We at The Seventh Mom Project, Inc. are especially fond of Doulas. You can probably tell, after all a few of our board members and several volunteers are professional Doulas. Since March 22, kicks off World Doula Week, I thought I’d share something I wrote a while back. I wrote this early in career as a birth-worker. Over time I tweaked it here and there based on my evolving experience both as a labor doula and as a mom who was fortunate to have doula support during my own children’s births.
The Cochrane Review (a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, care givers and people interested in health; recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.) has offered this “Continuous support during labor has clinically meaningful benefits for women and infants and no known harm. All women should have support throughout labor and birth.”
I suspect, for many mothers, the experience we have in childbirth greatly affects our postpartum experience. For many women, a traumatic birth can increase the risk of postpartum depression and anxiety even lead to postpartum PTSD. With that in mind, we’re grateful for all the Doulas out there loving on mothers so they can prepare to love on their babies.
Ready to “Doula” you through the storm,
So God Made a Doula
One day, God looked down on one of His creations becoming a mother and said “She could use a special helper”, so God made a Doula.
God said, “She needs someone who feels the calling, from deep within, to sacrifice, to serve, to guide and to comfort. Someone who can navigate when needed and let go when its time, whose ability to lead is balanced with her willingness to follow, whose heart is as warm as her ability to nurture is skilled. She needs someone whose impact will last for generations to be born.” So God made a Doula.
God said, "She needs somebody willing to get up and work at fielding calls and answering inquiries while still caring for her own children, nursing, training, educating and influencing. Someone who can buckle four kids into the car with a birth pool and all the needed supplies, run two other errands, deliver the pool and be home in time for dinner and baths before heading out again to teach a childbirth class and stay late to answer questions from mothers to be.” So God made a Doula.
God said “She needs someone who will pick up snacks and poise pads, walk through hospital tours, study the latest evidence based care, teach about how to make a birth plan; only to support the mother when she changes it all mid journey and help coach a new Dad in a sport he’s never played. I need someone to teach a mother to breathe through the pains, make sure she has everything she didn’t think she’d need, and encourage her to speak up for herself and her decisons. All with a demeanor that is calm, personable, and professional.” So God made a Doula
“I need someone to ride that roller coaster of anxiety, hope, fear, and worry as she sees the mother’s worries and doubts increase while baby’s heart tones decrease all with the same peaceful, confident exterior that she’s held up all through the night. Someone to cheer with mom as things turn bright and be a light for her when they are grey and a smiling face of reassurance when the ride twist back again.” So God made a Doula.
God said, “I need someone who is willing to jump out of bed, in the middle of the night and drive across town with a moment’s notice, to head to a birth, not knowing how long it will be or when she’ll return home to her own bed and her own family and do this for someone she’s never met because she’s backing up a Sister Doula. Someone whose family knows the true meaning of the word vocation more so than words like vacation yet they are willing to share because they know their mother is called to serve and with pride and joy they hold space for her as she mothers the mother. So God made a Doula.
“Somebody who knows that a birthing woman needs to feel free to be vulnerable and strong all at once. To support her decision through every transition, to offer every bit of physical and mental relief they can and still not judge when mom chooses pain medicine (or doesn’t). Someone willing to climb on the bed to Rebozo sift mom and grab the last peanut ball available to help mom rest as she reaches that last centimeter, meanwhile pumping for her own baby at home and gulping down water and a cookie because she knows she’s going to be needed again soon. So God made a Doula.
God said, "I need somebody strong enough to support a new mother as she squats low to the earth breathing down a new life, yet gentle enough to pull her hair up and wipe her face with a cold cloth, who will stay after the babe’s arrival to ensure a good first latch. Someone who’ll make sure the mother eats and drinks before acknowledging her own growling belly. Somebody who'd knit a new family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing and caring, holding space in that golden hour before heading home to her own family.” So God made a Doula
Author’s note – I use the word need for poetic emphasis. The truth is no one needs a doula, in fact, as a doula, I believe if my client feels she absolutely needs me, as in she can’t birth her baby without me, then I’ve failed to do my job of educating and empowering her.
Each walk is different, but we walk together, and that makes all the