Whole Parenting Family

Dads for Doulas

J sports his “Team Emily” shirt I made him.

My husband was a skeptic initially about the whole “doula” idea. In hindsight, he found Emily Rumsey, our doula, to be pivotal in having a secure, positive birthing experience. A doula helps through pregnancy with the preparation of a birth plan, offers home remedy suggestions for nausea and other delightful discomforts, and acts as an additional sounding board to your health care professional.

And even for the parents who aren’t strident about an all-natural birth, having a doula there helps both parents, especially the one who is not in labor. Doulas provide experience, comfort, encouragement, and support for the non-laboring parent as well as the one sweating. Our doula even offered to fetch us pizza from a local Italian shop after the baby was born. I was ravenous. It was delicious!

AA firmly believes all dads need doulas. Labor is an unpredictable and unnerving experience for the first-time parent. Someone present throughout the entirety of it who has gone through it before is a must. And as your nurse is not there the entire time, nor is the doc/midwife necessarily, the doula provides extra hands, and experienced eyes to direct and ease you through your labor.


  1. Joe K. on May 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    As a dad who shares many similar experiences as NNM and AA have over the last couple of years since the birth of our first, I wanted to comment on this post most of all. I went into the “birth process” with a lot of knowledge, or so I thought.

    We moved to Alaska where not only were midwives common, but many had home-births. So when my wife brought up the idea of a “doula” even though we were having a hospital birth, I said, “fine dear” and figured they could “fill in” for all the relatives that wouldn’t be there. Let’s just say I was skeptical, similar to AA. Let me tell you – best idea ever, and they weren’t just a fill in.

    I would suggest all fathers be supportive of the idea, as NNM says, they are a lot of help for you. Why? Because when you don’t know what to say or are stressed out yourself, there is someone who has done this before and knows what the two of you are experiencing. As NNM said, “experience, comfort, encouragement and support.” I can’t recommend doulas enough.

    • Novice Natural Mama on May 12, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      So glad you two (three!) had a wonderful doula experience as well. It’s hard to explain precisely what she will do because each couple has particular needs that are unique, right? Happy you & AA are partners in the Dads for Doulas campaign!

  2. […] it’s your first birth or your tenth. They are worth their weight in gold. See my posts here {Dads for Doulas}, here {Preparing & Including Your Partner in Birth}, and here {Why You and […]

  3. Midwife International on September 1, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    A Fathers role is incredibly important to the birthing process as well as the Doulas part in maintaining a flow of bliss and connection between mama, papa and soon-to-be baby.
    Throughout the experience Fathers may feel their part diminishing, like they’re taking a backseat. Doula Jodi Green emphasizes the importance of the Fathers role, integrating the embrace and encouragement of Fathers into the Doula repertoire.
    See how Dads and Doulas can work together to create optimal maternal care, health and knowledge for the woman’s experience.

    • Natural Mama Nell on September 6, 2013 at 7:42 am

      What a beautiful article about dads and doulas. Thanks for sharing it, Valarie!

  4. […] doula. She will be worth her weight in gold. Your partner needs a support person. See the page on Dads for Doulas. You both need a support person. In particular if you are in a hospital setting where the […]

  5. […] for Doulas post here, Why You Need a Doula post here. You’re Pregnant, Now What here. A number of my blog sponsors […]