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Role Playing Dad

During my Doula training at Birthingway one of our activites was to role play a hospital birth. I was the husband of a laboring mother who wanted a natural birth. Another student was the head nurse, who took notes, came in and out of the room and periodically asked if we wanted medication.

My wife was insistent on no interventions and she did most of the talking. I took the persona of a shy husband who supported my wife when we were alone and noticed that I became embarresed at my wife's "demands" that she wanted to stay in the tub and didn't want an epidural.

Getting into the role, I wondered if her behavior would negatively affect how this nurse treated us and if we were causing her too much trouble. As I kept these worries to myself, I felt my emotional support withdraw ever so slightly and my fear rise.

Never, ever, ever would I have imagined that it would be so easy to fall into that submissive role. Had we not been role playing, I wouldn't have thought that our simple requests to be left alone to allow birth to happen naturally would lead me to question the quality of care we would receive because of our beliefs.

This simple exercise drives home the point that all families could benefit from Labor Doula support. The Labor Doula acts as a educated companion and your advocate during the birth process.

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