but just not good with birth. We come from different cultural backgrounds, his where men are not at births and don't attend to laboring women. And while he wants to be there the minute the baby is born, I can personally attest that he isn't be best labor coach.
For our family, the best, most supportive thing he can do is encourage me and have faith in my ability to birth our baby and let me have the people around me that are really comfortable and happy to be at births. Since we decided to have it this way for this pregnancy, our relationship has been so much stronger and we've both been relaxed and happier.
Every family has different dynamics and every woman's needs are different. We don't all need to have our husbands as the sole providers of labor support. There is so much more they can do to show us the care and love they have for their families.
I felt this in my first labor too, I think I spent the majority of the time hiding away in the bathroom and telling him to wait outside! Then I kept wondering how he was handling me being in labor, what he was doing, if he remembered anything from the birth classes.... just too much distraction, like you said.
I'll be reading through all these later to get opinions for myself (I had always assumed I'd let whoever want to be there, be there, but thinking better now!), but wanted to share my SIL's last choices (I'm finally pregnant with my first baby, so I don't have any of my own stories, but these might help other people get ideas).
For her 4th child, at least half of the family came to the hospital (it's a large family, there were around 10 or more people in the waiting room for this birth). After the baby was born, I believe they had a nice family bonding time first, then the dad came out with their 3 girls and they announced that they had a baby brother (each saying one word at a time, it was very cute!). From there, the dad took back two or three people to see the baby. After a few minutes, he escorted them out and brought in the next couple. So after bonding time, he controlled who came in and out so that there wasn't a huge crowd and not too many people at once, or coming in when the mom wasn't in the mood, etc. That way, they were able to allow anyone who wanted to be there come, but still keep order and control how long everyone got to be in the room.
Then again, with their next two (twins), my husband and I didn't know she had even been in labor until the babies were born. We got a call from my husband's mom with the details, and where they were if we wanted to visit them. By that point, we were somewhat hurt that we didn't even know she was gone into labor and that we hadn't had the option to come (I believe we found out about it a few hours after the births), so we decided to just wait until a more comfortable time to visit (like when we wouldn't have to wait around to hold the babies). I wasn't too angry though, because I know our family can be crazy and pushy, so while I don't know her exact reason for doing it this way, I can totally understand--but it still would have been nice to be able to be there, and I'm just the sister-in-law, I can only imagine closer family feeling more hurt. But after a few months, the hurt left, especially as I remember it's about that family, not me.
Happily married to Tigger, SAHM to baby Roo.
With my first hospital birth it was dh, my mom, my aunt, my dad and his now wife in the room. I love having a picture of my dad holding his first grandchild when she was minutes old.
With my 2nd hospital birth it was, dh, my mom and my wonderful doula. We left the hospital AMA when my son was 6 hours old, i was not about to pay a $200 co pay to share a tiny tiny room and even smaller bathroom.
This birth will be at home. I honestly just want dh here and my mom if she wants to make the hour drive to be around for it. Dh mentioned his mom coming for the whole month of November and i don't really want that at all.
Harlan (11/4/2011)http://www.desertreadingloft.com--Independent Usborne Books Consultant
this will be my facebook status "we welcomed out LO into the world a few days ago. mom and baby are going great, but we would like a few more days to bond as our "new party of five" so no visitors or phone calls within the next 72 hours please. after that we will welcome HEALTHY visitors (no kids allowed) but only for short periods of time. Remember it is flu season and we want to keep our baby and family healthy! thanks everyone for understanding the need for family time.
Hi I am a mom of three ages 7, 3, and 2 mo.s, I was young and naive with my first but I definitely did not want to have many visitors at all with my second two. Probably because i'm a really private person, some people want the whole world to know, and that's fine. When my son was born my sister came in with her two young kids and i was so irritated by it! I just wanted her to visit, for some reason I was really irritated by her children. Of course I love them but i think nerves are running high right after you have a baby and you're very protective, to say the least. Hope this gives you some insight :)