I had a prenatal visit with my client a few days ago. After marveling that time flies and she is already at 37 weeks, we got right down to business. This is my client's third child and she was very clear on what she wanted/did not want for her labor. This clarity was partially because she has been reading up a lot and practicing pre-natal yoga with a wonderful instructor but mostly because she already has two children. While every birth can be different, it does give a woman a starting point to have been there before.
It made me think about my role as doula and how varied it is based on the client. For a first-time mother, a doula is really a guide. She is someone who can help the couple process new information, new feelings and navigate them through these new experiences. For a mother who has been there before, a doula is more of a sounding board, affirming and supporting her in the knowledge she already has. Obviously it's not that black and white, especially if a mother's previous birthing experience was unsatisfactory in some way. That's why it is so important to just listen to your client. Only through truly hearing her, can you support her in the way that is unique to her.
On a lighter note- Happy Channukah to everyone! My husband decided to have a Channukah party this week and guess who is the the official party planner/cook? Yours truly. We made a deal that if he finally unpacks his 20 book boxes before wednesday, I will make fresh latkas. 5lb bag of potatos, here I come.