Dads and Doulas are like peanut butter and chocolate. Both are great on their own, but together they’re incredible! I guess this analogy only works for my fellow Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup fans, but I’m sure you other two get what I am reaching for here. One ingredient plays off of the other, creating something beautiful without overpowering the other.
All the partners that I have worked with are told the same thing during our interview: “You’ll do fine without a doula, but I can guarantee that I’ll make it easier on you both.” Yeah, maybe it isn’t the best marketing strategy, telling a potential customer that they don’t really need you, but it’s the truth. Another honest way to say it would be, “You may not need me but, trust me, you want me.” Perhaps not now, maybe now you only see the financial cost or the potential of me taking over your role. It could be 12-24hrs into a labor, when you’re in dire need of a shower or a nap, before you realize what an asset I could have been. Or possibly it’s when your hand starts hurting from the massage that seems to be the only thing to take the edge off of her contraction. Yes, you can hold her hand or rub her feet or get her into all the positions you learned about in class, but wouldn’t it be nice to have another hand? A wingman? Wait; maybe chocolate wasn’t the best analogy, maybe it should be superheroes and their sidekicks?
You’re Batman, I’m Robin. My job isn’t your job. The last thing I want is for a mother to look back at her birth and think of the wingman. She may not remember who lit the candles or filled the bath that she labored in, but she’ll know you were there with her. Maybe she’ll recall that you took a nap while we walked around for a bit but also how relieved she was that someone got to rest. She’ll forget that the doula suggested that you ask more questions, but she’ll remember how you advocated for her. My job is to make your job easier. There is no doubt that the sidekick is valuable, but it’s the hero that gets the glory.
Let’s also not forget how great peanut butter and chocolate are together.