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About Dad to Dudla

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Juan Irby LD, PD, NPE

Birth/Postpartum Dudla, New Parent Educator 

I never dreamed of becoming a doula. I have a passion for people, and I always knew I wanted children, but I didn’t see those things coming together as an impactful opportunity. But, after the birth of my first child I began to see how important a dad’s work...and the work of a doula truly are.

 

I have since learned that men can experience postpartum depression (more specifically 1 in 10) and that my feelings were real and valid. I thought about my experience and wondered how many other men need to be heard? So, I took the step to become a birth doula, then a postpartum doula, and now a new parent educator.

Fast forward two years to our delivery room for the birth of our second child. Our birth plan was in hand, I had spoken to the doctor and informed her of my role as doula, we had our lights, affirmations, and essential oils. Even though my wife had to be induced she was still able to birth the baby naturally using the techniques I had learned from doula training and our birthing classes. Most importantly though I felt as a husband I was able to protect my wife in that moment and advocate for our family.

 

My goal as a doula now is to help others have a voice in the birthing space, protect their partner and identify feelings that may be previously stereotyped or unfamiliar. Speaking of what isn’t familiar, did I mention I am a male doula? As a man in the postpartum profession, I have experienced more support than criticism, but there are those who feel men should not be allowed into this sacred space.

While I respect that sentiment, I do believe it is important for those who participated in creating this new life, to be given an opportunity to support and love in a way that is meaningful to both mother and child. I look forward to helping men (and women) do just that. I am committed to helping all partners become the best version of themselves as they navigate the birthing and postpartum journey.

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