FOR THE DAD'S
Many fathers want to experience the birth of their baby. Dads want to be actively involved in supporting their partner.
A Birth Doula can help a father support his partner with confidence and encourage the love and bonding between the couple.
Studies show that when Doula's are present at birth, women have shorter labours, fewer medical interventions, fewer caesareans and healthier babies.
A Doula provides information, continuous physical and emotional support to the expectant mother and her partner during labour, birth and in the immediate postpartum period.
Recent evidence also suggests that when a Doula provides labour support, women and her partner are more satisfied with their experience and the mother - baby bonding is enhanced as long as two months after the birth. With Doula support, fathers tend to stay more involved with their partners rather than pull away in times of stress.
For the Dad's continued..
"The wisdom and emotional support of experienced women at birth is an ancient tradition"
Today, a father's participation in birth preparation classes or his presence at prenatal visits and in the Maternity Ward is a familiar occurrence. Yet, we sometimes forget that the expectations of his role as a "labour coach" may be difficult to fulfil. Sometimes it is also culturally inappropriate for an expectant father to be so intimately involved in the process of labour and birth.
The partner is expected among other things to become familiar with the process and language of birth, to understand medical procedures and hospital protocols and advocate for his partner in what is usually a completely unfamiliar environment and culture. A Doula can provide the information to help parents make appropriate decisions and facilitate communication between the labouring woman, her partner and medical care providers.
At times a father may not understand a woman's instinctive behaviour during birth and may react anxiously to what a Doula knows to be the normal process of birth. He may witness his partner in pain and become distressed. The Doula can be reassuring and skilfully help the mother to work with her labour pain in her unique way... Not all fathers can realistically be expected to "coach" at this intense level. Many fathers are eager to be involved during labour and birth. Others, no less loving or committed to their partner's wellbeing find it difficult to navigate in uncharted waters. This is not about love, but all about knowledge and experience!
With a Doula, a father can share in the birth at the level he feels most comfortable. The Doula’s skill set, experience and knowledge can help him to feel more relaxed. If the father wants to provide physical comfort such as back massage, change of positions and help his partner to stay focused during surges, the Doula can provide that guidance and make suggestions for what may work best.
Midwives and Obstetricians are responsible for monitoring labour, assessing the medical condition of the mother and baby and treating complications when they arise. But birth is also an emotional and spiritual experience which has a long-term impact on a woman's, partner’s and baby’s personal wellbeing. A Doula is constantly aware that the mother and her partner will remember this experience throughout their lives. By "mothering the mother" during birth the Doula supports the parents in having a positive and memorable birth experience.
The benefits of Doula care have been recognised worldwide. The Medical Leadership Council of Washington, D.C, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the World Health Organisation are among the many healthcare organisations worldwide that value the benefits that Doulas provide to women in labour.
The father's presence and loving support in birth is comforting and reassuring. The love he shares with his baby, his need to nurture and protect his family are priceless gifts that only he can provide. With her partner and a Doula at her birth, a mother can have the best of both worlds. Her partner's love, care and attention and the Doula’s expertise and guidance in childbirth.