Friday, May 8, 2009

Can A Husband Be a Doula?

I throw out this question because I want your opinions and experiences before I continue from here. I had a former-student-turning-Bradley-Instructor pose this question to me a few weeks ago, and I've been thinking about it ever since. Remember, the Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth is based on the book by Dr. Robert Bradley, "Husband-Coached Childbirth."

Let's hear what you have to say before I throw out statistical data, etc. Looking forward to hearing from you.


Scott and Hannah said...

Before becoming a doula, I had a fairy tale idea that birth was family affair and that my husband and birth attendant(s) would be the only people present at my birth.

When you begin to read about the history of birth, you understand that women in child birth have been supported by other women for many, many years. At some point that changed.

But, as a doula, I would like to say that I have had some wonderful experiences working along side dads. Many of my clients are very grateful that both he and I are there for support. Doulas are trained to support a woman from a different prospective than family and in particular the husband/father. I love and cherish each and every client, but I am not as emotionally connected to her like he is. I am able to help and provide support for her and them from a different point of view. I believe that some men are capable of providing full support without a doula, but women are nurturing beings by nature, where as men tend to want to "fix it".

I am not able to take your poll as of now, obviously. But, as a doula, I can say that I fully expect to have a doula present at my birth (when that time comes). I have faith in my husband for love and comfort, but lets face it, he will need some guidance on the full extent of my needs in labor.

P.S. We will be taking Bradley too.

Kensie said...

Well, I have had both a birth with a doula and my husband present and then one with only my husband as labor support. I think absolutely your husband can be your doula. I think it takes a lot of dedication on a husband's part and it is definitely not easy, but it is very possible. My husband was my doula for my last birth and he did incredible. And actually he and I bonded a lot more during that birth then the previous one. Both births were wonderful and I loved my doula with my first birth, but I do believe a husband can take that place and do just as good, if not a better job if he prepares himself and is really ready for it.

womantowomancbe said...

Yes, but as with any other choice, there can be advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that he knows and loves her like no one else... and that is also a disadvantage, since he may end up encouraging her to get pain medicine which she neither wants nor needs, but *he* "can't bear to see her in pain."

Some men need to be kicked out of the room (or even the house) when their wives are in labor (one of my BILs really ought to just go huntin'); and other men are the wives' main support, and they could not have made it through without them.


Kate's mommy said...

My response would be yes, but just because you can be something doesn't mean you should! :) No one can replace my husband or the special bond we share, but generally there are plenty of women out there w/ a servant's heart that want to love on and care for a laboring mom. I want my hubby to be my hubby, and while that does mean some 'doula-type' activities, it lets him off the hook for some of the work activities like wetting washclothes, moving pillows, etc & lets him just BE with you and love on you, however you need him.

Camron said...

I have had a birth with and with out a doula. My first we didn’t get a doula b/c we took classes and thought he was ready! He knew more about birth then I did at that point! Long story short, he was sick and all I has was my mom. She was sweet but didn’t know anything about the kind of birth I wanted or what we would be facing when we walking in to the hospital. Hubby was sleeping most of the time and when he did get up to ask me to walk, shower, sit on the ball I said no. I was not going to do it alone! He did however jump up and fight when the Dr came in talking c-sections. But at this point I had felt alone for 24 hrs. That birth ended in a c-section. I am confident if I had a doula it would not have ended that way.

Vbac- I got a doula, and a midwife, my hubby was 100% supportive still knew all the info it was only 14 months later. I loved it! He was there as my husband, loving me holding me, cheering me on! Before my doula got there I was alone to let him sleep he didn’t know I was in labor, when I woke him up I was always worried (they fear of doing it alone) he jumped up and said “you got this baby, this is what we have been planning for, you can do this” and he didn’t leave side. My doula was good at reminding my hubby of things, like when I asked for water he would go get a straw, or totally forget what he was doing and start packing the car! LOL he was so sweet!

A dad has, his wife, his other kids, his other family, the car, the way to the birthplace, all to worry about, a doula’s JOB is 100% mama and daddy!

Now as a doula one of my Favorite parts of a birth is showing the dads how to be wonderful labor partners! I remember during pushing I didn’t even have to ask my hubby was there with a cup of ice water and a straw, after every contraction! How he had know to be there if my doula was not the one getting the water? I don’t know! But I know I would not change a thing! :-)

Hannah said...

First time, I probably should have hired a doula.

Second time, I probably should have hired a doula.

Third time, after threatening to hire a doula, he was amazing and was the best advocate I could have EVER asked for.

So...I am not sure - half of me says yes, the other half says no. If there had been someone I was comfortable having there, I absolutely would have hired them in a heartbeat. :) But that last time really was fabulous. I think, in part, that both of us had change through the previous experiences, too. He was less nervous about everything, and I was much more insistant on things going exactly how I wanted.

I'm interested to see the data!