I announced on twitter over the summer that I’d been undertaking a very exciting doula training course that I had been keeping my fingers crossed to get on to. I got many excited congratulations (which I sincerely appreciated), plus a lot of questions. So I wanted to address some of those with you today.
Most of you know my policy of never discussing my day job on Rhyme & Ribbons but over the years it’s run the gamut with one thing in common – I’ve always worked with children. Granted, some of those were big children (ie university students) but trust me, sometimes they have the same sort of problems that my little ones (nursery aged) do.
But I’ve always liked working with the littlest ones the best. I adore babies. I can’t help it. It’s amazing to get to snuggle and spend time with them (and then hand them back to their parents). Surprisingly, I was never the little girl who had a baby doll that she “took care” of. Instead, I was the one with the Barbie that was trying to escape the Titanic or flying around the world (I had a pretty dark imagination as a kid and a lot of my role-playing ended up about me/Barbie saving the day in some kind of disaster).
I first heard about doulas when Sam’s sister-in-law had one for the birth of her son. It immediately piqued my attention. But living in London and having a million other things on my mind, I shoved it in the back of my brain for a “maybe I’ll research this if I ever have a spare moment” time.
After having finished the latest big workshop weekend, I put my finger on what I like most about the idea of a doula. You are there to help empower women to make the choices that are right for them in one of the most stressful times of their lives. There are so many “right” and “wrong” ways to parent, give birth, feed your baby, that everyone has an opinion without knowing much about your actual situation. And sometimes with someone in your corner (like a doula) it’s easier to stick to your guns about what you want.
A doula also offers continuity of care. In a world where the chances are that the doctor or midwife that you’ve been working with throughout your pregnancy is unlikely to be the person on call during your delivery, the continuity of care that you get with a doula is invaluable. Having a friendly face in a sea of strangers can definitely have a positive effect on your calmness.
Being a doula, to me, is about mothering the mother and I’m so excited and thrilled at the prospect. It’s such an honour to think that someone would welcome my presence in this most personal time in their life.
I still have months more work ahead of me before I open up shop, but I’m already brainstorming names for my new business. Any suggestions?
So if you know any pregnant women who’d like a birth or post-natal (after birth) doula, send them my way!