My Doula World



Three years ago I decided to take the classes to become certified as a Doula. I had been an Lactation Counselor for 7 years, and my kids were getting older, so I decided it was time to pursue this dream of mine. 
What exactly is a doula? Most people don't know what it is. They think I am a midwife and I get to catch babies. That would be awesome...but a bit scary for me. The true definition of a doula is: a woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born. That's it. Plain and simple. I don't do anything medical...I don't catch babies...but it is one of the most amazing jobs ever, ever, ever.  I get to support a mom emotionally, mentally, physically while she goes through one of the most challenging times of her life. I breathe with her...through every contraction. I move her around to better positions in different parts of the labor. I talk to her and tell her she is doing such a good  job. I am her cheerleader. I talk to grandparents and other family members on what is going on so the mom can focus on her labor.  I support dads and make sure they are hanging on and let them have breaks when they need it. I laugh with them. I cry with them.  I always feels honored to be included in one of the most intimate times of a families life. They allow you to be part of this time that truly should be beautiful and empowering. The bond you have with the moms and even the dads is awesome. To see them become new parents (even if it's the sixth baby) is amazing. I literally cry at every single birth. To watch that baby cry out for the first time gets to me every time. To hear that mom make that final push...that truly comes right from her core...makes me realize every time how powerful woman are.
And what are some of the other things that are involved:
~ Long hours. Yes, many long hours. Babies don't always like to come at fast speeds. They usually like to descend slowly. Taking their sweet time. I usually get there when the mom is in early labor, and I stay until the mom is settled in her room after the birth.  I am there for the first moments of breastfeeding, to make sure that the baby is latched on. It's a bonus that I am a lactation counselor, so I get to bring this area of experise in the mix.  I don't like to leave until everything is settled and mom is ready to rest.
~Sometimes it's messy. There are fluids involved that you don't want to talk about. It's a hospital (normally)...so you get what you expect. It's a good time for me to oil up with my essential oils, so that I stay healthy.  
~Emotions are flying all over the place. Labor might not being going like the mom wanted it to. The parents might be disagreeing over what to do next. You may have a pushy nurse or doctor who is trying to change minds and may have an alterior agenda. Everyone may get tired. Wait, this is a definite! Babies like to come in the middle of the night...or at least to start labor then. Moms and dads usually haven't been sleeping well lately anyway.  So, everyone is tired. The hospital rooms are cold and not always friendly. It is an emotional time. That's where I like to step in and be that even balance for them. To bring them back to focus and not let emotions swing rapidly through the room.
And as a doula, it's important to have a supportive family. I live on an adrenaline high while I am at a birth.  I may also be coming from a long day with my family of 7. And then I have to be ON. It takes a lot out of me emotionally to be there. I may have only had two hours sleep too. So, when I come home, my family kicks in and makes sure I get plenty of sleep and they take care of the house without any of my help. It makes a world of difference for me. Especially if you may have back to back births. The doula also must be tended to. And my family rocks at this. They make sure I get what I need to get back to my first job and my first love: my family
So, this is it in a nutshell. I serve the Asheville, North Carolina and Spartanburg,South Carolina area. If you are in need of a doula, please leave a message and I will get back to you.

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