So what does a doula do? It’s a question I get asked all the time. I normally respond by saying I’m a “birth coach” but I know that I’m so much more than that. Americanpregnancy.org defines a doula as, “…a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical, and educational support to a mother who is expecting, is experiencing labor, or has recently given birth. The doula’s purpose is to help women have a safe, memorable, and empowering birthing experience.” I feel like that’s a pretty good textbook definition but, again, I feel like it’s so much more. My clients aren’t just clients, they become family. It’s not a business relationship, where we meet, go through labor together, have a postpartum visit, and we each go about our lives. My “mommas” trust me to help them through this journey, both mentally and physically. We meet and chat and feel out our connection. Then I get a call that it’s time to go. We walk the halls together and chat nonchalantly. Then the contractions begin to pick up and she leans into me as they come to their peak. I hold her up, the contraction subsides, and we smile. “One contraction closer to that sweet baby” I say.
The connections I’ve made so far on my short journey are indescribable. I feel connected to each and every one of my mommas in a different way. I chose this path because the connection a mom and a doula have isn’t like any other. I’ve been where she is and know what she’s going through. I wanted to be that support for other moms. The support where no words need to be spoken in the throes of labor but I know what she needs.
These women allow me to witness them at one of the most vulnerable times in their lives. How lucky am I that I get to be a part of something so much bigger than myself? So yes, I am a “birth coach”, I provide many means of support, and I keep a safe space for my mommas. But this birth, the moment that baby enters into this world, is something I will hold in my heart forever.
All student article posts are the expressions of the student who wrote them. We do not take responsibility for the content, these are done as part of the educational experience and we try to encourage students to use their voice and learn to connect with clients through blogging and social media.
To learn more about our educational programs please visit www.birtharts.com