A hesitation for many new parents in hiring a doula is father involvement. They worry that the presence of a doula may compete with dad's support. And I see so many hands-on fathers it's amazing! Many of the couples I meet want as few people as possible present in their birth space. Why have a doula when dad knows everything after a birthing classes, books, and research?
What mama and papa may not realize, however, is the partner and the mother are better served when the partner can simply be that- the partner. Expecting the father to remember when a rebozo position change is necessary as opposed to a deep squat, or the difference between posterior or anterior while doctor checks the baby, applying a firm double hip squeeze and signing intake forms, all at the same time, is a LOT of pressure for anyone, especially someone who wants to have positive birth memories along with the mother.
Not only that but the dad is having his own moment too. We focus a lot on how pregnancy, labor, and birth shape and change a mother, but we have to remember that for two-parent households, birth is also creating a father. A father who wants to, and needs to, be present in this experience too.
Doulas allow fathers to feel less pressure. Less pressure to remember everything and give him more room to savor this time and be there for his birthing wife.
Every doula is different, but my personal goal in being a doula to a couple, is to use the experience of birth to make them fall in love with each other again. I'm not going to take the reins and make this about me. This is about you, both of you, and your baby. I will show dad labor massage techniques, I'll help him apply essiential oils, I'll dim the lights and give space to practice hydro therapy in the shower. My aim in doula work for couples is to highlight dad to the MAX. He's your man! Look at how good he is at supporting you! With a doula, dad can do just that. He can focus on loving you, and have the trust that an outside professional is walking him through the things he can do to help, without feeling the pressure of having to be everything at all times.
The father and I are a team and I'm there to support him too. Labor can be long and grueling. Sometimes dad needs to step away and get some food, or air, or speak to family members. I'm there to fill in those gaps and provide emotional and physical support.
Remember, as a birthing mom you can never have too much support. Doulas are for dads too. We make a great team!