Doulas: Perhaps not for everyone

Filed under: Your Pregnancy

ina may gaskins midwifery school

As someone who used doulas for the births of both children, I read yesterday's post by Dutch at sweet juniper (my current favorite blog) with interest. He writes candidly about how his wife asked him to consider a doula for the birth of their first child and his subsequent thoughts on the matter. Doula is Greek for "woman who assists during childbirth," but Dutch asserts that it is Greek for slave (which, according to, it is). His blog had me laughing and crying. Laughing because of his description how his wife wanted a doula because she just liked the sound of the word "doula," and of what he thought a doula would look like (someone who wore beads and a muumuu and "wafted aromatherapy bottles" while "talking chakras" and "chanting over the placenta"). Tearing up because of why he was resistant to the idea. Of his wife and their relationship he says, "I was her birth partner. We had relied on each other for nine years at that point, and I was not going to let her down. I was going to do everything that she needed from me, and more."

Dutch describes how the interview was a disaster mainly because the doula seemed intent on convincing the couple that their birthplan was wrong. "What good is a slave if she doesn't listen to you," he quips.  It did not come as a surprise to him when the doula called to say that she would rather not work with them. Dutch and his wife were "alone for 95% of the labor process" and he shares that his hands "never left her." When he recently spied his almost-doula outside a cafe, his first thought (after smooching his babe) was, "We didn't need you after all."

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.