What is it about being a doula that makes our particular perspective on birth so well rounded? Well, there are many of reasons. The type of people who become doulas are usually compassionate, understanding and well meaning individuals. They have a passion for knowledge, a desire to care for and a love for the inherent art that birth truly is. As a doula, I can admit proudly to the constant stack of birthy books that rest on my side table, the slew of evidence-based articles in my browser history and the mid-sentence research sessions that interrupt my every day interactions. I always want to know more. I can also attest to the things I’ve witnessed as a birth support. I’ve seen women go from one frame of mind to another, within a second, and back. I’ve watched women transition from inexperienced and unsure to primally intuitive. Even the most practiced birthers have moments of internal chaos, and it’s awe inspiring to watch them discover a new side- a new power, in themselves.
We have seen women birth quietly alone, in the comfort their homes; lights dark and moaning strongly. Women who are surrounded by water and floating gently as their child is brought up to their chest. We have witnessed the solitude of women who shield themselves from the world, while the world bustles frantically around them. Relinquishing control of their surroundings as they transfer from home to car, to hospital. Unphased by the everyday goings-on of the hospital as they move through the checkpoints to reach the sanctity of their birthing suite, all the while experiencing the waves of intense tightening. Often we are with these women from the moment they begin to experience these small changes in their bodies. Even more than that, we are with them from the moment they consciously make the decision to take power of their birth and want the support, so they hire us to be that role.
We want the women we support to be informed about their rights. We want them to be in control of their body, their unborn child’s body and, and their rights as human beings. We educate them using only evidence based information, and encourage them to discuss every aspect of their birth plan with their care providers. There should never be any uncertainty in their minds that what they want for their birth will be overlooked. Things may change when the time comes, as the nature of birth is very organic, but it will always be the choice of the woman and her partner to make those decisions if and when they come up. Going into a birth with a woman who feels prepared, is ready and openly awaiting this tremendous event in their life is an amazing thing. It doesn’t matter where it happens- home, hospital or the side of the road, and it doesn’t matter what method of coping the women use- self reliance, doula/partner reliance, narcotic or other drugs. We support women and the choices they’ve made. We support their partners while they support their woman. We support; that’s what we do, and we have supported it all