What Makes a Doula a Doula.

August 28, 2016

It seemed like such a funny question to me at first to ask if there are any medical interventions I won't work with. Not that I fault my client for asking, but the notion is so antithetical to what being a doula is about. Doulas are there to serve their clients. You want to birth naturally? I will support you. You want an epidural? I will support you. You want an epidural and to avoid a c-section? I will do my best to help you achieve that. Doulas serve our clients in helping them to achieve the birth THEY want as well as supporting them wholeheartedly with the birth they get. 

 

Doulas have one of the most humbling professions in the world. As one Comforting Touch student so brilliantly shared, when she attends a birth, just before she gets out of her car, she says to herself, " I know nothing about this birth". And this is a doula who has attended hundreds of births. But it would be a tremendous mistake to believe that she or any doula could know what each client will need or want because it is so unique to each family's wishes and the way each birth unfolds. 

 

Because the reality is that not only may a client respectfully choose from any number of interventions, they may actually NEED the very intervention to which I could potentially be "opposed". How do I support them then? 

 

In my opinion, there are no inherently bad interventions. The only medical intervention I could ever theoretically be opposed to is the one that you don't want or need. But I can't know what that might be until I'm with YOU at YOUR birth. For a different birth, with a different client, the same intervention could lead to a cascade of interventions and c-section, while for another it could be the very thing that allows them to birth vaginally. For one client the same c-section could be unnecessary, while for another it could be life saving. 

 

So no, I'm not opposed to working with any interventions. As a doula I'm there to work with my clients and the birth they want to achieve to the best of their ability and circumstances. I will always support my clients to do that, and really aim to come to each birth open-hearted and agenda free. This way I can truly be of service to my clients, not a pre-conceived agenda. I think that is what all good doulas do. Really, I think that is what actually makes a doula, a doula. 

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