My husband doesn't think I need a Doula...

I hear this statement a lot during interviews and consultations. I completely understand the sentiment that many spouses have. An added expense on top of everything else they are paying for? A high price tag on something they don't understand the usefulness of? Of course they are confused and can even be discouraging. Here is my advice/tips:

  • Your husband or partner may not believe you need a doula because they do not understand what a doula does. I do not think they mean to be dismissive, at least I hope not. I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt and free myself of expectations of specific and certain reactions, meaning, I do not like to think significant others mean to downplay your needs, they just 1) see a high price tag 2) don't really know all the ways a doula is so useful! The great thing is, most partners are supportive of your needs when they understand/given the facts. So, don't get disheartened right away. Sometimes some steering in the right direction is needed in order for them to see the need in having a doula. Another great thing is that there is a load of useful, short infographics on the internet now showing in a simplified form what doulas do and the statistics and outcomes of when a doula is involved (hint: they are good). Maybe your partner needs some in depth info. And for some spouses, they just agree because the woman or birthing person says she needs it, resorting to not understanding, but trusting. If that is enough for you, the birthing experience is usually when they really get why a doula was needed and are almost always grateful (100% of the time in my experiences!). But maybe that's not enough for you. What I encourage clients to do is: ask your husband or spouse to join you in the doula interview/consultation. Even better, ask them to join the prenatal visits with your doula. We actually prefer and enjoy when a husband or partner joins because we are a team. Allow them to ask questions. Hand them the information. I know we want them to just be on board and trust us, but I want my clients to know it's ok if they don't readily get it. You are doing the right thing in trying to make your birth experience more enjoyable and getting the help you desire and need. Try not to let this be a point of contention.

  • Buy or rent the Birth Partner by Katies Rohs and Penny Simkin. This book is a mandatory read for most doula certifying organizations. It explains all the ways a birthing person needs their birth partner to behave, provide and do. If your partner is shown all the things needed for you to have a good birth experience, and feel like they cannot commit to doing the work, I feel like logically, most will agree a doula is needed.

  • Let them hear and read about other people's experiences with a doula.

  • Perhaps you want a doula due to past experiences, whether it was from a birth or simply being in a hospital. Explain what a doula does and how a doula can make you feel comfortable in your birth experience if present.

  • Show them photos of the many things a doula provides, and let them know that a doula innately and intuitively knows just what to do and that it is OK that they do not or may not in the moment. This Is why doulas exist. This is why doulas have a job. Our job is to focus on all the things you need. We are constantly observing and thinking of how to make your birth experience comfortable, loving, and evidence-based. You are our main priority. But also, remind your partner, the doula is SO useful for them too. A doula allows them to focus on you and also their own needs, when very often, they end up feel overwhelmed or unsure what to do. A doula acts as a non-judgmental, non pushy guide on how to be a good birth partner.

  • Doulas and husbands/partners are a team! They know you intimately, they know your quirks, likes and dislikes, and we know birth! Together we are an amazing team.

  • A doula frees your partner up to for when they need to use the bathroom, make phone calls, eat, sleep, and love on you, instead of worrying, being unsure, or uncomfortable. We know that evidence-based information shows that a woman or birthing person should never be left alone. Being left alone, or even simply not receiving the love and care needed during the birthing process can be detrimental to the birth experience.

  • Choose a doula within your agreed upon budget or fundraise within family or ask for funds for a doula as part of your baby shower. This can help offset some of the cost.

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