These Stunning Photos of a Boy Acting as His Mom’s Doula Normalize Childbirth

In these relatively challenging times, not many things are able to move us. One of them is this image of a little boy helping his mother while she is giving birth.

When Hollie Lou, a woman from Ohio, USA, became a mother for the third time last year, she needed support and emotional support from those around her. She had an impressive team of doctors with her, but also her 9-year-old son, Charlie, who always stayed by his mother’s side and assisted her throughout the labor. He even assisted the doctors throughout the birth.

Hollie says she didn’t for one second ask her son to be by her side during the birth, it was his initiative. “Boys are rarely given the opportunity to do such things. Birth and breastfeeding are completely natural things, so when my boys asked me to be with me when I gave birth, I agreed. You have so much to learn when a baby comes into the world, I didn’t want them to miss this opportunity,” said Hollie, who also has a boy two years younger than Charlie.

The woman says that she prepared the boy for this moment and that they watched all kinds of birth materials together. Charlie even attended a childbirth preparation class, which helped him better understand what his mother’s body goes through throughout labor. Basically, Charlie took the place of a doula, being a real support not only for his mother but also for his newborn sister.

Although there’s understandably no way for a 9-year-old to have professional training or hands-on experience when it comes to assisting during a childbirth, the amount of mental support her oldest son offered got Hollie through the toughest moments of labor.

“Having Charlie present through the hardest part of my labor gave me strength when I doubted myself,” said Hollie. “His calming touch between contractions was so sweet and grounded me, and it allowed me to regain my focus. Both our sons spent a lot of time preparing to play a supporting role. Charlie took to the role very naturally. My sons asked to take a mini-childbirth education class, which I taught, to prepare them mentally for witnessing birth. Having the people I care about the most cheer me on during the hardest thing I’ve ever done was exactly what I needed to get through it. His presence helped remind me that I had done this before and that I could do it again.”

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