Articles - Sometimes the best support is getting extra support!
What to do if your partner isn't up for the job

Sometimes the best support is getting extra support!


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What to do if your partner isn't up for the job

Let's face it: for some partners, birth can seem scary and knowing what to do can instill a great deal of fear in a guy.

There is nothing wrong with admitting that the whole process seems overwhelming and a job that you might not know how to do. Until 40 years ago, birth was considered women's work and men weren't allowed in the birthing room. These days it is considered abnormal if the father isn't present. But what does that mean for a partner that feels totally overwhelmed by the experience?

It usually means getting yourself some extra support with either a doula or Independent midwife.

In my experience, fathers are often able to participate more fully with a doula present. The top two fears that a father has surrounding pregnancy and birth are the worry about the safety of his unborn child and his partner. Much of that fear is gone when a doula is present because they can provide informational support about the labor as it progresses, and their calming influence allows the father to give the love and support that his partner needs to feel.

The presence of a doula complements a father's role and strengthens it. A doula often can give suggestions and encourage the father to touch, to talk, and help in ways that feel truly comfortable to him and comforting to the mother.

Doulas can also give you a break. You may think it will easy enough to stay awake for a big event like childbirth. But depending on how long your partner's labour lasts, you may find yourself fighting to keep your eyes open. A doula can maintain support of the labouring woman while you to to take a walk, get some fresh air or something to eat – even have a little nap. Taking care of yourself during labour helps you stay on task and ready for when your little one arrives.

One of the other benefits of having extra support is that you don't have to remember everything. The doula knows the right questions to ask, and the right information to give. When you arrive at the hospital you may be bombarded with questions, and in the heat of the moment you may not be sure how to answer them. This is where a doula can give any information needed by the healthcare staff and also relay helpful information to you. This ensures you have all the facts to make any necessary decisions.

Another massive benefits of doula support is that they are very experienced with natural birth. They know all the special tools and tricks to help with baby's positioning, pain relief, emotional stumbling blocks and a crisis of confidence. They are trained at helping women manage labour and get you both through the confronting parts of birth. They will bring a calming and level-headed presence, which is worth its weight in gold during birth because it allows you to focus on your main job: being present for the birth of your baby.

Links to doula and independent midwife services:

Midwives Australia

Find a Doula

Australian Doulas

Birth Attendants (VIC only)

Australian Doula College

Doula Directory

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