Wow! Already this summer, my doula partner Mari and I have attended 5 births! Each one has been different, each one beautiful. And we know that the rest of the births we have coming up this summer will also be unique and be an important chapter in each family's life.
I was called to be a doula to be an educator, to inspire and to hold space for one of the greatest transitions of a woman’s life. Even when I’ve done other things, I’ve always been called back to this work because it’s so deeply needed. I’ve had the opportunity to do many amazing things in my life and work with amazing people, but honestly, helping bring life into the world is the absolute best. There’s nothing like it!
While I could talk about this for hours (and I’d love to, just give me a call!) I've distilled my thoughts down to help guide you if you’re deciding to work with a doula AND your first steps once you make that decision.
So why would you work with a doula?
Your doula will be your #1 Cheerleader. Even before you go into labor, doulas are there to help mamas prepare physically, emotionally and for some, spiritually to bring a new life into this world. While your doctor, midwife and nurses play a crucial role, they’re focused on so many aspects of the birth. Your doula will be there by your side supporting you and holding space for you.
And if you have a partner, your doula can help support them as they support you. Think about it for a minute. Every birth is different and some take longer than others. If your partner is by your side for 72 hours, maybe lacking sleep and food, they want to be the best support possible and are faced with a bunch of decisions, it’s A LOT for one person. A doula can share that support role.
Doulas can provide answers and walk through the pros and cons of different scenarios. They don’t tell you what to do, but can help you make a decision from a place of knowledge, listening to your inner wisdom, instead of listening to a place of fear.
SO now, if you’re thinking about hiring a doula, I suggest a couple of first steps:
Interview at least 3 doulas. I don’t care if someone was recommended to you, talk to several! Just because your neighbor loved, “Sarah the doula,” doesn’t mean you’ll connect with her.
When you’re talking to doulas, keep it simple. Just ask the doula about herself and why she likes being a doula – get to know her. And always keep in the back of your mind ... “Is this a person I can see holding back my hair while I am hovering over a toilet?”
Head to The Childbirth Collective! Attend a Parent Topic night. It’s FREE and you can meet many doulas all in one place.
Attend a Prenatal Yoga class at Blooma. Many of our yoga teachers are doulas and you can see what it feels like to be with these doulas/yoga teachers and what energy you’re drawn to when you are deep in your breath and body.
Whatever decision you make, do what feels right for you and your family. And I hope that includes working with a doula! I am a phone call, a text or an email away if you have any questions. Or ask another mama at Blooma why she used a doula. Knowledge is power!
Lots of love to each of you,