I recently read an article in the Washington Post and I loved it! I loved that with her doula's support, she had an empowered, supported birth experience. That's the goal!
But I am not that kind of doula and that's okay. We're a pretty diverse group of people with a wide range of philosophies regarding birth.
If I'm your doula, I will not throw away your tv dinners unless you specifically say, "Get those tv dinners out of my fridge and into a dumpster." If dietary changes are what you want, I will work with you as you find your way. And, if you want me to warm up some frozen macaroni and cheese, I'm going to do that without an extra helping of side-eye. It's your call.
I also won't give you a vaccination book unless you ask for it, I'm sorry. I trust you to explore that topic yourself, with your physician and your child's pediatrician and my plan as your doula is to respectfully support all the parenting choices you make for your family.
Not every doula uses a boot camp approach when it comes to being a birth partner.
I focus on empowering you to direct your own experience. My goal is to help you find your own happy place in the process. You may need me to take a more assertive role for a minute. You may need me to back off an hour later because you found your rhythm. It's a dance. We're birth partners. I will play you the Hamilton soundtrack, whale songs, the nae nae song or even your old Whitesnake CDs during labor if you want them.
The right support at the right time can make a profound difference and what is needed is unique and different for every birth, every mother, every baby.
We are vulnerable when we're pregnant and birthing, not to mention afterwards. Support is imperative and you deserve to have abundant support during your birthing year and beyond. But you get to say what that looks like for you. You may not like patchouli. You may want a cheeseburger. You may not want to throw away the tv dinners. And that's ok. Meeting you where you are is the point.
Whether patchouli pillows are involved or not, it's my wish that every birthing parent can feel national news happy with their birth experience and the supportive care that they receive from every member of their birth team.