Woman wants a doula; dh feels threatened/doesn't want one. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 10-06-2006, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you deal with that situation? I just encountered a woman today at the park who would like a doula at her birth, but her dh really doesn't want one.

For me, I just told my dh that I appreciated all he could do (and he did a lot) but I really wanted a woman with me who'd been through birth, both personally and professionally, who would know what I'm going through, to help me through it. AND help him understand it.

But I know some women are perhaps more sensitive to the feelings of their dh's, or their dh's are more sensitive than mine

Suggestions?

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#2 of 10 Old 10-06-2006, 09:55 PM
 
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your husband loves you. that is wonderful but it also means that he will support you differantly than a woman who may become your friend but is still very seperate. a doula has the knowledge of birth. As one of the husbands I worked with said "having a doula frees the husband up to just focus on loving and supporting his wife and not have to keep track of the physical part of giving birth."

mom to four lively children. birth and postpartum doula. midwifery student. choosing to enjoy life. :
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#3 of 10 Old 10-07-2006, 10:15 AM
 
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Yes, In my classes I emphasize that no one can replace the moral support of a partner/loved one, but doulas are trained to help the woman cope in a practical sense; we can suggest things that laypeople may not think of. Of course our intuition plays a big part in that too but I don't bring that up to dads who feel threatened I have never had a dad or family member tell me AFTERWARD that they did not want me there, they were all glad. I have had a few moms-of-the-mom ask me what I was doing there beforehand, as if I was just dead weight... but even they saw the light after the birth. I like to think those folks become our advocates in the longrun..
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#4 of 10 Old 10-07-2006, 05:32 PM
 
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Well, perhaps I was less sensitive than other people, and perhaps my husband is more easy going than other men, but he said he'd really rather it just be us, and I asked him exactly whom was the one going to be birthing the child? Then, when he came back with the proper answer, I said thanks, and that the doula would be there. He understood how important the whole thing was to me, so he agreed and was affable, and in the end, was grateful that she was there, both times.

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

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#5 of 10 Old 10-07-2006, 09:48 PM
 
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I think you have to respect everyones unique relationships. Just because the DH says no and the wife doesn't press the issue doesn't mean that her DH is bad person or that they have a bad marriage. I would suggest the wife read Birthing from Within to gear up for finding strength within herself during labor. If she still feels that she needs a doula, then it is up to her to find the mamabear within herself to insist on one.
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#6 of 10 Old 10-07-2006, 10:02 PM
 
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I might suggest to the woman that she see if her DH would be willing to talk to some other fathers who have had the same thoughts and feelings. I am a pre-cert. doula and my DP was very much "whatever, however, whoever" - not so much supportive of it one way or the other as just *open* to whatever I wanted. However afterwards, he was so thankful for our doula's calming presence and helpful advice. She basically guided him to help me and he is now very pro-doula.
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#7 of 10 Old 10-07-2006, 10:06 PM
 
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I just wanted to add that in the end it was really empowering for my DP to have our doula there - not threatening. With the way our birth went, he may have felt very threatened had he not had her support and encouragement.
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#8 of 10 Old 10-08-2006, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh yeah, I'm not judging anyone's relationship. I just wanted advice/suggestions as to how to respond when a woman says that. I recently met with a potential client and they decided not to hire me because the dh REALLY felt seriously threatened by having anyone else there, that he needed to "prove" to his wife that he could do everything. That's fine, and his wife wanted to give him that chance, but for other couples who are more open but still a little hesitant, I want to know how/what to say.

Thanks for the advice. Yes, we support in a way that is totally different from a dh, and nothing replaces that support. However our knowledge of birth and experience with birth gives us a different perspective that is very helpful to a laboring mom AND a dad.

treehugger.gif Erika
mom of twins.gif (8)  blahblah.gif(5) thumbsuck.gif (3) and baby.gif born at home on Christmas day! 
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#9 of 10 Old 10-08-2006, 12:16 AM
 
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Well, my doula was great for my husband. He said he needed the doula more than I did. My doula allowed my husband to sleep through some of the labor.

And unless your husband is a trained massage therapist, get a doula!! They can be a gentle reminder for a husband of what was learned in the birthing classes.
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#10 of 10 Old 10-08-2006, 12:55 AM
 
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I wrote a list for a couple of all the stuff that's needed in a birth (esp a hospy birth) and asked if maybe a little support wouldn't be good. The doula was ok once they both realised how necessary she would be. Stats are great but too many people don't realise that avoiding intervention is actually good.
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