How Dads & Doulas can work together! - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-02-2012, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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-I wanted to post this to address a common misconception about the idea that having a Doula means you're having someone else take the place of the Dad and open up a dialogue on the subject.  What are some of the thoughts that came to mind when you and your SO started talking about getting a doula?  Did you do the research together?  Did you interview them together?  What questions did you ask to make both of you feel more comfortable with the idea?  If you had a doula, what did she do to make BOTH of you feel supported fully?

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What Specialized Knowledge Does a Doula Have?

 

One thing to realize is that a Doula is very schooled in the knowledge of Childbirth - labor, all its phases and stages, its nuances.  She knows what labor positions to use when, to help keep labor moving forward, to help keep the baby in an optimal position, to alleviate some of the pain you're feeling in labor as well as to help keep the stress off of the baby.  It's nothing against the husband.  He is there for intimately personal emotional support.  That can never be replaced!  ;)  

 

A Doula also knows many tips and tricks to use to help keep you focused away from the pain and stay informed and educated fully on what is actually going on so that you can truly make informed decisions when you need to at a critically emotional time.  She can help you find a way to put together a polite and compact list of Birth Goals that seem non-invasive to the Doctor/Midwife & Hospital Nursing Staff but still serves your needs as well.  She can also help you become more of an informed advocate for yourself, by teaching you how to talk to your Doctor/Midwife in an assertive but diplomatic way.

 

Doula's Support both of you emotionally, educationally, physically, and mentally!  True no one knows exactly what will happen during labor.  But the deck will be stacked in your favor with a Doula, leaving your husband to focus solely on you and the baby, knowing you have your own labor support person to stay with you from early labor in your home-where you should labor as long as you can, throughout the entire birthing process and even a little after to make sure you get started off on breastfeeding and bonding well!  No shift changes!  She's there for all 3 of you and serves your interests, not the Doctor's or the Hospital's. 


~Ginny Mills  (Mom to 3-ages  dd-5(DIVA), ds-8(ADHD), & dd-18(Asperger's)

Doula/Childbirth & Parenting Educator & B.A. in Psych w/ Early Childhood Ed/Marriage & Family Counseling

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Old 09-02-2012, 08:29 PM
 
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Actually, I've seen the reverse. I've seen doulas edge out caring fathers from the birthing scene of their own children. Really, moms know who you are hiring. Ask questions of the moms who worked with her before. Make sure you don't loose that incredible couple bonding time that can happen the moment you first become parents together.
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:19 PM
 
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DH and I haven't had a doula there either time for that very reason, and I plan to hire a doula that I know so that I feel totally comfortable saying, "Hey, help us out" or "Hey, can you help DH by being a support person for him and remind me of positions and stuff?" I feel like we need a doula this time in case things don't go my way and I have to be put under or something. Also, just the handling of two babies after they are born seems to require someone else unless I want nurses handling my babes. (I dont, even though I usually like my nurses). I feel like I may need a doula to advocate for my rights and do things like make sure babes dont get bathed or fed formula and pacis. DH and I are probably just going to need some help this time and I don't want him to get pushed out of the picture.


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Old 09-02-2012, 09:31 PM
 
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My DH was so grateful for our doula. Hire someone you trust and assert the role you want him or her to fulfil.

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Old 09-03-2012, 12:07 AM
 
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We opted to hire a doula who is new-ish, but is also an incredible photographer. I'm having a homebirth and my midwife is also trained as a doula. DH & I feel like we'll probably have enough support w/o a doula, but I wanted one just in case and finding someone who could do both was such a great option. If DH or I don't need the support and guidance, she'll be free to take lots of great pictures. If we do, she'll be there for that.

 

I think the most important things are to communicate with your birth partner, care provider and any other support staff and to get educated on what you want. Then make a decision based on that.
 

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Old 09-03-2012, 12:55 AM
 
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Asking how a doula would work with my DH for support was one of my interview questions. I said throughout the pregnancy that it his birth too - his baby is being born as well, so its an important experience for him. We didn't hire a doula because we thought she could possibly edge out DH. We interviewed three and choose the last one. She was perfect and we have some amazing photos of DH catching DD!

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Old 09-03-2012, 11:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Again, I am really sorry you had bad experiences, Philomom, but you need not follow my posts just to discourage others.  You made your point to me the first time.  Most doulas are trained to work with couples as a team and not get in the way.  Again, I don't know how many times or on how many of my threads, I can apologize to you on.  :)


~Ginny Mills  (Mom to 3-ages  dd-5(DIVA), ds-8(ADHD), & dd-18(Asperger's)

Doula/Childbirth & Parenting Educator & B.A. in Psych w/ Early Childhood Ed/Marriage & Family Counseling

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Old 09-04-2012, 10:52 AM
 
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I didn't say the bad experiences were mine. They were girlfriends. Both had different doulas and different settings. In both cases, the doula made the hubby feel unwelcome. One dad fought like hell to get his place back. The other dad gave up and flipped on the tv. That latter couple later got divorced. I always feel it was because he felt out of step with his new family from the very beginning.


