Where most people understand the role of midwives, doula support on the other hand, is a lesser known entity.
Our role however, is steadily gaining ground as the one who “holds space”; is comfortable with silence and waiting. She possesses a toolbox of natural birth and labour resources (including the use of massage, essential oils, herbs, tinctures, visualisation, et al) and is committed to supporting the mother towards the kind of birth she desires, as well as aiming to leave her with the memory of a positive birth experience. She is well-versed in the physiology of labour and birth and keeps up-to-date with evidence-based research: information with which she readily empowers her clients.
I believe a woman and her partner must be able to trust their doula to support and enhance their birth experience within safe and secure boundaries. Within these boundaries, the doula provides a safe, gentle and calm space where the labouring mother can allow her body to do what it’s physiologically and naturally designed to do.
I believe in, and understand, the birth process and a woman’s ability to birth. As a mother, I am able to provide a woman in labour with the vital emotional support of someone who knows what labour feels like. It’s not just about getting the mother to work through her labour but helping her to trust her own body with the birth process.
In putting together your birth-day team, consider a birth and labour companion who is able to express empathy, is sincere, kind, reliable, dependable, has a sense of humour, is caring, confident, professional, truthful, innovative, clean and tidy, firm but gentle and last, but not least, respectful of her client and her partner.