Why Dads SHOULD be in the delivery room (and why money still talks in the baby world)

So this from parentdish dropped in to my Twitter time line via DaddyNatal today.  You will have to take as read that I understand that …

–          Many of my readers are mums and

–          It’s international women’s day

…when I say that I have never read such an irritating piece of claptrap in all my days.

Apparently all dads are useless in the delivery room. Apparently we shouldn’t be allowed near it because we all walk in to televisions and knock ourselves out or fill birth pools with freezing cold water. All of us. Without exception.

Well I didn’t. I was present throughout most of Boy’s birth and at no point did I scoff a burger, glare at the doctor or fall asleep. I have already posted Baby’s birth story. My wife ordered me out. I went out. My wife ordered me back in. I went back in again. Simpls. We’re not all Fred Fuckin’ Flintstone.

But there is a far more disturbing element to the post. You see what women really need is a doula (it says there). You know those fantastically EXPENSIVE PRIVATE BIRTH PARTNERS you can hire from £350 to £1000 (according to http://www.nurturingbirth.co.uk/doula_costs.html )

Yes you read that right. £350 to £1000. On top of all the extra shit you had to buy, getting the nursery ready, car seat, travel system, baby clothes that last 3 months, monitor etc etc, you, yes you scared first time middle class parent can part with a sizeable chunk of cash to not have your husband / partner there. You remember him don’t you? The guy who’s going to have half DNA shares in the baby? Who you’ll shortly want to take time off work and help with nappies and feed expressed breast milk. You’ll want him to do all that but you also want him replaced with a stranger and a sizeable overdraft during the actual birth? Really?

You’ll note the use of middle-class there. I’ll tell you who a doula isn’t an option for and that’s a poor 18-year-old soon to be single mum from a sink estate. The guy who impregnated her isn’t going to be doing any burger eating or falling asleep (at least not in the delivery room). He’s not going to be involved in the baby’s life at all. And the girl he’s left impregnated is now alone and shit, shit scared.

So here’s an idea. If you really care about empowering women instead of laughing at loving husbands (and writing thinly veiled doula sales articles on websites) who are actually being rubbish because they’re TERRIFIED why not volunteer at your local maternity unit FOR FREE and help out girls who are a bit less fortunate than yourself in the husband department.


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  1. #1 by JallieDaddy on March 8, 2012 - 2:00 pm

    I thought you were a model of restraint in your comment on that idiotic sexist piece at Parentdish. I wasn’t. Goes to show that sexism is alive & well, & that you definitely don’t have to be male to be guilty of it. I’d say more but my twins have just woken up 🙂

  2. #2 by Rosie on March 8, 2012 - 2:24 pm

    The original article is rubbish I agree with you BUT for my next baby I would like a doula along with my partner, and wished I had one with my first – the main reason being my partner was alone in the face of pretty rubbish MW’s – next time he will be part of the A-Team who can defend me against harsh and horrible women. I think my partner felt very vulnerable as he wasn’t included in what was going on – the mw were strangers to both of us – a doula we would have met before, built a relationship with and be confident she would be there for us I see a doula there as a help and support for him as much as me – why wouldn’t you want that?

    • #3 by slightlysuburbandad on March 8, 2012 - 2:57 pm

      Doula + Dad is fine, no problem with that, in fact it would make sense for a lot of couples. The original article strongly suggests replacement of the man BY doula because he’s bound to be useless.

  3. #4 by JallieDaddy on March 8, 2012 - 3:25 pm

    Just realised I’d got you confused with DaddyNatal in my earlier comment. Well done for picking up on the actual, insidious, reason for the post: promoting doula services! I’d missed that

  4. #5 by Candice lattimore on March 8, 2012 - 3:34 pm

    Just to clarify. Most doulas pledge to do one access fund doula support a year. The client pays nothing if they are in receipt of certify benefits.

    As doulas we aim to empower couples and help
    Them make informed decisions prior to birth. This means that the best person to support mum is with her in labour. A well informed. Not scared Dad is the best person. Doulas do not replace to role of Dad.

  5. #6 by Ben Wakeling on March 8, 2012 - 10:50 pm

    Couldn’t agree more.Tried to leave a comment on the Parentdish piece but it wouldn’t let me. Very sexist!

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