Who Hires a Male Doula?

While the word doula is on its way to becoming commonplace, it’s not quite there yet, and people who do know what a doula is automatically think “woman.” If you didn’t already know that male doulas exist and are definitely a thing, it might surprise you to learn that there are people out there who would actually prefer to hire a male doula than a female doula.

If there were a male doula in my area, I would hire one in approximately .5 seconds.

I am happily married with a fairly conservative religious background, and nothing about hiring a male doula offends my sensibilities.

When I was growing up, I had difficulty relating to girls. I was teased quite a bit and I found that hanging out with the guys allowed for me to be myself without the drama. It’s only recently in my adult life that I’ve been able to make deep and lasting friendships with women.

A male OB/GYN delivered my last baby and he was kind, gentle, and never once did I consider his gender as something that would make him less capable or qualified.

When I go to get a massage, I generally prefer a male.

I don’t want a massage therapist to have to work around my clothes to do their job, so I generally go without. Never once have I questioned a massage therapist’s motives in their professional environment. They are taught draping techniques to protect the modesty of their clients and when I’m on that table,

I’m simply another set of muscles to soothe at another day’s work.

To me, a male doula is no different.

What about my husband?

Honestly, my husband probably needs a doula more than I do.

Doulas are experts in supporting partners, and another male to help him and relate to his experience while I concentrate on laboring would be a huge plus for me.

I don’t need a doula for emotional support.

When I labor, I tend to draw inward and don’t want to be touched until I do, and then I want strong, capable hands to provide relief and counterpressure.

When I hire a doula, I want someone there who is availble to focus on me so that my husband can enter this new stage of parenthood with me as rested and refreshed as possible.

I don’t feel that this role must exclusively be filled by a woman.

As more male doulas enter the scene, I feel strongly that we should not view anyone as less credible based solely upon their gender.

Everyone has preferences, and even if you prefer a woman to support you in labor, that doesn’t make a male doula less qualified.

Male doulas take the same doula training that female doulas do, and while they may not have experienced birth personally, each doula does this work out of a desire to support birthing families.

I encourage the birth community to welcome male doulas with open arms, ready to learn from their unique, fresh perspectives.

Authored by: Abby Powell, the co-owner of Doulas of Memphis, a full-service doula agency in Memphis, Tennessee. You can visit her website and check out more of her writing at www.doulasofmemphis.com