How I came to work as a Doula
Before my first pregnancy I had never heard of the word Doula. I don’t think many people have.
I remember one of my friends telling me I “needed to get one!” She knew my family and emotional support network lived overseas and I was looking for a motherly-type woman who could help guide me though pregnancy and birth.
I was never afraid of birth, my mother had always spoken beautifully about her births which looking back I am very grateful for, but I wanted to have that one person I could always call no matter for what.
I ended up finding a Doula who was there for all 3 of my births.
But it was after my first that something inside me understood a whole lot more about what she actually did! And I needed to do the same for other women.
It’s so hard to make women understand what a Doula actually does, convince them that it’s a good idea to have one. And I understand its not everyones thing, some people see the birth of their baby as an intimate event that only her and her partner can witness.
But other women get it. Maybe not right away but most definelty after the birth of their baby. Most definelty after receiving endless amounts of back massages, positive encouragement, respect and understanding from my side and just this beautiful combination of teamwork that I get to be a part of every time.
My role is not to sit the husband in the corner and take over. Quite the opposite actually.
My role is to step away and watch this amazing, very connecting transformation happen to couples. Their pure love and commitment.
I only play a very small role in the part.
My first birth was a long but lovely hospital birth. I spend hrs talking to my Doula when she arrived at my home and later on hrs listening to a soft conversation between my husband and her. It kind of made what I was focusing on normal and the world didn’t stop because I was having contractions!
At the time her presence alone gave me this huge amount of confidence and understanding. I never liked hospitals and struggled to understand what the midwifes were throwing at me.
My Doula always took time to explain what was happening and why and was I ok with that?! She kept my husband focused and made sure he got to run out to stretch his legs and recharge with a drink.
Her cold or hot cloths on my face always came at the right time and her hand on mine meant I was doing great!
Women who are in labour tend to go into this beautiful trance, this incredible focused quietness. And I remember going into this trance with every one of mine.
And really, the best thing was to know, that even if I was only half in the room and the other half fully concentrated on my body and this intense sensation running through it, I could count on being safe. I could count on nothing being decided behind my back, on no one rushing me along. On everyone entering my room to respect my birth wishes. And that is what I thank my Doula for.
I love working as a Doula. I feel this natural craving for women and men to have an experience they feel happy about. An experience that was in their hands and made them strong and ready for what is to come as a parent.