My husband and I just watched the movie. Loved it! Has any one heard of a male doula? My husband was with me at both of my natural births and was wonderful. He finds the whole birth process absolutely fasinating and may also consider nursing with the goal of Rn on the ob floor. He is for natural birth with the least intervention so not sure how much of a good fit a hospital would be. Would love any ones input on this.

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thank you for the insite just curous what would be the feeling on this matter and very much aware of the part of a dula and all it's interpretations. but this is also 2009 where stero typing or gender specific is no longer suposed to apply I strongly beleave in child birth with out the doctor that wants to get home by 5 pm and schedules a c-section . I did every thing for my wife that a midwife would do the only thing she did (belave me she was a awsome midwife ) is to be there for the actual birthing of about 3 seconds (my wife was on all fours then kind of roled to her but in a side sitting position and out she came all at once) I think I would make a great dula or midwife im very careing and sensitive to womens needs in what ever it implies .

thank you
her husband


April Lloyd said:
The word "doula" is actually feminine specific! Doula came from the Greek concept of a woman slave. It was later interpreted as a female servant for labor. More recently, generally, it's been explained as a woman's servant for labor, birth, and/or postpartum support. A doula isn't assigned any medical responsibilities, she doesn't fulfill the duties of a nurse, midwife, or expectant dad. She is a professional support person that serves the non-medical needs of the expectant/laboring/new mom. Unlike midwives who are highly trained medical professionals & are responsible for prenatal care, labor & birth, monitoring mom & baby for possible complications, etc., doulas have no medical responsibilities. So, they don't give medical advice.

Their roles are best fulfilled when moms see them as equals (not medical experts). Doulas help moms adjust to the demands of parenthood--listening to moms' concerns, making suggestions about preparations, honoring moms' wishes for support, assisting in the development of birth plans, & encouraging dads to support, help out & love their new families. Her role is different from all other birth professionals.
"A birth doula is a person trained and experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth." http://www.dona.org/mothers/faqs_birth.php#1
"The goal of a doula is to nurture the parents into their new roles. As they experience success and their knowledge and self-confidence grow, their needs for professional support should diminish." http://www.dona.org/mothers/faqs_postpartum.php#1
This intimate support is inherently female!

I'm NOT saying that it's impossible for a man to provide excellent labor support. That would just be an inaccurate generalization. I'm sure he could do very well as a birth professional in a number of other positions:
L & D nurse, neonatal care nurse, prenatal/childbirth instructor (lots of couples teach Bradley classes and support expectant parents together), evidence-based care advocate, prenatal fitness trainer, birth attendant, labor coach, etc. ALL of these roles provide much-needed support to families, BUT doulas specifically provide feminine support & encouragement to other females.

It's WONDERFUL that your husband is excited & interested in natural childbirth!!! It's very effective for expectant dads to hear from other men about the benefits of intervention-free deliveries. That partly explains the success of many male Bradley instructors & coaches. With all of that being said, after whatever training, I would NOT call him a doula. Doulas are women!!
--Best Wishes
I'm not opposed to the idea itself, but I think you may have trouble attracting a large client base. I for one know that I would probably not consider a man to be my doula for a variety of reasons (nor would I select a doula who has never gone through childbirth herself, for that matter).

Multiple studies have shown that the continuous presence of an experienced *woman* during a mother's labor seems to cut down on labor duration and interventions. The presence of a male coach (partner or other) does not seem to have the same effect. Whether this difference is hormonal, psychological, or what - who knows, but is something not to be taken lightly, I think, and may be one reason why (female) doulas are so effective.

I do think that midwifery could definitely be an option for you if you're up for the additional training. I also know of male lactation consultants.


carol deslauriers said:
thank you for the insite just curous what would be the feeling on this matter and very much aware of the part of a dula and all it's interpretations. but this is also 2009 where stero typing or gender specific is no longer suposed to apply I strongly beleave in child birth with out the doctor that wants to get home by 5 pm and schedules a c-section . I did every thing for my wife that a midwife would do the only thing she did (belave me she was a awsome midwife ) is to be there for the actual birthing of about 3 seconds (my wife was on all fours then kind of roled to her but in a side sitting position and out she came all at once) I think I would make a great dula or midwife im very careing and sensitive to womens needs in what ever it implies .

thank you
her husband


April Lloyd said:
The word "doula" is actually feminine specific! Doula came from the Greek concept of a woman slave. It was later interpreted as a female servant for labor. More recently, generally, it's been explained as a woman's servant for labor, birth, and/or postpartum support. A doula isn't assigned any medical responsibilities, she doesn't fulfill the duties of a nurse, midwife, or expectant dad. She is a professional support person that serves the non-medical needs of the expectant/laboring/new mom. Unlike midwives who are highly trained medical professionals & are responsible for prenatal care, labor & birth, monitoring mom & baby for possible complications, etc., doulas have no medical responsibilities. So, they don't give medical advice.

Their roles are best fulfilled when moms see them as equals (not medical experts). Doulas help moms adjust to the demands of parenthood--listening to moms' concerns, making suggestions about preparations, honoring moms' wishes for support, assisting in the development of birth plans, & encouraging dads to support, help out & love their new families. Her role is different from all other birth professionals.
"A birth doula is a person trained and experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth." http://www.dona.org/mothers/faqs_birth.php#1
"The goal of a doula is to nurture the parents into their new roles. As they experience success and their knowledge and self-confidence grow, their needs for professional support should diminish." http://www.dona.org/mothers/faqs_postpartum.php#1
This intimate support is inherently female!

I'm NOT saying that it's impossible for a man to provide excellent labor support. That would just be an inaccurate generalization. I'm sure he could do very well as a birth professional in a number of other positions:
L & D nurse, neonatal care nurse, prenatal/childbirth instructor (lots of couples teach Bradley classes and support expectant parents together), evidence-based care advocate, prenatal fitness trainer, birth attendant, labor coach, etc. ALL of these roles provide much-needed support to families, BUT doulas specifically provide feminine support & encouragement to other females.

It's WONDERFUL that your husband is excited & interested in natural childbirth!!! It's very effective for expectant dads to hear from other men about the benefits of intervention-free deliveries. That partly explains the success of many male Bradley instructors & coaches. With all of that being said, after whatever training, I would NOT call him a doula. Doulas are women!!
--Best Wishes
I don't know of a male doula but there is a male CNM in Milwaukee. He works at the Aura Sinai downtown and I believe he is very respected there. They have a website and you can probally look him up.
I was actually having this discussion with my (female, pregnant) partner. We're planning on taking turns carrying children, and she's 39.5 weeks with our first child. When we were practicing various labor positions and comfort measures, she remarked that she was going to have a harder time being the support person during the next pregnancy (mine) because physically she just doesn't have the strength to necessarily support my weight in a lot of the exercises we were doing. I'm just a lot taller than she is, and she's not very muscular.

We were wondering aloud whether it would be possible to find a male doula, because it would be much more likely to find someone who could help support my weight and height if they were male. I wouldn't have any feelings of awkwardness around having a male doula, whatsoever. My comfort levels would really depend on the personality match and not the gender. Our doula right now for this pregnancy hasn't given birth before, even though she's female, and she's been absolutely wonderful to work with.

Regardless of the fact that the origins of the word mean "female slave", I think it's entirely fair to extend the position to the occasional man who is qualified and feels a call to do this very important work. After all, there are male midwives, too!

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