Aaron Stuckel- Why hiring a doula was “the best decision we ever made.”

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I have to admit, when my wife first suggested we look at hiring a doula, I didn’t like the idea. I had a few concerns, but mainly I was worried that I was going to be shut out of my role as a support person to my wife. But I also really wanted her to have the best experience possible. So I reluctantly agreed to go with my wife to meet Sara, though I still had my doubts about the idea.

Looking back a month after our baby girl was born, I can confidently say that hiring Family First Doula Service was the best decision we could have made. As a husband, your role is to support your wife through the pregnancy and birth process. But it’s hard to provide that support when you have no idea what you’re doing. Googling everything, at best, only gets you so far. At worst, it just leaves both you and your wife feeling completely lost. Having Sara and Martha (our back up doula who ended up being way more than a back up) there to cut through the crap and provide straight, factual answers made providing that support so much easier, especially in the weeks leading up to birth when the anticipation is highest.

On the day that my wife finally went into labour, having someone there who could say, “Ya, this is actual labour. This is what is happening to your wife’s body. This is what you can to try to do to make her more comfortable,” was a godsend. As a first time father, I had no idea what labour looked like, or what was happening to my wife’s body as she powered through really intense labour pain, or how to do hip squeezes to ease the pressure, or how to coach her on breathing through contractions. I can’t imagine how overwhelming it is to have your wife look at you in that moment and ask, “Is this normal? Is something wrong?” and not have any clue how to respond. The whole process is overwhelming enough!

Plus there is the added benefit of having a second set of hands around. My wife didn’t go through a single contraction alone in her entire 30 hour birth. That wouldn’t have been possible without a doula. And after the birth, Sara and Martha were there for us if we had any questions about breastfeeding, and even stopped by our place to discuss how the birth went to help us process what was a pretty crazy few days.

Having hired Sara and Martha, we had someone to guide us through every step—from the final few weeks of pregnancy, through labour and delivery and onto the other side. And with every interaction we had with them, we walked away feeling supported and more informed. They are a wealth of knowledge and experience, and even though I had reservations about hiring a doula to begin with, I can’t imagine what it would have been like to go through the whole thing without their help. They gave me the tools to be the support person I wanted to be for my wife and left us both with a positive experience, even when things didn’t go as planned. I didn’t like the idea of going through childbirth with a doula in the beginning, but now, I don’t like the idea of going through it without one.

– Aaron Stuckel