I'm just getting home from a consult with a potential client, and it always dawns on me, how many people don't know what a doula is. Or, more specifically, what all there is to what a doula does.
In its basic form, a doula is a support person for a pregnant, labouring, or postpartum person. Now, that doesn't give much insight. Yeah, it sounds straightforward, but there is so much more to what having a doula can bring you.
As a doula, I am you're birth sherpa. I have the resources, training, and years of experience behind me to help you navigate the next few months of pregnancy. I lend an ear to all the comments and advice you've received; good and bad. I can help you decipher the myths from facts, and I understand what you may want, to make your decisions.
The beautiful and amazing placenta has undergone much scrutiny in the past several months. Especially since last years CDC report regarding a possible GBS+ contamination stemming from capsules. Upon further research, the CDC study is but one sample, and it could not confirm that the GBS infection to baby came from the capsules themselves.
I've been a doula for over 10 years. I've seen a lot of doulas come and go in this profession for many reasons, but the one reason for leaving doula work that always hits at my heart, is when other doulas say "There's too much competition". I wish to flip that perception.
Take a step back, and think of where you heard the term doula. Was it from a friend? You're own birth? In the news? Chances are, it wasn't a common discussion, no matter where you heard it.
Statistically, in the US (because nothing is coming up for Canadian doula stats) only 6% of birthing families chose to have a doula. If we are talking about over saturation in the job market, that number would be a lot higher! It also goes on to mention that another 27% would have liked to hire a doula.
Adding another little set of feet to the family can be a big adjustment for an older child(ren). You want to make sure big sis knows she's still loved, that her role in the family is secure.
What can you do to help prepare her?
Before you make the big announcement to friends and family outside the home, have a special day to talk to her about what's happening. Telling your older child before the rest of the world knows, reminds them that they are important to you. Let her know that she is still a top priority, and you want her to be as involved as she wants (or is capable of depending on age).
The second part of my journey comes from birthing my son. I've actually been working on this for a couple weeks, but the emotion I've felt re counting this story has brought me to tears and boiled my blood on many an occasion.
Between my daughter and my son was 4 years, 3 moves across the country, and a new husband. I'm now 20, living in my small hometown in NL, and married. The strangest thing I found, while being pregnant with my son, was the medical care situation. Being in a remote town, an hour away from a major city, meant that my prenatal care was with my family doctor in town, but my birth would have to be in the city hospital over an hour away. I didn't have a hospital tour, I didn't have an idea of the birthing units, hospital policy, or even who would catch my baby. Honestly, I wasn't overly nervous as my first pregnancy and birth was relatively easy.
I've been trying to write my "About Me" page for about a year. I finally completed it tonight! Yay me!! While writing it, ever so slowly, I still didn't feel like it's enough to truly understand where my passion comes from. Being a doula and supporting birthing families is a drive that started long before I ever knew what a doula is. To really get to my why, I'm going to have to back up several years. Hold on to your seats, this make take a few attempts.