Another Adelaide Dad has been so kind to share his thoughts on working with me as their Doula for their son's birth at Calvary North Adelaide. I've asked Kyle some interview type questions and these were his responses. Don't forget to keep reading for Mumma's thoughts too.
My favourite memories from this birth are Carrie sitting in the bath tub with sunglasses on because there were no blinds in the hospital bathroom and the room was so bright. And I will never forget seeing the OB kick off her shoes and sit on the floor to facilitate Carrie's chosen birth position of standing and leaning on the raised bed. It's certainly something you don't see very often! I also loved these moments because they both show the value of prenatal education and emphasis on factors that can help you achieve a physiological birth - dark lighting and gravity!
Thanks again Carrie & Kyle!
Dads working with Doula Kelly
What were your honest thoughts when Carrie first mentioned hiring a doula?
How much is this going to cost us?
If you had any initial questions or concerns about working with a doula, what were they?
I don’t think I fully understood what a doula did. My partner (Carrie) had mentioned that working with a doula reduced delivery times and reduced the overall likelihood of interventions but I didn’t know why or how.
Could you talk a little about our work together, both during the birth and before and after, from a partner's perspective?
Kelly met with us several times leading up to our due date. She set us at ease, both with the birth and in being parents, answered all of our questions, and assured us that she would be prepared if we forgot or needed anything.
During the birth, she was there with soothing music and a calm presence. She had a bag full of anything we could possibly need, including pressure point cue cards that came in handy for pain management. Kelly supported my partner both emotionally and physically. At one point, when my partner said “I can’t do this”, Kelly responded, “you are doing this”. Sometimes, it's reassurance like that which can make all the difference. She was a body to lean on, when I grew tired or couldn’t be there. She even took pictures of the birth for us which was a life saver.
How would you explain a doula to your best mate?
If this is your first time, you’re going to be clueless. If it’s not, then you already know. Do yourself a favor and get a doula. A good doula will keep you sharp and focused because a doula is just as much about supporting you as much as they are about supporting your partner, allowing you to be your best self, so again, you can be there for your partner. She’s like an angel on your shoulder, reminding you of all things you should be doing, and providing a third and fourth set of hands when you need it.
What is your advice to other dads and partners who may be considering a doula now that you've experienced birth with a doula?
You absolutely will not regret it.
A word from Mum
"Being an expat and first time mum, I wanted to be sure my husband and I had a support system in place for our baby's arrival. Kelly is nurturing, kind, and incredibly knowledgeable. In our sessions leading up to the birth, she helped educate us on the system here in Australia, guiding us to create a birth plan we felt comfortable and empowered by.
Her calm and gentle demeanor was exactly what I needed during labour. I burst into tears when she came into the room; like her arrival made it real, but that I was safe.
If we didn't think of something, it didn't matter because we had Kelly there and she probably had it in her bag of tricks. (I'm still thankful she was able to quickly get the diffuser going when the hospital served my husband the world's smelliest lunch.) It was a long day, but she kept us going, offering so much physical and emotional support on such an intimate level. Kelly even captured some photos of my son being born, and they are images I will treasure for the rest of my life. I couldn't imagine giving birth without Kelly and I hope I never have to."
Prepare for an easier fourth trimester with these 25 Secrets From A Postnatal Doula!
Kelly Harper is the owner of Elemental Beginnings Doula & Placenta Services in Adelaide. She provides sleep consultancy, placenta encapsulation and doula services to families during pregnancy, birth and in their fourth trimester.