Offbeat Families runs these advice questions as an opportunity for our readers to share personal experiences and anecdotes. Readers are responsible for doing their own research before following any advice given here... or anywhere else on the web, for that matter.

I want a doula, but my partner doesn't. What to do?

By on Jan 27th

Photo by flequi, used under Creative Commons license.

I'm only 13 weeks, so this is super early, but I've been thinking about how much I'd like a doula with me during labor. I'm not super crunchy, but I plan on having an unmedicated birth and I'm really happy with my choice in hospital and doctor. However, I also think a doula would provide even more support and make it as close to the experience that we want as possible. (There are no guarantees and I'm going to be flexible, but we can try, right?)

Well, the only problem is that my husband is not down with me getting a doula. It's not the idea of them (he thinks they're super helpful) or the cost, but the fact that he thinks he can be the advocate and support I'll need during the birth. I think he's amazing and absolutely will be great during the birth… but I don't know that he'll be able to remember everything from class, worry about me, worry about the baby and advocate for our birth plan while dealing with how he's about to become a father!

We're still talking and will probably interview some doulas before we make a final decision, but part of me feels terrible for possibly talking him into something he really doesn't want. Another part of me is terrified that if we don't have a doula and he isn't able to be as supportive as he wants, I might resent him for it.

Am I being selfish, and will I regret not giving him the birth he wants too? I know it's my body and I'm the one doing the work, but it's his first kid too and I want him to be as involved as he's able. — Alyssa.