What have been some of your greatest accomplishments? If you mentioned that you’ve earned a degree, overcome a bad habit, or volunteer your time regularly, I’d be very impressed! This is because all of these things are HARD to do, which is what makes them WONDERFUL. You’ve chosen to improve your mind and character through a series of actions which GREW you!
Life is mysterious: Some of us are given advantages at birth that others will never have a chance to compensate for. They are just one-time opportunities, unlike taking up running or hosting a charity event. It’s easy to see that these are some of the most vital factors which contribute to our lives, because they set us up for every other decision we will ever make.
There are no do-overs when it comes to how we entered the world, and it impacts us for LIFE.
How were you born? Ask your mom or grandmothers how their births went, and you may be surprised.
We may imagine a softly lit room, our ancestor laboring with only her closest friends around, and a definite hush as all present anticipate the wondrous moments which they’ve been invited to witness. It is an honor and privilege to attend a birth! This should be a time of calm and support. But all too many of our ancestors (mainly within the past century) have not had such births. Rather, they experience a plethora of unnecessary interventions and disappointments as their wishes are not honored. One intervention leads to another, and soon, the birth is indistinguishable from the one they had hoped for.
The simple fact that we have the option to choose WHO will attend our births often makes all the difference in the world! A hand ready with a cool cloth for your brow, someone to answer the door and quietly usher in your mom, or a reassuring touch when you feel distraught all do much more than words ever could for the laboring mother.
This is why doulas exist! We serve alongside midwives and doctors as a comforting presence and advocate for your family’s wishes. Some of a doula’s roles include:
- Comfort measures for labor
- Helping the family implement what they learned in childbirth classes
- Interpreting the signs of labor progress
- Assisting the father as he supports his wife in labor
- Staying with the mother so dad can take a nap or eat
- Cooking and cleaning (so mother is never left alone)
- Monitoring room and bath temperatures for the mother
- Reassuring and encouraging the mother
- Suggesting positions for labor
- Enforcing the mother’s wishes and communicating this to the birth team and guests
- Controlling the environment’s volume and light, according to the family’s preferences
- Serving as volunteer photographer/videographer for your birth
When it comes to your baby’s story, it will begin with his birth. This one event affects his emotional stability, comfort preferences, feeding habits, neurological health, skin health, digestive system, and bonding with you and your family for LIFE. Birth ought to be treated as a big deal, and doulas help foster an environment of peace and joy which aid many mothers in achieving their goals when it comes to labor and birth. If breastfeeding is important to you, your doula will stay with you for as long as it takes. If you need time with your husband and baby after the birth, your doula is there to make sure that you are uninterrupted!
Why did I make the decision to work as a doula?
I began attending births at the age of 17 as part of my midwifery schooling. It was quickly apparent to me that moms who had the proper support achieved better outcomes, and I love the role that a doula gets to play in this! My natural ability to say more with my actions than my words makes me a great fit for this job, as most mothers want peace and quiet rather than questions during labor. Uninhibited labor leads to uninhibited descent of the baby, which makes birth much more optimal for the mother. By minimizing such interruptions, I seek to protect your labor time and allow you to progress as naturally as possible.
I love that my job allows me the joy of seeing children born, and it is an honor to be invited by parents to these beautiful events! I believe that birth can happen without anyone assisting and turn out perfectly, but for those who would like a servant and support person to emerge from the shadows now and then, a doula is an amazing tool!
It is my hope that you will consider a doula’s services for your next birth! For more information, I recommend The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin. (Good for dads, too!)