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The PODs (Partners Of Doulas)

I got the idea to write this article when I thought about WAGs of football. I figured, what better time to write this one than on Fathers’ Day?


Most doulas would tell you that they would not be able to do the work they love most and give their clients their all if they didn’t have the support of their tribe, their village - their spouses and partners. Yes, we live by the same principle we preach: that for us to be fully present, we need to know that everything else will take care of itself and be okay when we can get back to it; this would refer to our children and home. Many of my clients have asked how I’m able to spend the countless hours of labour and birth with them or how I can be on standby or on-call during the most ungodly hours. I’ve been so blessed with families (whom I now call friends) who also sometimes worry when my prenatal sessions overrun and it’s late and would subtly remind me that I need to get back to my little ones and husband. I would, without a doubt, not be able to serve my clients wholeheartedly if my supportive partner (in crime sometimes) wasn’t efficiently running our household and keeping our ducks (or rather ducklings) in a row together with our trusty helper.



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As one of your biggest fans and cheerleaders, we are also connected with you and your families. Being a doula involves heart work and I’d be lying if I said I’m not in tune with the same wave of experiences coupled with varied emotions as that of my clients. This means that sometimes, my husband has to deal with a drained, ghost of a woman walking through the door and he knows the last thing I need is more questions and all he does is wrap his arms around me, telling me that he knows I’m just a whole tangled yarn of feelings and exhaustion; that while I am filled with love and joy that a mother has experienced a birth SHE wants, I may also be reflecting on whether I did right by those whom I’ve served. His hug affirms me that I’m still human and at that moment, that’s all I need.


AND he does all this, over and above his daytime job :)


So I’ve decided to rope in my husband and some of my fellow doula sisters and their partners as well to share what it’s like being a partner to someone who has chosen to answer the calling of being a doula.


Name: Vel B.K.

Partner of Jamielene Fernandez who is a birth doula @ Just Do Lah

Occupation: Training Manager

Number of children and their respective ages: 3 children - 11 years, 5 years and 3 years


How do you support Jamie when she goes on call?

Team up with domestic helper to carry out the planned set of activities discussed with my partner beforehand.


What’s the biggest challenge about having a doula for a wife/partner?

Plans are subject to change when delivery dates are around the corner and evening routines with children may be affected when clients require evening birth classes on weekdays.


How do you feel about your partner’s/wife’s choice of vocation? Why?

I am proud of her and I have admiration for her as this vocation is not an easy one.

From a dad’s perspective, what would you like other parents to know about what doulas do?

Birth doulas make good motivational coaches and offer good listening ears as long as they demonstrate that they care more about you than knowing more than you.


Name: Mubarak Shah

Partner of Shaheeraa Khan who is a Birth & Postpartum Doula @ Happy Offspring Birth & Doula Services

Occupation: Tour and Fishing Guide

Number of children and their respective ages: 2 children - 6 years & 4 years


How do you support Shah when she goes on call?

Well supporting her will always be in an evolution. Its always changing depending on situations and circumstances. What I feel in principle is that she knows the kids are safe and the home won’t be in a complete mess when she comes back. I think this helps her focus on her very important work which I am so proud of her off. But on a serious note, I believe its about supporting in all aspects . Mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.


What’s the biggest challenge about having a doula for a wife/partner?

The biggest challenge is that there must always be an outlet for the immense pressure she puts herself in. Hahaha. The true challenge is keeping up with her always developing ideas and reflections of her job. It can be quite challenging at times.


How do you feel about your partner’s/wife’s choice of vocation? Why?

It’s a mix feeling. It would not be possible to reduce it to just a word. Especially after witnessing her going through two births. It is such an amazing experience. Knowing that my wife is part of so many other family's birth is something that my mind can't wrap around.


It’s amazing. I am jealous of her clients. I wish I can be her client. HAHA.


From a dad’s perspective, what would you like other parents to know about what doulas do?

The doula is the reason why we need fitness trainers in the gym. There is the anything goes method at the gym or there is the best possible outcome method.


The doula is there for moms, she gives the morale and support the mom needs, but most importantly she gives the mom and dad the tools to connect together through the coming of new life. Which is amazing.


Name: Francis Xavier

Partner of Mrs. Jemma Francis who is a Birth Doula and Postpartum Doula @ Seyol Pregnancy Care Services

Occupation: Engineer

Number of children and their respective ages: 4 Children - 16 years, 13 years, 10 years, 8 years


How do you support your wife when she goes on call?

A doula truly needs help emotionally from her family when she heads out for work. I help her get ready for her stay at the hospital by packing her overnight bag with essentials. Also, I lend a helping hand in taking care of the kids by cooking simple meals and doing simple household chores.


What’s the biggest challenge about having a doula for a wife?

The biggest challenge is that the timing of her calls are always unpredictable which makes it impossible to plan an family day or eat out.


How do you feel about your partner’s/wife’s choice of vocation? Why?

I feel very proud of and pleased with my wife as she is doing a job that not all can do. She plays a very important role in ensuring a safe and healthy birth for the baby. She also supports postnatally for the baby's healthy living from the start.


From a dad’s perspective, what would you like other parents to know about what doulas do?

Doulas also play a key role in helping their spouses, offering them invaluable emotional and practical support during the overwhelming experience of childbirth.



Name: Ho Twee Lim

Partner of Catherine who is a birth doula

Occupation: Teacher

Number of children and their respective ages: 5 - 24 years, 21 years, 18 years, 15 years & 12 years


How do you support Catherine when she goes on call?

Ensure the children are fed. Either to cook or buy food. Household chores get moving. Remind the kids to do them.


What’s the biggest challenge about having a doula for a wife/partner?

I need to stand in to check on the children's schoolwork.


How do you feel about your partner’s/wife’s choice of vocation? Why?

It has some sort of flexibility and more importantly, it’s something that she likes to do.


From a dad’s perspective, what would you like other parents to know about what doulas do?

They help to support birth and provide support for breastfeeding - a wise investment for the start of any parenting journey.

So here’s a shoutout to all the partners and Daddies out there - you are so important! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for loving and supporting your families and especially, partners in your own, unique ways.

XOXO,

Jamz



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