Interviews with people about doulas, birth and new born life: 1. Father of a toddler
Do you know what a doula does?
Mostly. Broadly, support women and partners through birth. Particularly helping them to draw up and follow a birth plan and be adaptable if it doesn't work out.
Would you hire a doula if you had another child?
Yeah I think so. It's hard because I think it feels like a suggestion that I can't do enough to support my wife. I'd like to be able to do it myself.
As a birth partner and husband how do feel that you should be able replace a doula?
Plan everything, speak to midwives, be a support. Be the support.
Would you have had a doula for your first birth if you could?
Yes. In retrospect yes, definitely. I think it would be hard to find someone I felt comfortable with, but I would interview to find someone.
In the end the birth was complicated and it would have been good to have someone that could have taken the pressure off when making decisions. Who could have taken over when I needed to sleep. To not feel that the entire weight of my wife's wellbeing on my shoulders.
How do you think a doula would have made a difference?
To keep me calm, to give us support in the difficult decisions.
How do you think that they could have helped you with difficult decisions?
By being calm, by having expertise. If the medical teams give you a sheet with a list of risks associated with a procedure, it isn't informed consent. You can't be informed in that moment of panic and with only a list of risks. There isn't data showing you the statistical difference between doing it and not doing it. It just says this might harm you or your baby. Hospitals are not there for you, they are there for everyone and to do that, they have to keep going, so they have to avoid being sued.
A doula is there for you, and they know you a bit and can help you through those decisions in that moment. I think that would be the main thing for me, having someone not emotionally involved, that has impartial knowledge who I, we, could ask questions about procedures in the moment.
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and thoughts on why you might and might not consider a doula.