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Dad-to-Dad: Happy Father's Day

We couldn't let this week begin without giving a big shout-out to all the awesome dads out there. We see you! You're the other half of the team, and we couldn't be strong moms without some really strong dads by our sides.

Today, we are celebrating Dads by bringing you one of our very own. Zach, a devoted husband and father, was happy to jump in and share his dad-to-dad perspective on what having a doula meant to him. We hope you enjoy it and we hope everyone had a great weekend celebrating all the special men in your lives!

Happy Father’s Day, Dads or soon-to-be’s.

Day to day as a dad is a lot like hole to hole in golf... some days, everything is going right and you feel like a natural with it all figured out. Then other days, it seems like you can’t avoid any hazard that comes along and you find yourself questioning just about everything.

But, that’s the awesome part. There’s no greater adventure in life than being a Dad. It tests you in new ways that make you a better man.

Now, most of the time when we think about being a Dad, we likely see ourselves throwing a ball in the park or giving a lesson on how to ride a bike. But our first test as a Dad is making sure that our child comes into this world safely. I think we often underplay our role in the birth of our children; I know I did.

For my wife and I, our doulas were game changers for us, and dad-to-dad, here are my reasons why.

Childbirth is not an individual sport.

You’re going to need to assemble a team. Now most hospitals have doctors and nurses that will provide you solid support but think of them as the referees and athletic trainers. They have a lot of teams to oversee every day. The team who’s going to do the work starts with you and your partner. Think of a doula as your secret weapon…a free agent pick-up that has superbowl experience. They’ve been through the ringer with other teams and can help you face whatever is thrown at you.

Nothing like having an expert in your corner.

You may be thinking; “…but I got this”. Well let’s be honest with ourselves. Regardless of how many books you read or classes you go to, nothing prepares you like the real thing, and on the big day, we’re dealing with “equipment” here that we have very little experience with…get my drift? Now in addition to knowing all the plays, positions, and rules; a doula also knows the field conditions and is going to be your advocate on the big day. So, when you and you’re partner need to make an important decision, you can draw on much more experience than what you read in a book or heard in a class.

It’s your childbirth so experience it your way.

A doula is going to work with you and your partner beforehand to lay out a gameplan and then make sure that it gets executed. Doulas are really good at helping your partner deal with the stages of childbirth and translating hospital-speak for you to make the right decision. They’ll slow the game down and help you manage pressure situations, so you and your partner can be in the moment and enjoy it.

To this day, I will never forget the relief I felt when our doulas walked into the room. Just before, my wife and I were in a pressure cooker…things had accelerated quickly and caught us off guard. But the moment they walked in, the atmosphere of the locker room changed and we knew we were going to make it. In the end, it was one hell of a ride, but we did it and would not have been able to without them. I am eternally grateful to them.