Pregnancy is the most wonderful, scary, beautiful,
stressful time in a Woman's life. I believe that with
the proper self care (nutrition,exercise,meditation,
prayer, whatever works for you) a pregnancy will
proceed normally. I understand that there are things
that are out of your control, but at the same time
have come to see that a lot of women are told that
they are "high risk" when their "condition" can
usually be corrected with a change to their diet and
I believe that above all else, the Pregnant Mother is
responsible for the care of her unborn. Women should
educate themselves on every aspect of pregnancy and
birth, rather than rely completely on their care
providers. I think that there is a tendency in our
society to believe that OB's are the be all end all
for anything pregnancy related. I really hope to help
change this view, even if its one birth at a time :)
I believe that a healthy, normal pregnancy will
culminate in a healthy, normal birth. A Woman's body
knows what it needs to do and no one outside of the
Mother knows what's best for her during her labor.
I think that the only requirement to follow during
labor is to follow your body.
I have found that most hospitals and OB's have a
dramatically different view on birth. I choose to help
Mothers birth their babies, while they seem to try to
help babies "get out" of the mother. I hear time and
time again that a healthy baby is the only important
thing, and I could not disagree more.
NOT only is a healthy baby an important outcome, but a
Mothers feelings of how her birth went is ALSO very
important. If a woman walks away from her birth
thinking she did a horrible "job", or that her body
"just wasn't meant for birth", this kind of thinking
can undermine her self confidence as a new mother. It
can cause doubt about the care she is providing for
her infant, her ability to breastfeed,and a host of
other things. All of this causing a lot of undue
stress, anger and resentment at a time that is
stressful enough by itself. Your birth is something
that you will carry with you and look back on for the
rest of your life. A positive, happy, empowering birth
is something I think most women would prefer to
My views of pregnancy and birth are more in line with
the Midwifery model of care and ALACE, (alace.com). By
the Midwifery model I mean only using a hand held
doppler to check the baby's heart tones, no iv, no
movement restrictions, and no restrictions on eating
and drinking. Minimal vaginal checks, and letting the
mother push when she feels the urge, in whatever
position is most comfortable for her..
These are only one Woman's beliefs. I understand that
these things are not always an option, and I work with
that. No matter the circumstance, I feel my job as a
Doula is to help a woman have the birth SHE wants, not
necessarily what I want. I have never (nor would I
ever) judge a woman for having a hospital birth, an
epidural, or a c-section. If a Woman comes away from
her birth feeling empowered, that she was able to have
her ideal birth, then I have done my job. No one
should ever feel that they have to live up to someone
else's standards for birth.
I believe that Breastfeeding is the way to feed a
baby. Formula is something to only be considered in an
emergency. Its only after twice weaning my children
early that I have come to see how manipulative outside
factors can be. I have dedicated myself to many
causes. Breastfeeding is one on a very long list!!
Another non-profit organization I work with is NOCIRC
....All of my children are intact, meaning they have
not been circumcised. Our view is that it is not our
penis, therefore not our decision. When my children
are grown they can make that decision, and if they
choose circumcision we will pay for it. I just don't
see the need for me to decide for them, especially
right after they are born. Their sexuality is
something I hope isn't going to be an issue for at
LEAST 18 years, lol :)
I wholeheartedly believe that the amount of support a
woman receives before during and especially after her
birth directly contributes to her risk for Postpartum
Depression. We all hear "stay in bed as long as you
can" or "sleep when the baby sleeps"..All very real
and valid advice that should be followed. Some women
are not afforded that luxury. I think that a vital
role as a Doula is making sure you are available after
the birth. Even if it's just to talk, women need to
know that they have someone to call that will want to
take care of THEM. The focus is usually all on the
baby at that point, and I like to make sure Mommy
feels just as relaxed and pampered as the baby :) I
have done dishes, washed clothes, cooked meals, and
even just held the baby so Mom could shower, nap, or
study. Its a hard thing to try and relax with a new
baby. I want to give Mothers every chance I can. I
have three children, I know how it can get ;)
I've been doing a lot of birth reading, preparing myself in anticipation of meeting a long-time internet friend and supporting her and her husband through their birth. I've been spending a lot of time on the doula boards, reviewing resources & my training manual, reading birth stories, and my International Doula arrived the other day. I'm really excited about the prospect of getting back to birthing and completing my certification on time.
Here's another little page that I always read before every birth. It helps me keep my intention in the right place - which is especially helpful, since I know that as a birth junky, I have the tendency to break out my own birth stories. I'm working on that, trying to keep my births out of it unless I'm asked for examples. That's my biggest weakness, I think. Reading this, which was included in my DONA birth doula training package, really helps get my mind in the right space. I love it and wanted to share (it's fairly short):
What is Support?
Support is unconditional.
It is listening...
- not judging, not telling your own story.
Support is not offering advice...
- it is offering a handkerchief, a touch, a hug...caring.
We are here to help women discover what they are feeling...
- not to make the feelings go away.
We are here to help a woman identify her options...
- not to tell her which options to choose.
We are here to discuss steps with a woman...
- not to take the steps for her.
We are here to help a woman discover her own strength...
- not to rescue her and leave her still vulnerable.
We are here to help a woman discover she can help herself...
- not to take that responsibility for her.
We are here to help a woman learn to choose...
- not to make it unnecessary for her to make difficult choices.
- -- Anonymous