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"You do what?"
It occurs to me that, while many parents today know what a doula does in theory, it's likely that a number of them don't really understand what it is I do in real time, so I'll get straight to the point :)
I am a professional birth coach and a walking talking birth dictionary who also washes your dishes and hugs your family. I do NOT do anything clinical (no tests or vag exams) but I can problem solve and cheerlead the right way through all stages of pregnancy and the birth process.
Back when I started doing doula work, in the 90's (yup... I'm THAT old!) I think there was a popular belief at the time that a doula was the personification of a vegan - hippie - skirt wearing - granola - kooky woman chanting birthy paganisms over a likewise naked - earth - birther roaring her baby out in a dirt field (actually none of that sounds too darn bad lol) - the reality was that I was one of a few women who really believed that positive birth was the right of the parents, no matter how that looked... And as a result, I was often working with "high risk" situations because that's where the gap was and where fear of birth was.
Even today, there can be the misconception that having a doula is part of "natural" or "unmedicated" birth... And maybe still a bit more granola than what we are comfortable with, and I really wanted to take a moment to help people get a real perspective on what I do.
1- I work for the partners. Period.
This means that WHATEVER your goals or ideal birth situation is, I will support that. If you want an epidural to your eyeballs from seven months on, I totally get it and will do everything in my power to work that into your birth in a way that YOU feel in control. If you want to have your baby in your home with complete silence and bread baking in the background, I will knead the dough and turn on the oven. If you want a c-section, I will walk you and your partner through the process to release all concern and be joyous with you about making your own choices! This is YOUR birth... Not mine.
2- I work with ALL kinds of partners and family dynamics.
I have attended OVER 600 births and they have been with every possible race, religion and sexuality. Including couples, full families, partners planning adoption. From high risk to low risk. Birthers with medical conditions, and ages ranging from 13 years old to 48. First time partners to families welcoming their ninth child. From lawyers, doctors, police officers to call center workers and teachers. I've helped families struggling with addiction to homelessness and EVERYTHING in between.
3 - I support you wherever you choose to birth your baby.
Yep. That's right. I can be there from the very first twinge at home to talk about normalcy, suggest positions, set up a TENS unit, and help chill out your partner / friends / family whatever the case. And I will be with you through the transition to the hospital (if you choose to have a hospital birth) to help work within your rhythm and answer questions through it all. Whatever you want or need.
4- I doula partners/dads
We are an excellent team, partners and I. It allows them to be in the BEST part of the birth of their baby in whatever way that looks right to them. No fear. I have partners who stand in a corner sending love to the birther, and I have partners who are in there like a dirty shirt catching their baby. There is no wrong way and I will support the partner in whatever way they need. We are the perfect trifeca, and I'm there to make you look good!
I am here to use all my collected knowledge to provide info through pregnancy, birth and postpartum to help birthers and their partners have a loving and fearless journey in their transition into parenthood. And I LOVE it.
Doula On The Move
CBFC, BD, PCBE