As a doula in the age of social media,
of oversharing and Facebook and Instagram, I try to stay abreast of current topics and conversations on social media. When I think my expertise, passion, and experience in supporting families can be useful, I engage in conversations on my friends’ pages and in groups.
In a recent discussion about doulas and birth outcomes, one person responded to my comment (“Doulas can’t control birth outcomes”) by saying, “You seem really negative. Why did you become a doula?”
Um, yikes. Me? Negative? I was completely taken aback; I don’t think anyone has ever called me negative before! But this stranger’s question got me thinking, “Why did I become a doula?” And perhaps more importantly, why would my comment elicit the thought that I am a negative person? What sort of myths are doulas perpetuating that would open the door for someone to even consider my simple, true statement to be negative?
After a bit of soul-searching, I came to the realization that many doulas decide on this career path because of their own experiences. Those who had excellent births want to pave the way for others to have the same experience as they did. Those who had traumatic births want to prevent women from experiencing what they experienced. And while this is well-meaning and often a great starting point, it can get dangerous. So many doulas come out swinging, claiming they will advocate on behalf of their clients or intervene if a doctor tries to perform any interventions on their “Mamas.” They work for free or very little compensation, because “anyone who wants a doula should have one.” They think you aren’t educated. They think they can save you. They think you need them.
Why did I become a doula?
Well, that’s simple. I don’t adhere to any of these myths that doulas have helped perpetuate over the years. Instead, I became a professional doula because I believe in the strength and power of my pregnant, birthing, and postpartum clients (you’re not my “Mamas,” #sorrynotsorry!). I believe they are smart and capable. My clients know what they want or how to ask for what they need to make a decision. I became a doula to support you, not to rescue you. I don’t operate under the assumption that you need saving, that you need me, or that you need a doula in order to have an incredibly empowering and beautiful birth experience. I believe you are capable of speaking for yourself, and I’ll support you in facilitating that. Your positive, empowering experience is not dictated by any interventions you may or may not have, an aspect of your birth that is entirely out of the control of your doula. I became a doula because I’m passionate about supporting families during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, and I think it’s a pretty wonderful thing when you can make a living doing something you love.
What I can guarantee my clients is my unbiased and nonjudgmental support in a time where you’re bombarded with advice from all sides and on all points of the pregnancy, birth, and parenting spectrum. I can guarantee that I will be there for you without judgment for those burning, awkward pregnancy questions that strike you at 3am. I will be a source of strength and calm in the throes of labor and birth. I will be an extra set of hands to get you a cold, wet washcloth for your brow or change that song you normally love but is annoying the hell out of you in labor. I’ll help you work through your fears and doubts. I’ll celebrate with you as you rejoice. I’ll help you manage your pain without medication and I’ll support you through any intervention you may choose or require. I’ll help you situate your baby for breastfeeding or I’ll warm up a bottle of formula. No biases, no judgments, no agendas.
Are you ready for this unparalleled support? Give us a call at (530) 903-0337 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org today!