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Su­per ex­ci­ting! My first in­ter­view with a man for YourHap­py­Box. This sum­mer I got to know Gaë­tan and his story is so­me­thing that needs to be shared. Gaë­tan is the very first Swiss male Doula and we spoke about his mo­ti­va­tion to in­vest over 1000 hours into this trai­ning while ac­tually being a lawyer. 

Gaëtan Blaser-Suarez with his 2nd child

Being a father of two changes you

First things first. What is a Doula? The short ver­sion of Wi­ki­pe­dia says: «A doula is a trai­ned com­pa­n­ion who is not a he­alth­care pro­fes­sio­nal and who sup­ports ano­t­her per­son through child­birth». I, of course, wan­ted to un­der­stand what made Gaë­tan de­cide to be­come such a trai­ned com­pa­n­ion. Gaë­tan hims­elf is a fa­ther of two and wants to be an equal pa­rent. He and his wife ex­pe­ri­en­ced two very dif­fe­rent pregnan­cies and birth sto­ries. While the first one en­ded in an emer­gency C‑section, they both spent time pre­pa­ring the 2nd birth to ful­fil his wife’s wish for a na­tu­ral va­gi­nal birth. Du­ring this time, Gaë­tan lis­tened to a lot of fa­thers’ pod­casts on the to­pic of be­co­m­ing a fa­ther. A com­mon con­clu­sion of these pod­casts was the lack of pre­pa­ra­tion for fa­thers who want to be an equal pa­rent (or a pa­rent at all). Sub­con­sciously the idea for Papa Doula star­ted to form.

How did he decide to become the first Swiss male Doula?

Ha­ving a PhD in law, a pa­tent to prac­tice law in Ge­neva, Gaë­tan is well aware of how im­portant it is for us to have a pro­fes­sio­nal cer­ti­fi­cate to be re­co­gni­zed as le­gi­ti­mate. The first Doula trai­ning he wan­ted to join was ab­so­lutely im­pos­si­ble for him. The kil­ling pre­re­qui­site was «ha­ving gi­ven birth yourself». Howe­ver, once he found a trai­ning, he spent the next six month lear­ning ever­ything about the fe­male body, pregnancy, child­birth and much more.

The feeling of being the only man in the room becomes normal

Being the only wo­man in the room so many times, I can ima­gine how Gaë­tan felt when he wal­ked in the Doula course room the first time. Ad­dres­sing the ele­phant in the room and being the kind and friendly hims­elf, he was quickly ac­cep­ted. Throughout the trai­ning his vi­sion of «Papa Doula» was for­med fur­ther. Gaë­tan de­ve­lo­ped a work­shop for be­co­m­ing fa­thers that co­vers in four ses­si­ons à 3hours the most im­portant to­pics on pregnancy, child­birth, and post-par­tum. The fi­nal ses­sion is an in­for­mal mee­ting of fa­thers af­ter birth to share their ex­pe­ri­ence among each other’s.

First training for father-to-be was a success

Gaë­tan left his well paid, se­cure po­si­tion in a law firm this year to make a dif­fe­rence for other fa­thers. He in­ves­ted a lot of time in his first swiss male doula trai­ning and thought in how to be a good fa­ther hims­elf, re­pre­sen­ting the «new ge­nera­tion» of fa­thers who want to be ac­tively in­vol­ved in their kids upbringing.

Papa Doula Logo

In June his first «Papa Doula» trai­ning was com­ple­ted suc­cess­fully. Gaë­tan has many ideas and plans for «Papa Doula». We are loo­king for­ward to see his idea ex­pand out­side of Swiss Ro­man­die to sup­port fa­thers-to-be all over Switzerland.

Thank you Gaë­tan for this won­der­ful in­sight into «Papa Doula». It is nice to see you ma­king a dif­fe­rence in fa­thers edu­ca­tion around pregnancy, child­birth and post-partum.

If you would like to learn more, please vi­sit his web­site (in French) and fol­low him on In­sta­gram.

More in­ter­views with in­te­res­ting per­so­na­li­ties around pregnancy, child­birth, ca­reer and much more you find here.

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