How I doula
One of the most important skills a doula can have is the skill of not judging. I have found that judgement is second nature, it comes as easily as breathing. It happens without any conscious effort. It's ingrained in us and it takes practice and hard work to eliminate it!
I pride myself on my ability to not judge others, not only in my work but also in my everyday life! Many doulas claim non-judgmental support but that must mean something different to some of them. To me, non-judgmental support doesn't mean I support you to your face and then complain to my doula friends that my client made a choice that would be different than what I might choose for myself.
To me non-judgmental support means that I don't judge you or your choices when I'm with you OR when I'm away from you!
I do not believe there is one type of birth that is best! I believe that people are smart and capable and can make decisions that are best for them. For some people this involves tons of research, for others it's finding a provider they trust and following their recommendations, and for others it's about making decisions that feel right. There isn't a wrong way to make these decisions in my opinion.
This is a huge reason that I felt compelled to switch to a different certifying organization from the one I started with . I was uncomfortable being taught that my job is to help clients achieve un-medicated births, to educate them on the “right” way to do things or to help clients go against their doctor's recommendations! *shudders*
First, I will absolutely try to help my clients achieve an un-medicated birth if that is their goal. But, I don't have special powers that prevent complications. I cannot promise that your birth will go exactly as you want. I can promise my devoted support through every twist and turn that may come up. I can promise that I will trust that every decision you make is the best choice for your family and for this birth.
I will also support your choice to birth however you want whether that is with ALL the medications, with no medications, a cesarean, (for any reason) and anything in between!
Secondly, I am not medically trained! Your doctor is the person you've chosen to provide your medical care and they are highly trained! I will not, ever, tell you to ignore their recommendations or do something without their approval. I will absolutely encourage you to discuss your wishes before you give birth and I'm happy to help you formulate questions. I can help you find studies and research, on any topics you wish and you can use those as a discussion point with your provider. And IF, you decide that your provider isn’t a good fit, I can help you find one that is. Because, if your life, or your baby’s, is on the line THEY will be the ones that can save you! I cannot do that.
I am trained in people, supporting them, encouraging them, being there when they feel they need my support, understanding that they know themselves and their babies better than anyone else, and NOT judging them or their choices! I'm trained in finding the best and most current research on all things pregnancy, birth, postpartum recovery, and infant care related! I'm trained in how to care for new parents and help them find their new normal with their newest family member! Oh, and I can swaddle like a boss!
We live in a world of social media, where everyone has an opinion on your life and it's totally acceptable for everyone to tell you what you are doing wrong or right, and telling you what they think you should be doing! It's exhausting! The last thing you should be worried about during your birth is whether or not your doula thinks you are doing the “right” thing! And the last thing new parents want to hear is how they “should” be doing things!
No one loves your baby as much as you do! And no one else knows what's best for your baby and your family!