Who needs a doula when you’ve got a dad? Our guide shows you how to be the best doula in town.
In case you aren’t aware, a doula is someone who supports a mum and family before, during and after birth. (Yeah, we know, it sounds suspiciously like a dad.)
So here’s our guide for dads-to-be on how to be there for your partner the whole way:
1) Way before your partner goes into labour, it’s a good idea to discuss her birth preferences as a whole together. It’s important for you to know what she wants from you. Does she want music on in labour to help relax her? Does she want to be touched in labour even (some women don’t)? Ask, ask, ask away.
2) If you’re first time parents, it’s a good idea for you both to go to prenatal classes. You will learn so much about the birthing process and might even make some friends going through the same. Find the best ones to go to in your area and book it asap (because they book up fast).
3) Pack a hospital bag.
4) If it’s a long labour, keep her company by walking together, watching television or playing games. Make sure you both have enough food and drink. Remember: if you aren’t nourished enough, you’ll be less use than a fork in soup.
5) It isn’t nice to see your partner in pain when she’s in the pushing stage. You might feel helpless. Don’t worry. She’s completely safe and happy you’re there (even if she doesn’t show it). Keeping calm throughout the labour and chipping in words of encouragement helps her mind and body relax. Which helps your baby do the same and pop out a lot quicker.
6) Ignore the housework. The most important thing for you now in the coming weeks is to make sure that mum and baby are both as comfortable as can be.
7) If your partner is breastfeeding, this can be difficult for the both of her and your baby. Encourage her and don’t be afraid to call the midwives out for help. That’s what they are there for.