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Every once in awhile a Dad will ask me, "How long do you think this will take?" when his wife is in labor. At the begininng of my doula career this question annoyed me. It leant itself to a question based in anxiousness and boredom. I would try to hide my frustration that the most important member of the birth team was clearly bored and anxious to get labor over with.

Now that I have been a doula for over ten years, I realize this question is not a Dad asking out of boredom. He isn't trying to figure out if he can watch the football game later. The Dad is typically trying to find out how long his wife must endure the contractions she has had during labor. 

Laboring women often have a. "I can't do this" moment in labor. This moment is a milestone that labor and delivery nurses, doulas and care providers know well. In a textbook labor, this signals the end of transition. The woman is almost ready to push her baby out. This moment is often met by a reassuring, "Yes. You can." by her birth team as they know, the end of the contractions is near.

A woman is not alone in having  a, "I can't do this" moment in labor. A Dad has this moment too. It can manifest in a Dad asking, "How long is this going to take?" or the less obvious sign of, "You don't need to do this. Can you do anything to make this easier for her?".

Dads are the most important person on the birth support team during a woman's labor. A Dad also needs support. As a doula, I am the support for the birth team when they reach their, "I can't do this." moment. I become the assurance that birth is normal. That their laboring loved one is coping well. She is safe. She is cared for and she can feel their support and belief that she CAN do this.

Prenatal education - including the dreaded videos - can help the entire birth team learn about the sights, sounds and smells of labor. Being familiar with the phases of labor and what a woman may sound like or need during each phase can be the game changer when trying to help her renew her confidence and strength during her, "I can't do this moment." .

With the support of her loved ones, her doula, and her careprovider, a woman and her partner can have an amazing birth experience.

 


Comments

09/17/2017 1:08pm

A parent will always be a parent. No matter how difficult the life is, a parent will do its best to make this happen. Congratulations to all parents who raised their children by making their true efforts and hard work. Your children will be proud of you. I really missed my mother who raised me well. I really thanked her. Amidst my needs and desires, you are always there. Thank you and I really admire you.

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09/19/2017 3:53am

My parents are wonderful people, they never forget to help me whenever I ask for their help. My parents always tell me what path I should take in life. They are always concerned about my problems and they constantly supporting me during that harsh times. I'm really thankful for their continuous guidance and love they give ever since I was a little boy. I know that they are not perfect, sometimes they commit mistakes. But still, they are my parents, I should understand them the way my parents understand me.

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10/05/2017 11:11am

Do I need any skills to become a doula? I need some information about it right now.

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10/05/2017 10:48pm

It is needed for men and women to support each other. Because relationships it is possibility to work in team!

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