I'm upset with your all over posts because I feel you are just using the MDC for free advertising. Not cool and I have reported you.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As I have said on all my other threads to which you have continually said the same thing.  I am not attacking you.  I do not understand why you are attacking me.  I am sorry if those 2 doulas behaved inn appropriately.  But I have tried to explain that the mission of a well trained doula is never to take the place of the partner, it is to support them as well and help them to become even better at supporting mom along with the doula as a team.   I also noticed that you seem to have a problem with doulas in general and have singled me out to attack.  I have been very polite to you.  I am here to help many people by making helpful information and education available.  For your information, I live in a rural area, and I can only serve someone that lived no more than an hour away.  That's only 45-65 miles depending on the area.  And only a handful of hospitals that even deliver.  I have made no contacts through this forum.  And the statistical odds of anyone being in my area are nil on a national board.  Again, I apologize if it seemed that way to you.  I will once again re-write my post so as to be more clear.    


~Ginny Mills  (Mom to 3-ages  dd-5(DIVA), ds-8(ADHD), & dd-18(Asperger's)

Doula/Childbirth & Parenting Educator & B.A. in Psych w/ Early Childhood Ed/Marriage & Family Counseling

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Old 09-04-2012, 08:17 PM
 
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I apologize.  I was trying to open a dialogue about labor support with pregnant moms to learn from them.  Again, I was only trying to be helpful.  Not invasive.  :(


~Ginny Mills  (Mom to 3-ages  dd-5(DIVA), ds-8(ADHD), & dd-18(Asperger's)

Doula/Childbirth & Parenting Educator & B.A. in Psych w/ Early Childhood Ed/Marriage & Family Counseling

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Old 09-05-2012, 08:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

I didn't say the bad experiences were mine. They were girlfriends. Both had different doulas and different settings. In both cases, the doula made the hubby feel unwelcome. One dad fought like hell to get his place back. The other dad gave up and flipped on the tv. That latter couple later got divorced. I always feel it was because he felt out of step with his new family from the very beginning.
I'm upset with your all over posts because I feel you are just using the MDC for free advertising. Not cool and I have reported you.

To be fair, she does have an "advertiser" tag under her name, so I seriously doubt it's "free advertising."


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Old 09-05-2012, 01:39 PM
 
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soapbox.gif  Just to chime in that I think there are two sides to the coin & a forum for pregnant women is a great discussion place for the pros/cons of hiring a doula -- as long as it's done in a non-threatening way. Personally, I have a client (I'm a doula, but also a pregnant mom) who's husband is pretty iffy about her desire to hire me as a doula. He's consented to it, but only on the stipulation that I am there to relieve him and read her Hypnobabies scripts to her. He does not want suggestions for me or criticism (I really hate to think of the doula who criticizes the father for his involvement), and I am going to respect that. I've tried sharing some articles on how a doula can work with the dad to support, but he's having none of it. I think it's important for dad's & expecting moms to have resources, such as online forums, to the benefits of working with a doula, and also to the red flags that could come with it. As a doula, it's beneficial to me to hear all of the stories (good and bad) that women have had with doulas to remind me of how I should behave & that I might need to set my pride aside from time-to-time. 

 

As for DoulaGinny's postings -- she is paying for advertising. Her business may benefit from referrals of those near her that see her posts and contact her, but mamas everywhere can benefit from her experience and opinions (whether they decide to take the advice or not) as they try to stay afloat during this crazy time of pregnancy. Isn't that the point of forums?? To gain advice from others who are going through or have been through similar experiences? As for the doula forum -- it's for birth professionals. We don't need to discuss the benefits of working with a doula because we know -- that's why we got into the practice orngbiggrin.gif

 

OK, enough of my soapbox. Just got frustrated with the way the conversation was going. I'll blame it on the hormones.


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Old 09-05-2012, 02:07 PM
 
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Mayday, I think my husband was in a similar boat the first time around. Is this a first time dad? Oh, but man, if DH had someone there who could get him a decent cup of coffee, remind him of different positions to tell me about,  and remind him that it would be over eventually, he could have been so much more supportive to me. He needed some serious consoling because I was soooo nausaus that I did not want to be touched - at all- and that was pretty much the way he had planned on helping me, so he had no clue what to do without being able to use his hands.

 

I think that people often forget that a doula isnt a midwife, she can be there to support the dad more than the mom if that is the agreement you have. The doula I have talked to this time is totally understanding that we mainly need support after the birth (while still at the hospital) but also knows that while I am laboring, it's pretty likely that she will play a huge support role for DH by making sure our DD gets to the right family member, making phone calls, helping to relieve him during times of frustration or exhaustion, and  helping him to advocate for me. Honestly, when I am in labor, I do what my body does.


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Old 09-05-2012, 11:02 PM
 
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I loved my doula and so did my DH!  I would love to recommend her to anyone in the SF peninsula and south bay who is looking for someone- you can PM me.  She was quiet and steady during the labor- giving exactly the right advice and not getting in anyone's way, but making us feel like we had a valued resource.  She visited twice at my house before the birth and twice after the baby was born in addition to meeting us and Labor and Delivery for the actual birth.  We delivered at a Kaiser hospital and they generally have rotating staff so you do not know what midwife or doctor will actually be on call when you go into labor.  Hiring a doula let us be sure that there was one birth professional on hand we would be connected with.  I called my doula for advice before and after the birth.  I had long prodromal labor and she was great at getting me through that.  I think doula's are wonderful, but when I interviewed them, there were a few that rubbed me the wrong way- too know it all, too pushy.  They are people and some people are irritating.  You just have to find one that suits your family and make it clear what it is you need them for.


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Old 09-07-2012, 08:29 PM
 
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My doula is my best friend who is just starting out. She will help my husband keep his head on straight (he can get panicky over things like this) and she will take photos for us so we don't have to worry about it. I think they are a wonderful resource if they are available and needed, be it at a home birth, birth center, hospital, with midwives or OBs.


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