Happy Dad’s Day!

So embarrassingly, I thought that father’s day was two weeks ago. I think I got confused because it was my partner’s dad’s birthday and for some reason everyone in our house had to call our fathers on Sunday night for some kind of well wishes… I thought I was so on the ball, called my dad, left him a chipper voicemail saying “Happy father’s day! Talk to you soon! Love the best daughter ever!” – I missed a call from him later with a voicemail asking if I was drinking or if I even remotely knew what year it was. Yeah, I had to google it… “When’s Father’s Day 2015?” The googles confirmed that I was wrong. It’s this weekend! I put a reminder in my calendar. I plan to call my dad on the right day this time! Ugh, I think I need a vacation…

My grandfather as a child
My grandfather as a child with his grandfather

One of the things I love the most about midwifery is caring specifically for women, and as summer continues on I’m getting more and more excited to be an advocate and provider of women’s healthcare. Even though mamas do all the “heavy lifting” when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth, we can’t forget dads. They are pretty damn special. My dad taught me how to sail, how to ride my bike, and how to fight a parking ticket. The first time he got in the car with me after I got my driver’s licence, he wore a helmet… My sixteen year-old self was not impressed, my adult self now thinks that was excellent practice, considering I tend to crash Vespas and jibe boats in his presence… I swear I’m a good driver!

My dad and I
My dad and I

When I was studying my first degree, I had a Women and Gender Studies professor tell us of her husband’s support during the birth of their first child. Her husband wasn’t quite sure how to encourage her during those hard contractions but he did the best he could. During one particularly hard contraction, he grabbed his wife’s hand and showed her a basketball trading card of Michael Jordan… “Be like Mike! Be like Mike!” he chanted… As the class erupted in laughter, I couldn’t help but feel warm feelings for this man I’d never met before. He tried so hard! It was endearing, but soooo not the right thing to say… But dads do amazing things for moms during childbirth. They massage, they coach, they kiss, and support mom. Sometimes they even catch! I think it would be the greatest to have my partner catch our baby. The lucky duck already got to catch one during his obstetrics placement as a student paramedic. I was so jealous!

I’ve always thought that it’s a great idea to hire a doula, not only for mom but for dad too. A doula is a person who provides physical and emotional support to women during labour and during the postpartum period. So what can doulas do for dads? My friend and a very special doula, Leah has a few ideas:

  • a doula can let dads have breaks, like going to the bathroom! Without leaving mom alone
  • help dad know that he’s doing a good job supporting mom
  • guide dad in his support of mom and take some of the pressure off of him

Leah says that birth is a big event for dads too and having a doula there can be immensely helpful. In what ways would you want your partner to support you during birth? How would you want them to be supported? Have a happy Father’s Day everyone and don’t forget to check out Leah’s doula services at Bump, Birth, and Baby Bliss.

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