10 Things Your Doula Wants You To Know
KICKING OFF WORLD DOULA WEEK
1. We don't just show up for your birth. Many professional doulas include 1+ prenatal appointments that go over essential childbirth education and postpartum visits to make sure families are adjusting to life postpartum.
2. We have tough stomachs. We've seen so much bodily fluids, blood, placentas, and even cesarean surgeries being performed. Sometimes some even gets on us. It's all good!
3. On-call life is not for the faint of heart. Our schedules - or lack thereof - can be very demanding. Hours are unpredictable and we can sometimes miss important family events or holidays.
4. We feel angry, sad, or disappointed with you if your birth does not pan out from what you had hoped it to be. Sometimes it's just the natural unpredictability of birth and frankly sometimes it's a healthcare provider that does not have the same philosophy as your birth wishes so we do our best to help you feel heard, supported, and always offer unbiased information.
5. We are always thinking at least 3 steps ahead. Thinking outside of the box is our expertise and our skills may seem simple but are extremely effective.
6. We have the connections. Not only do we have a very special skill set and know what to recommend as far as reading and what information is legit in general, we also know our local birth scene. Yoga, Chiropractors, Childbirth Education Classes, Photographers (some of us even do that), IBCLC's, Support Groups, we got you covered!
7. We often form strong bonds with our clients and become friends afterwards. Birth is very intimate so it's not uncommon to find a connection with those clients you go through this process with. It's a very rewarding experience.
8. Don't worry about being mean to us or anyone while in labor. It seems to be a real concern that mothers have - that they will yell or be mean to us in birth. If you are short with us or swear at us it's really not a big deal, we understand - many of us having gone through the intensity of the birth process! Funny things is that a lot of the time the women who think they will be the meanest are the nicest and calmest during their birth experience.
9. It is devastating if there is a bad outcome. It's a serious risk we all are willing to take. Sometimes what is supposed to be the best day of your life can turn into the worse but it is so important to know that your doula will always want to be with you and is aware of the sensitivity of the situation. Many doulas even take special training for unexpected outcomes.
10. We all truly believe that doula work is important. The more families that become aware of the existence of doulas and hire us as professionals will push our society in the right direction to normalize birth and help give women the strength and courage that they can do it too.