Doulas: Your Personal Guide for Birth

This one’s for us, the dads or dads-to-be. A metaphorical perspective on how a doula equipped me for one of the greatest and most challenging experiences of my life.

Descending into the Grand Canyon… With the woman we love.

We have an idea of what it will be like, but nothing can truly prepare us for the beautiful challenges we will face while we’re there. We are eager and anxious to experience this great adventure with our partner, but may have hidden apprehension that it will be harder than we initially expected.

Is it so silly to feel this way?

Not in the slightest.

Any adventure, whether it be hiking the Grand Canyon or bringing a child into the world, can certainly be unnerving. And it is okay to feel this way.

Approaching this adventure, we may be asked by our partner to have an experienced guide to accompany us. And at first, we may be resistant. This experience is our own. Special and unique. We will be fine without one. In fact, we may have strong feelings about not having a guide; I know I had them.

But I remembered, a guide is an expert in their field. They have been here many times before, and will have tips and wisdom to offer if we find ourselves in a tough spot. They will remind us to stay hydrated and rest if we need to. They’re there to celebrate the milestones and encourage us to tap into our inner strength. They’ve seen many people just like us make the trip and they can help us feel reassured that we can, too.

Just like our trip into the Grand Canyon, a doula is similar to the hiking guide. Their main goal is to help us have the best experience and accomplish what we have set out to do. They don’t interfere or come between us and our partner. Instead, they help supplement our efforts and give us encouragement to be the best we can be. If we’re unsure of what to do, the doula will gently show us the way. If we get tired, she’ll remain with the mother, supporting and encouraging her, so we can rest. And if we are providing what the mother needs, she’ll still be there—a calm presence to reassure us that all is well.

Many dads-to-be worry that a doula will try to replace them in the birthing room. In my experience that couldn’t be further from the truth. A good doula will always put the birthing couple first and foremost, because that’s where her priorities lie. A doula is intuitive and present. Her goal is to help us be the supportive, confident birthing partner they know we can be, because after all, it’s about us too.

A doula helped my partner not only have the birth she wanted, but the birth we deserved as a family.

WE know the mother best, and WE love her more than anyone else does.

A doula knows birth, and her passion is to help us both have the birth we want.

While not every adventure needs a guide, remember what they offer and how they can assist you.  Perhaps a guide is exactly what you and your hiking partner need.


–Mitchel Loy

Guest blogger for Kind Roots


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