I am SO HAPPY to announce that as of March 2014, I am “Dad Certified”! You may be thinking, “sounds awesome but what is dad certified”? Great Question but let me start with a little story first.
There once was a guy who met a girl and they fell madly in love. All he wanted to do was to love her and the best way he knew how was to protect her. She didn’t ‘need’ protecting but loved knowing someone ‘had her back’. After a wonderful courtship, they got married. They continued to work as an amazing team and then the happy day came that she became pregnant. They were both so excited and honestly
a little a lot scared. They were both entering into a world of unknowns. She did lots of research and talk to anyone she could and finally decided a home birth was the best option for them. The only person she forgot to talk to was him… She informed him that she was having a home birth and in that moment, his world just got a LOT scarier because he didn’t know how to protect her in this situation and was afraid to even ask because he wasn’t the one who was ‘having’ the baby.
The couple had a great birth by most standards and at the end, he felt very dis-empowered and separate from the whole process. He loved his wife and his new baby and felt like the only way he could ‘help’ was with a paycheck because after all, he didn’t have breasts to feed the baby. As time went on, he felt more distant from the family he loved so much but no one ever asked him how or what he thought so he just kept keeping on… Another baby later and another set of choices he couldn’t make and he was done. He stuck around for another few years because that’s what he was supposed to do and one thing lead to another and he left.
Now, I’m not saying that this happens all the time. I do think that in our society, we don’t empower our men to feel like they can be a part of the decision making process around birth. For some couples, it works for 1 of the partners to make the majority of the decisions. What I am saying is we could (at the very least) ask if our partners want to be involved. Now, I can hear the women out there shaking their fists at me now and I ask you, are you living in the present where we are all created equal, or are you living in the past where we (as women) had to fight for every right we have now. I don’t know about you but I choose to live in the present because that is where our power is.
So you ask me again, what is “dad certified”? Well, I have now learned techniques for navigating the kinds of complex emotions and needs that arise for clients in the pregnancy, birthing, and postpartum times. I know more ways to support a dad in the way he needs so that his motivation to support his pregnant partner is always going up. As a doula, many people believe that my job is to support the birthing mom and it is but that is not where the job ends. My job is to support the birthing couple (whatever that may look like mom-dad, mom-partner, mom-best friend, mom-dad-dad…) to make sure everyones need are getting met. In a nutshell, I help moms become moms and dads (/partners) become dads (/partners).
If you would like more information on becoming Dad Certified, check out www.empoweredpapa.com