I was a Doula before I knew what a Doula was. My sister was having a baby and I was going to be her coach. I took Lamaze classes in Los Angeles and she took classes in Washington, D.C. I then drove the 3,000 miles to be there when her baby was born. I arrived 5 days before the big day and proceeded to take part in the most remarkable and miraculous experience I had ever had, my nephew’s birth! This was my beginning journey to becoming a Doula.
My personal philosophy about birth is that every woman should have the birth that she wants. It is a sacred experience that she will remember forever. One way to assist this in happening is to have a Doula. My responsibilities as a Doula are to support the mother and her partner (if she has one), before, during and immediately after labor and delivery. I believe that every woman who so desires should have a Doula. My sole responsibility is to be present and available in any and every way the laboring woman needs or desires so that she can have her birth, her way. In the confines of a hospital setting, I am also an advocate for the mother and her partner, as needed. In my prior employment as a principal and a teacher, I garnered a wealth of experience as a child and parent advocate. I bring those qualities to this vocation as well.
We live in a country where birth is still viewed as a sterile and clinical operation. As a Doula I feel I bring the warmth, strength, steadiness, comfort, consistency and advocacy that may otherwise not be present for laboring and birthing women. As a gift, I share the memory of the birth experience with the parent(s) and with my postpartum visit I will bring a dessert, as I love to bake and new parents need all the help they can get with all of the visitors they will receive.
I am a good listener, strong, capable, gentle, humorous and a willing advocate. I have seen births in hospitals,birthing centers and the home. All can be successful, whole and beautiful experiences. I choose not to judge. I choose to touch another woman’s life, to support her unconditionally and to tirelessly uphold the professionalism and pride associated with our important and valuable work. I choose to be a Doula.