I get this question lot when people find out what I do. The question after is almost always “what is a doula?
If you look it up a doula it comes up on wikipedia as
A doula (/ˈduːlə/), also known as a birth companion or post-birth supporter, is a nonmedical person who assists a person before, during, or after childbirth, as well as their spouse and family, by providing physical assistance and emotional support.
When you read the definition it seems so bland. Isn’t a spouse someone providing support? What about a midwife? Or Nurse? It’s hard to sum up in one sentence what a doula really does and how a birth or postnatal period may be different with a doula.
Even as a doula, there have been times that I have asked myself the question, “What do I do?” Every family, and every birth has left me with different answers. These are a few of them.
I am a sounding board and knowledge base for all things pregnancy, birth and baby. I am here for the “Is this normal?” or “Can you look into this for me” and “Can you find me resources for that?”
I am an guide in trust. Guiding you to trust yourself, your body and your baby.
I am a shoulder to cry on when plans change.
I am your cheerleader, reminding you how amazing you are.
I am a calm voice, reassuring you every step of the way.
I am in the background getting cold cloths, glasses of water and tidying up, so that all focus can be placed where it should be, on the birth.
I am a hip squeezer and head massager.
I am a big sister and best friend.
I am love and respect for your choices.
I am an information centre, ensuring you know all your choices.
My families have welcomed me into one of the most intimate, vulnerable times of their lives. From the prenatal visits, the text messages and emails, on through birth and postpartum I feel I become part of the family. I get to know pets and siblings. I become comfortable in their homes sometimes cooking and folding laundry.
I have become a part of these babies birth stories and I could not be more grateful or honoured for being invited in.