The Doulas of Memphis Difference

March 22-28 is World Doula Week, and this week on the blog Doulas of Memphis is taking the World Doula Week Blog Challenge hosted by Louisville Area Doulas! Today, we’ve been challenged to tell you all about something that makes us different. Doulas of Memphis Difference

If you spend any amount of time on our website, you’ll see that we are different. We’re an agency and that’s different. Our birth doulas work in teams and that’s different. We go on call from the moment you sign your contract and that’s different. We can provide round-the-clock postpartum care, we have the most availability, we have uniform training through ProDoula, we’re not an advocacy group, we’re building sustainability through our business model, we’re invested in our community, and yeah, that’s all different, and yes, we’re proud of all the things we have to offer you. But…

All of that is great, but it isn’t what makes Doulas of Memphis the best doula services in Memphis. We are the best doula services in Memphis because our business is built not around an ideology, but around YOU, the client.

Traditionally, has been approached from the framework of helping women achieve greater success in their attempts at natural childbirth, also known as unmedicated childbirth. You hire a doula to help you bypass that epidural, unless of course something happens and it becomes “medically necessary.” There are studies that suggest doulas can help lower the cesarean rate, decrease interventions, and promote shorter labors. The problem with those studies is that they are just that- studies that look at populations and not individuals.

We are grateful for the women who have come before us to put doulas on the map and to get the word out about what we do. We work to carry on their tradition of supporting women through birth and the postpartum period, but Doulas of Memphis was founded based not around an ideal of a birth without interventions, but around the support that modern women in Memphis are craving.

The truth is that the vast majority of women in this city are not having the unmedicated vaginal deliveries that the doulas of the past traditionally supported. We feel at Doulas of Memphis that if we base our support around that standard, we are doing women a disservice.  A woman who wants an epidural, chooses a “wait-and-see” approach to pain relief,  chooses an elective induction, trusts her doctor and values safety over the experience,  or chooses a cesarean birth can benefit from the support of a doula equally as much as someone who wants a natural birth.

Our clients come from different backgrounds and have different values and expectations surrounding childbirth, and we value them all. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again:

We’re not here for an experience. We’re here for YOU.

We’ll never hang up the phone or leave your side because you choose an epidural. We value the doctor-patient relationship and believe you are capable of choosing the birth team and making the choices that are best for you. We leave your clinical care to those who are most qualified and keep our focus instead on your emotional well-being. We aren’t invested in your parenting choices, whether you choose to circumcise or not, or if you decide that it’s best for your family if you take a more scheduled approach. We’re invested in YOU, the client. You, the woman who is more than someone giving birth or a mom with spit-up on your shirt after a rough night.  We are invested in getting to know you as individuals so that we can be the best doula in Memphis for YOU.  

If you’ve never considered hiring a doula in Memphis because you thought they were only for a certain type of birth or parenting style, we’d love for you to reconsider and  give us a call! We want to hear from you and learn about your needs and how we can support and serve your family.

That's the Doulas of Memphis difference. We hope to hear from you soon!

To read blogs from other contributors to the World Doula Week Blog Challenge, visit http://louisvilleareadoulas.com/blog/2016-world-doula-week

 

I'm not a lucky charm

lucky charm

Hearts, stars, and horseshoes...

Oh, wait. That’s cereal. If you were a kid in the 80s or 90s, you might remember rabbit’s foot keychains. They were supposed to be this sort of lucky charm, and it was even luckier if you had one in some bright neon color (at least that’s how it was on the playground where I grew up...what about you?). In my experience as a doula in Memphis, I’ve heard people speak of what we do in a similar way:

“Hire a doula, she’ll help you get the birth you want!” “A doula will advocate for you so the things you don’t want won’t happen” “I’m looking for a doula who has VBAC experience” “My doula has been to tons of natural births”

If you are pregnant in Memphis or anywhere else and are thinking about hiring a doula as a sort of insurance policy to get the birth you want, I’d like to tell you ever-so-gently that as much as I’d like to be, I am not a lucky charm.

I get it, I really do, and I’d also like to tell you that the feelings behind that sentiment are valid. Humans are relational, and that doesn’t go away during pregnancy. We like safety, we like predictability, we gravitate towards people who have similar experiences and lifestyles. We want the best for our children, even in birth, and it’s natural to want to set up for success. A doula can help, but not in the outcome-altering way you might think.

If a doula isn't a lucky charm, then what are you?

What is a lucky charm, if not a tangible reminder? Whether it’s a rabbit’s foot keychain, a penny, Dumbo’s feather, or a little trinket you carry around with you, a lucky charm is something we can touch and see to remind us to be brave, that we’re strong, that we’re capable.

That’s what a doula does.

I can’t guarantee you’ll get that VBAC, or a natural birth, or that things will go how you expect. But what I can do is be a tangible reminder that you are brave, strong, and capable. I don’t need to have had similar experiences to bring you comfort and support during your birth. It doesn’t even matter that I’ve given birth at all.  I don’t have a magic doula bag full of tricks- only my head, my heart, and my hands (thanks, ProDoula).

I’m not a magic wand, but I am present. You can see me, you can touch me, you can lean on me.

I’m not lucky, but I’ll hold your hand and remind you that you’re not alone. I’ll tell you that I believe in you, because I do.

I’ll look you in the eyes and tell you that you’re an amazing mom, that you’re making the best choices you can for your baby.

The love and care I bring as a doula transcends your experience because I’m not here for an experience. I’m here for YOU.

You don’t have to carry me around in your pocket because this is a time where you don’t have to carry anything. That time will come soon enough, but for now you have important work to do, and my job as a doula is to hold you up and help carry you. You don’t need a lucky charm- you need support, and that’s exactly what doulas do.