Doulas- What we really do and how we can help!
Hey everyone! I’m sure by now you have all heard the word “Doula” but what does it really mean? What do we really do and how do we really help the women and families we work with? Well that’s exactly what I want to talk about today, as I sometimes find myself jumping into 30 minute conversations trying to clearly explain what my job actually is. Now let’s be honest, I would talk about birth for days if someone let me, but that’s just not very realistic now is it? So let’s simplify, let’s clarify!
The Long form that you will see on almost every single website on the internet looks a little something like this:
“What is a doula? A doula is a Greek word meaning a women who serves in labour. She provides physical emotional support to the woman and her family during pregnancy, labour and into the postpartum period”
Now that is all very true and I use that explanation all the time as it’s very clear in a textbook kind of way, but it’s also very vague in the fact that it really doesn’t really talk about what that looks like in real life. Moving forward, I’m really challenging myself to better explain the role of the Doula when someone asks what I do, because being a Doula is so much more than what the text book says.
So as a doula, this is what I REALLY do…. I Hold The Space. The very important space that allows a woman and her partner to begin to gather the information they need to feel prepared, strong and powerful as they approach their birth. I hold the space for a woman to feel safe enough to share her biggest goals and greatest fears when it comes to a point in time that a tiny and beautiful baby with emerge from her body during the most physical undertaking she will ever know.
As Doulas, we don’t tell moms how to have their babies, they already know exactly how to do that! We just hold the space for her to gently figure it out on her own. In the birth room, yes we provide hands on help when needed (massage, counter pressure, cold clothes, sips of water,) but what we’re really doing is, being an emotional safe guard for her to navigate the process that is exclusively hers to experience. We provide a buffer in time that allows her to think for just a minute, before making a decision based on what works best for her a that point in time.
And when she brings that sweet baby home, we continue to hold that space for her, as she slowly and gently adjusts to this new life as a mother. We create the soft cushion for her to land. A place to share her story and her feelings on how much she loves her new baby, but also that it’s okay to talk about the fact that her whole entire life has changed overnight, and that it can feel overwhelming.
So that is what we really do! I love my job, it’s a dream job really. There is NOTHING better than being witness to a child coming into the world and a woman finding her strength in birth. This strength will provide her the tools and determination she needs to move forward as a strong, confident new mother, and that is something I am proud to say I am a part of. Our team proudly and respectfully holds the space for every single birthing family we work with.
Looking forward to workign with you!