A question that I'm hoping will get asked less and less, but a question I am happy to answer!
I am a doula in Chicago, and when meeting new people inevitably profession comes up.
"I'm a doula."
"A doula. I work with women and their families to help ease the transition from pregnancy to a new normal at home after birth."
"What does that look like exactly?"
And I go on and on...
Traditionally, the word doula means a woman who serves, or if we are going back to Greek origins, a woman slave. In the context of my work, it is specific to women who a pregnant looking for labor support, or who have recently delivered and are looking for postpartum support.
And here we are, in World Doula Week! A whole week devoted to learning more about this work, this profession, and how I can help you.
How can I help you?
Why is a doula something to consider for your birth or your postpartum life?
Nuts and bolts of my job means I can provide support in areas you need, such as education, physical support through labor, or emotional support through this huge life event.
Having a doula means I am there to support and encourage, support and inspire, support and listen, support and remind, support and observe.
All of this support comes without any inkling of judgement or opinion. This support is the kind that can cause a woman to empower herself to make decisions that would be hard to make if she felt she were alone. Decisions that might be hard to make if she started to compare her feeling to those of other women.
As women, we each have an authentic view of childbirth and that view is something to celebrate. But it can be hard to find it and own it if a woman only hears stories of opposing opinions or terrible experiences.
When with a woman as her labor doula or postpartum doula, I have the wonderful joy of seeing motherhood unfold and bloom. I hear ideas never voiced. I am told fears that have never been released. Through it all, I am there to look women in the eyes and tell them that they are exactly what their baby needs. That they are strong and brave, and their choices are valid. That their feelings are valid. That their desires are valid.
These are words women do not hear enough.
Why Hire a Doula?
If you have never heard of a doula or if you are starting to consider bringing one onto your birth team, I encourage you to think of events in your life that will be more important than the birth of your child and those early weeks learning about each other.
The birth of your child will be an event that you will remember for the rest of your life, and it will swell emotions - good or bad. Consider that for years and years to come, when you are still remembering these moments, that they will inspire positive feelings or negative feelings.
Having a doula is not a guarantee of an outcome, but having a doula will help you take ownership of your birth and help you "write a story they are proud to tell," as Randy Patterson pointedly says in her description of doula work.
Stay with me this World Doula Week 2015 as each day a different part of doula life gets discussed!
What about you? If you have questions to ask this would be a great week to discuss them! Write in below with a comment, or mail me direct at ASwiftDoula@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you!
Authored by A Swift Doula