A common misconception about doulas is that they will in some way or another replace the dad (spouse or partner). This myth is very far from the truth. Doulas work with birthing partners to help make this a wonderful experience that both parents can look back on with positivity and happiness. It truly is a magical experience for both doulas and dads when they work together throughout labor and birth.
Educate & Advise on Comfort Measures
While doulas do actually carry out comfort measures, sometimes the dads want to be hands-on – which is great! Whether it be during prenatal meetings or during labor, doulas can show dads how and when to use various techniques for comfort measures. Even after watching videos and reading books, having someone to provide real-time tips and reminders is invaluable. This kind of hands-on involvement can make the dad feel helpful and provide much-needed connection and comfort for the birthing person.
Intimacy and physical touch has been proven to be beneficial in supporting labor. The unique connection between a husband and wife or birthing person and partner can never be replaced. Doulas may encourage dads to kiss, hold, or provide words of affirmation to their partners. Romantic connection increases the production of oxytocin (the love hormone) and endorphins (natural pain reliever).
Provide Emotional Support & Affirmations
Doubt, uncertainty, and fear are all normal and natural feelings during transformational moments in our lives. Especially when labor intensifies, partners may experience these types of feelings surfacing. Laboring women are extremely sensitive to their surroundings and may feed off of these emotions. A doula can help provide partners with reassurance that everything is okay, that labor is progressing as it should, and that they are in good hands. They can also remind the dad that they are doing amazing by supporting and loving their partner throughout labor.
An Extra Hand on Deck
In one moment, a doula may be doing some light touch massage, reminding the birthing person to drink a sip of water, and repeating a few affirmations. In the next moment, a surge begins and they are doing hip squeezes while the dad holds their partner’s arms close. The doula reminds the client to relax their jaw and mirrors the mother’s breathing. After the surge passes, the doula suggests going to the bathroom. The doula and dad both stay close while helping her to the toilet.
Clearly, there is a lot going on throughout labor, and an extra pair of hands can take a great deal of pressure off of the dad or partner. Dad’s don’t have to do all. One person can continue with hip squeezes or counterpressure while the other uses the bathroom, and the birthing person won’t go a single moment without someone by their side. Doulas aren’t just for helping the birthing person, they are there to help the dads too.
HypnoBirthing families may be interested in hiring a HypnoBirthing doula who is trained in providing support in a way that utilizes the tools and practice that is taught in this course. Many of our educators are also doula and they can be found in our directory.
Click here to explore more resources for dads and partners.