March 22-28 is #worlddoulaweek. In celebration there are various posts, pictures, and more on social media discussing the global impact of doulas, how they help with families, and provide education and support in all birth situations. Choosing the doula for you depends on price, availability, and travel radius but the most important one is fit. I thought I’d write today to discuss why I decided to become a doula.
I grew up knowing I wanted children, but until my early twenties my knowledge of maternity models of care were the ones presented by the old Dr. Spock books or TV shows like “A Baby Story”. Highly medicalized, heavy intervention labors and deliveries. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties reading various internet forums I saw a different side. I read birth stories detailing midwives and doulas, birth centers, water birth, laboring with the help of programs like Hypnobabies or Hypnobirthing. Reading stories in the new parents forums served as my first introduction to attachment parenting, baby carriers, co-sleeping, and the challenges of formula feeding or breastfeeding. It was because women shared their stories that I became aware of different options and choices.
I’d thought about becoming a doula after the birth of my first child, but adjusting to new motherhood put that idea on the back burner. It wasn’t til my second was born I decided to pursue doula training and research various programs. I ended up choosing ToLabor for my birth doula training. I passionately agree with their view that the empowerment and education families find during pregnancy and birth can be later applied to parenting and other aspects of their lives. I wouldn’t know I had options and choices if others hadn’t shared their stories, and I want to help families realize they have options and choices too. No matter what birth scenario you envision, you don’t have to go it alone. Compassionate, non-judgement support is available to help you and your partner through every step of the process. From knowing the side effects and risks for pain medication, to knowing you can decline or delay certain procedures routinely done immediately postpartum, to resources of who to call for extra breastfeeding support, I want to be able to connect families and help them feel empowered in their decision making.