When I tell people that I am a birth doula I get asked a lot of questions. Most are pregnancy and birth related, some are about how I love my job. But there are a some questions that I get asked that have led me to this blog post. There are some misconceptions about what a doula is and does that I would like to help shine some light on.
#1- We are a midwife. Midwives and doulas share a love for women and babies, but that is kind of where we part ways. Midwives are trained and licensed to provide prenatal medical care to pregnant mothers and deliver babies. As a doula, I do not offer medical advice, diagnose conditions or catch babies. I ensure that the mother's physical and emotional needs are met before, during and after birth.
#2- We only assist homebirths. Nope! A woman in labor at a hospital has the same needs as a woman in labor at home. I support you wherever you choose to have your baby.
#3- We take the place of your partner. If your partner is an active participant in the birth of your baby, I absolutely want to come alongside them so that we can support you together. I hold a space for your partner to be as involved as they feel comfortable.
#4- We speak for the mom. When the day comes for you to deliver your baby, I work my hardest to help you achieve your best birth....but I will never speak for you. I will help you make informed decisions and break down medical terminology if needed, I will not say you aren't having an epidural when you may be thinking its time for one. This is your birth and I will support your choices without judgment.
#5- We only support unmedicated births. Your body is working hard to ease baby out whether you labor unmedicated or not. There are many techniques I can do to help your labor and postpartum progress well regardless of how you choose to cope with pain.
#6- This is my hobby. Becoming a doula sprouted from my love for people. After my children were born I understood how valuable it is to have a consistent person who is knowledgeable, compassionate and invested in my hopes for birth. I have invested finances and time to ensure that I provide the best support I can to each family I serve. I am continually learning and pursing ways to assist you better. I want to see you thrive and be the best parent you can be. I am invested in you.
These are just some of the top misconceptions I hear. What are some you have? I would love to answer any questions you have about a doula's role in your birth.