My role as a doula
Updated: Jun 8, 2022
What does it look like to support a birth?
It looks different for each client, because just as each individual has unique needs, each birth is uniquely different. A huge part of my role as a doula is 'holding space.'
For me, 'holding space' means that I provide support, without judgement or agenda, protecting your innate power to bring life into this world.
When you cry out, "I don’t know if I can do this!” I’m there to affirm you that; “I know this is hard, but you’ve got this. Look at how far you've come!"
When the waves wash over you and its difficult to find your rhythm, I’m there to help you breathe deep and release tension.
I position the shower head as it streams warm water on your aching back, offer you sips of cold water and massage your tired feet. I do hip squeezes, dim the lights, suggest position changes, and make sure you stay hydrated from the hard work of labour. I listen, I watch, I affirm, all the while being attentive to your partners needs and desires to support you.
I make sure your partner takes breaks and I check in to make sure that they stay hydrated and nourished from the hard work of supporting you.
I memorize your birth plan, so moment by moment, I am aware of your preferences and work alongside your partner to advocate for your needs.
When your plans shift, and the room becomes a flurry of decisions and medical terms, I help you navigate this uncharted territory. I remind you that you can ask questions...what are the benefits or the risks, what are the alternatives....but most importantly, what is your intuition telling you?
You see, birth support will look different for every birth, depending on the shifting needs of each client, but one thing is always the same….I hold space, I'm 'mothering the mother', as you do the amazing work of bringing new life into this world.
“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers — strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength." - Barbara Katz Rothman