Things are different now from the way they used to be. In an ideal world, everyone would be so supported by their communities and “villages” that my job wouldn’t exist.
But our world isn’t ideal- families live far away or are working, we’re stretched thin, we’re isolated, and it seems like everyone around us is busy. Not your doula. Your doula is not too busy because your doula is there for you.
We go to our doctor appointments and we wait an hour for ten to fifteen minutes of face time. Unless there’s something urgent on our minds, oftentimes our questions leave us in the moment, or we forgot to write them down, or we think of something on our way out the door. Who is there for us then? Who has answers, or knows how to get them? Google? Friends who may or may not understand? Our parents who gave birth in a totally different world? What if we just need to talk about something, and it’s not necessarily “doctor-worthy”? Your doula can help. She can listen, validate concerns, calm fears, help you think of questions, help you avoid Google and direct you to the best source for the answers you seek. She’ll never judge, never think you’re silly, and is a constant for you. When we go to give birth, often it’s just us and our partners punctuated by hospital staff coming in and out at various intervals but never able to stay for very long. They care about you, but they are also focused on making sure your baby is healthy and safe. It seems as if nobody is there exclusively for you, not even your partner. He’s having a baby too, and his focus is divided between you and your baby. He has needs of his own that must be met as he tries to balance them with meeting your needs. What if he gets tired? Anxious? Hungry? As much as he wants to be, he cannot be there exclusively for you.
Your doula can. Your doula is the only one whose job it is to prioritize you and your needs. Everything she does revolves around you.
She is a buffer, someone who makes things easier for everyone around you. Her presence and support ensures that everyone around you can focus on their jobs because they know you are taken care of. She supports your partner by helping guide him in supporting you better. She can be the firm hands on your hips so that he can be the gentle voice in your ear.
She takes the pressure off of him to be everything and instead gives him the freedom to be himself, the one who loves you and the one you need in that moment.
Your doula is experienced in childbirth and knows how to anticipate your needs. You have work to do, and she helps you to make the most of it. Your doula knows what to say to give strength and encouragement to everyone around her, but especially you. After your baby is born, your doula rejoices with you and begins the work of adjusting pillows, snapping a few candids of those first moments (if you’d like, of course), and helping you as the rest of the world melts away and your world is now on your chest. She assists you as you settle in until she sees you breathe deep, that sigh that tells her that it’s time to slip away. Don’t worry, you’ll see her again at home soon, when she will sit down with you to answer your questions and talk about anything you need, whether it’s your birth or how beautiful your baby is.