Whether you’re the partner of an expecting mama or are pregnant yourself, you’ve likely been considering your options when it comes to the birth experience. After all, we have a large number of options in this day and age, and that can be quite overwhelming to some parents.
One of those many options comes in the form of a doula. A doula is many things, including an advocate for the laboring mama and a helping hand for both parents. Obviously, this appeals to a good number of parents-to-be, but not necessarily all. When one expectant parent wishes to have a doula present at the upcoming birth and the other is opposed, this can cause problems.
If you are a parent-to-be who would like to have a doula at the birth of your child, but your partner is not on board with this, you may be wondering what your next steps should be. Clearly, it’s necessary to have both parents on board before adding a member to the birth team, so having a partner who doesn’t agree with hiring a doula can be disheartening.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to help change your loved one’s mind.
Listen to Their Concerns
Start by listening to your partner’s concerns. Maybe they feel uncomfortable having another person in the room during labor, or perhaps they just don’t understand how they would benefit from a doula. Then again, they could be concerned with something else entirely.
Do your best to listen and understand, but also try to ease those concerns whenever possible. For instance, those who are nervous about a stranger in the room may need to hear that they will be allowed to choose from a number of doulas. Meanwhile, partners concerned with the financial aspect may appreciate knowing they will likely be able to set up a payment plan.
After listening to and discussing your partner’s concerns, present the facts. Let your loved one know that doulas can help laboring mothers avoid unnecessary interventions (including cesareans). Show them testimonials from pleased parents who hired a doula. Show them the pros while also acknowledging what they have presented as being cons in their eyes.
If you need help doing this, try printing off a PDF such as this one and using it as a guideline during your conversation.
During this discussion, be sure to remain respectful. After all, your partner is just as entitled to their opinion and feelings as you are.
Set Up Interviews
After weighing pros and cons with your partner, go ahead and set up some interviews for the two of you to attend. Be sure your partner knows that you will not necessarily be hiring any of the doulas you interview, but that you would like to meet with a few so he or she can better understand your point of view.
The reason for doing this is simple. A doula knows her job inside and out, she will be able to explain exactly what she does, and may even be able to educate you on the benefits a doula can provide. She will also have the knowledge to answer difficult questions and ease concerns you partner may have.
Come to a Compromise
In the end, your partner is just that: your partner. This means working together through thick and thin and finding compromises along the way. If your loved one simply will not agree to hiring a doula, you might need to find a compromise.
For instance, the parent-to-be who is nervous about the financial aspect of hiring a doula may be willing to barter for a doula’s services or hire a new doula with lower rates. As another example, a partner who is concerned that a doula will take away from the intimacy of birth may agree to have one in the room only at certain times.
No matter what you and your partner decide, be sure to respect each other throughout the process of building your birth team and plan. After all, welcoming a baby into the world is meant to be a joyous time, and arguments about the event can really put a damper on things.
Would you like to learn more about the benefits of hiring a doula? Please feel free to contact Thrive Mama Collective for a free consultation!