“If a doula was a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”
– John H. Kennell, doctor and author of several studies investigating the benefits of doulas
It is fitting that my first post is published during this, the week of worldwide celebration of doulas! This week is meant to raise awareness not only on the subject of who a doula is, what they do (and what they don’t do), but also to empower doulas themselves to celebrate their profession, and ennumerate the benefits they provide to the mothers they work with – benefits which radiate to the other birth partners, and to the wider community!
As a mom, I have always appreciated having a doula present. If I were to list the number one benefit, it would be that of loving neutrality. Does that sound weird? Well, let me explain. Having both had a doula, and providing doula services, I have the unique vantage point of seeing both sides of the coin.
As a doula, I want what YOU want. I will help you to become educated about your choices, but will never make the choices for you. I will support your choices so that your birth is a thoughtfully considered, empowering experience. When things go even better than you could have hoped, I’ll be there to celebrate your success and process the experience with you. When things don’t go according to the ideal plan, I will reaffirm your good work, highlighting the positive, and process the experience with you with open and respectful listening, and, in some cases, a shoulder to cry on.
The doula is guided by loving care, and desiring the best outcome for you. Yet, as in the paragraph above, I am also a neutral party. I am not employed by the hospital, but by you. I provide non-medical support, primarily to the mother, but also receive accolades from dads and other birth partners present, as they felt my support (which is an amazing compliment to me). I employ my caring heart, but at the same time I can objectively see your progess, personal obstacles, and growth throughout the birth process, and I can respond with helpful suggestions, encouragement, information….whatever is needed that I can provide.
As a doula: this is an amazing gift to GIVE (I can say this with absolute certainty!) – and, having welcomed doulas at each of my births: this is a blessed gift to receive during your birth.
As you celebrate World Doula Week with me, consider visiting my Facebook page and telling me about your positive experience with me as your doula, or with another doula that you chose. You could even interact with the worldwide community in this by using the Twitter tag #WeHadADoula!
Consider using your facebook status once or twice this week to highlight the positive work doulas do. There are far too many women who haven’t heard about doulas!
Can you give birth without a doula? Sure. But, statistically speaking, women with doulas experience
* less pain
* less interventions, such as C-sections
* shorter labors
* greater satisfaction with their births!
You will remember your birth of your baby for the rest of your life, so….
Check back later in the week for some more facts and inspiration about doulas during this World Doula Week 2015!
Sincerely serving you in building the culture of life together,