I’m sure that if you Google the question “what is a doula?” you’ll see the definition that a doula is “a woman who serves.” So, I thought I’d give you my take on what a doula is, what we do, and what we don’t do. Now, if you’re wondering about the “superheroes with invisible capes” reference, it was something one of my mentors said and it really resonated with me. The doula is fundamentally a support player- we come with ideas of how to make everything work out- but we are not the star of the show. You are.
A doula is someone you can think of like a very skilled friend or family member…who comes without emotional baggage. Why is this important? Well, because pretty much everyone in your personal life is going to have emotions about the birth and the baby- your partner is becoming a parent and they often don’t know how to best support you. Your parents are welcoming a new grandchild (possibly the first) and may have trouble seeing you labor. People will have opinions about how to do things, when to do them, and what not to do, during birth and postpartum.
A doula is completely free of those emotional ties…she shares her compassion, empathy, knowledge (always based in evidence), physical support (like squeezing your hips, sifting your belly, getting you in the tub, massaging your back, doing acupressure or bringing you water and cold compresses to name a few). She holds space for you, listening to your concerns, supporting you with her energy, being quiet when needed and encouraging when you need to hear how strong you are. Our single and only goal is to help you have the best, most fulfilling, empowered birth experience you can have. While we can’t guarantee that you’ll get everything on your preferences list because, let’s face it, birth is unpredictable, we can guarantee that we will be by your side the entire time with a single-minded focus. You, your family, your baby.