Sunday, November 22, 2009

Doula philosophy?

This is a big question I am often asked. What is my birthing philosophy.
I have tried to articulate it before but it never quite came out right so I am going to try again. I strongly believe that a doula's role is to support her client in labor without judging or telling her what to do. I will gladly share any information/techniques I know and give advice, but at the end of the day it is not my birth. I believe in a woman's power/ability to give birth pretty much anyway she wants to (within reason of course). I also understand that every woman knows herself best. She knows her pain threshold, how she reacts to stress or unexpected events, what she can handle and what will overwhelm her. All these factors are important for formulating a birth plan that is unique and perfect for her, whether it involves pain medication, birthing pools, home births or otherwise.
The other thing I think is important to keep in mind is that there is a tremendous mind-body connection. While labor is definitely very physical, where you are in your mind can have a huge effect on how your labor progresses. A large part of a doula's job is to help a woman feel safe and comfortable.It does not mean that there will not be any pain. But if the energy in the room is good, the woman feels that her wishes are being respected and that she is coping well with the contractions, it makes her feel more relaxed and helps her progress in her labor.
What do you guys think? I am starting to feel like I am talking to myself again-any and all comments are welcome.

1 comment:

  1. I've never gone the doula route (I have 4 children and am expecting my 5th this summer, b'li ayin hara) but I very much ascribe to the philosophy you've laid out here. For my first 2 births I had epidurals and the 2nd one didn't go so well (B"H, no lasting damage to anyone) but I decided from then to forgo medication in light of the risks I had experienced first hand. I did tonnes of reading and research on non-medicated labour strategies and B"H through a combination of the Bradley method, Lamaze and mild self-hypnosis (well, probably more like really powerful positive mental imagery) I made it through 2 births drug free. I know it's not for everyone, but I'm very happy with the way it worked out for me and I'm looking forward to the challenge and reward of another labour, BE"H, in a few months.