In honor of Father's Day coming up this Sunday, I planned to write a blog about how postpartum doulas benefit dads:
About how we are explicit that our services are "mother-centered," but that doesn't mean that our support excludes dads.
About the research that shows that women who feel supported by their partners have greater success with breastfeeding, and that we help dads when they "don't know what to do" to find meaningful ways of showing their support to their nursing partners.
About how we can ease fears and anxieties that dads often have when their parental leave runs out and they return to work. It can really make a big difference in those transitional moments to know that your postpartum doula will be a steady and helpful presence as everyone adjusts to work life with a new baby.
About how having a postpartum doula can create space and time for dads and their partners to have some face-to-face time to have an adult conversation, or time for dads to spend much-needed quality time with older siblings.
Then the shooting at Pulse in #Orlando happened.
I write this post with a heavy heart and through a lot of tears. I write this post for gay dads, trans dads, and people in the LGBTQ community who become parents but don't fit into either "Mom" or "Dad" category.
"Mother-centered postpartum family care" is our tagline. Proud Mama is our name. Explicit support of women during the postpartum transition is important to us because we know that 1 in 7 women suffer from maternal mental illness like postpartum depression and anxiety, and only 15% of those women will receive help during their struggle with mental health. Postpartum support of women is an important service to provide, and we are proud to serve women in all kinds of families.
As explicit as we are in our support of birthing women and heterosexual couples, we want to be equally as explicit in our support of parents and families that don't fit the heteronormative picture of what family life with a new baby looks like.
You belong here. We are here to serve you through your family's transition, whatever that looks like, and however it is that you become the parent of a newborn.
Happy Father's Day to all of you who identify as "Dad," "Baba," "Papa," and every other name kiddos use to say that you belong to them and they belong to you. Love is what makes a family, and we will always support you.