Doulas: A Partner's Perspective

{My sweet husband, Rob, has graciously offered to guest post for me today about his personal experience with our doula, Tonya. Give him a hardy welcome and show him some love in the comments for being so brave.} 

I am a person who likes to be prepared. So when we were expecting our first child, I was determined to be as prepared as possible. We attended Lamaze classes, breastfeeding classes, and newborn basics classes. I read multiple books on babies and birth. We talked with other parents about their experiences. Despite my preparation, when it came time to supporting my wife in labor . . . let’s just say I was still in over my head.

Even four years later I can vividly describe the experience using the feelings and thoughts I had at the time in sequential order:

  • Confident – “I’m prepared for this.”
  • Less Confident – “This is harder than I thought.”
  • Insecure – “How do I help you?”
  • Helpless – “I can’t help you!”
  • Tired – “I wasn’t prepared for this!”
  • Angry – “Who thought it was a good idea for me to do this!?!”

All in all, we made it and have a beautiful child as proof! But to say I loved the experience would be a lie.

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Labor with our second child was a different story. We knew what we wanted – a doula! She met with us to talk about what birth would be like and to see how we wanted her to support us. She was willing to do 100% of the work, split the work, or stand back and just support me in supporting my wife. I wanted a different experience than with our first child. I wanted to help my wife, but I wanted someone standing behind me telling me the right way to help her and encouraging both of us.

With a doula in our arsenal, there was so much less stress! I felt confident in what I was doing because I had in my back pocket the experience of a doula, who had also given birth to children herself, telling me the way to help my wife do something that I will never do or fully understand.

Since that experience, I have told everyone I know that I would recommend a doula. My exact words: “That was the best money I have ever spent in my life, on anything . . . ever!” Our job is to support our partner in everything they do, including labor. I found the best way for me to support my wife was to hire a doula.

Do yourself a favor . . . hire a doula. You'll be glad you did.