Many couples contact me seeking doula care and tell the same story: Mom really wants the support, but Dad is hesitant, worried that the doula will somehow ‘replace’ him.
I can assure you, this is not the case! When a family invites me to join their birth team, I become the support for the whole family. In our prenatal consultations, I will offer information and will give both parents tips, tricks, and tools to help them navigate labor and birth together. If Dad really needs to be supported more than mom does, then this is what I do. If he wants to be her sole support, I will fade into a corner to observe (and take pictures, if birth photography was added to the Doula package) and will quietly suggest techniques he can use to comfort his partner, feeding him lines like the director of an elementary school play if needed (kind of kidding, but also kind of serious!)
In some cases, my support is primarily given during those prenatal appointments, while in others I am able to provide practical support during labor, whether by physically comforting Mom, or going out to grab food or coffee for dad, or answering questions to help the couple make decisions about care as new aspects of the labor make themselves known.
I can keep Dad calm, keep Mom happy, and keep everyone fed. I know how to make those hospital couch/bed/rock hybrids as comfortable as possible. I know what amenities your birthing location has for you, and know how to access them.
I know how to make DADS look like total rock stars during labor and birth.
For more on this topic, check out some of my own favorite articles written by dads about how Doulas help dads.
This first one is a personal favorite of mine, despite the colorful language. I especially love that the writer recommends an incredible book, The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin.
And the follow up to that one, Doulas - Part Deux