In my early twenties I was far from pursuing an interest in anything birth related. I was a young wife, knew I wanted to have kids “someday,” and primarily focused on using my degree in early childhood education. My interest was children, and teaching hem things they needed to know in life…the most rewarding moments were seeing a “light bulb” go off in their head when they finally got a concept or had a moment of accomplishment due to what I had taught them! I taught for 2 years and then became pregnant with our son.
It seemed manageable in my mind but labor brought unexpected things that would continue to shape my thoughts on birth and this thing called doula support. I labored with my son for 45 hours, chose to transfer from a birth center to hospital, and deviated from most of my carefully thought out birth plan. In the end, my birth did not turn out like I thought it would, but through it all we were supported by a doula. I knew that a doula would help me with challenges during birth, but I did not imagine how helpful it would turn out to be for my husband! He was absolutely drained from lack of sleep and eating, and experienced great concern for his wife and baby for long hours. I am SO glad that we were both supported continuously through each unexpected step by this woman called a “doula.”
My births were some of the most monumental moments in my life that shaped me, and these women called “doulas” were very instrumental in the process as well. I began to read more about doula support and birth and my interest continued to peak. Among my reading I became aware of various birth choices, from water births options to VBACS, to mother centered cesarean options. I also became aware of other women who had their own birth stories to share, all being from a variety of situations. Of course I came across the seemingly perfect scenarios of babies being born with no complications, mother’s feeling in control and heard by their care providers, breastfeeding success, and smiles on everyone’s faces. However, I also encountered stories of women who felt unprepared and dissatisfied with their experience, felt pressured by care providers to make choices they were not comfortable with, did not feel listened to or respected in their birth plan, felt loss of control, alone and scared in their experience, dealt with postpartum depression, unsuccessful breastfeeding, and felt disconnected from their baby. Although this extreme description of birth does not belong to every woman, it does belong to many and these feelings are very real and deserve attention and validation!
Because of my personal experiences with birth and doula support, researching, and speaking with other moms, I decided to follow my interest in becoming a birth doula. I want to help pregnant women feel prepared and supported for their birth in every way possible. This includes them having a care provider who will respect their own unique birth plan. I want moms to have the information they need to make informed choices. I do not want a mom to feel pressured into having a birth that is my ideal, or anyone else’s. A mother should feel good about her choices, even if it means deviating from her initial birth plan while she is laboring. A woman deserves to have continuous care during birth that focuses on her physical and emotional needs, and advocates for her wishes. After birth, a mother deserves to still have the focus on her, making sure she receives postpartum support in reviewing her experience, feeding her baby, caring for herself and her baby, dealing with postpartum emotions, or needing to find other support resources in the community.
A Moment in Time Doula Services, LLC