Something that I have been asked a lot recently when meeting with families that are interested in doula services are what MY goals and expectations are for their birth. At first this question surprised me and the fact that it has now been asked at several consultations make me think that it is something that I should address in a way that more people will see it. The answer to this question is simple- My goals are your goals whatever that means to you, other than the obvious that I want to leave you and your baby happy and healthy.
Since this is a recurring topic I am now aware of how many people believe that doulas come into one of the most amazing days that you will experience with some expectation as to how things are going to go or how you should do things. As a doula I am by your side to provide you with support and to help you sort through the many options that you have available to you, you can consider me your personal Google for your pregnancy and birth needs. While I can help you wade through the huge amount of information and the many options that you have at your disposal I do not have any personal opinion and should not have any baring on the way in which you choose to bring your child into the world, nor do I want to. I want to help guide you in knowing what is available to you so that you can make decisions that you are comfortable with.
I have worked with many birthing families that have chosen to change their birth plan as labor progressed and have apologized to me…apologized?!? to me?? As someone that has been lucky enough to walk this path in an amazing variety of settings with a huge range or desires, plans, circumstances and outcomes I can assure you that there is never a need to apologize to me or anyone else for making the decisions that you feel are best for you and your baby. I do not hold any personal stake in the choices that you make- I don’t say this because I do not care what happens, I care greatly for the families that I work with and want them to have the best experience possible but everyone has their own version of their perfect birth. Why do I feel this way? I hold very close to my heart the definition that doulas are with you to hold space for you and to provide you with nothing but unbiased support along the way, because of this I do not ever go into a birth with any expectations as to what your journey to becoming a parent is going to look like.
So, with that said my goal for your birth is for you to have an experience that is beautiful and meaningful to you! My hope is for you to have an experience that you can look back on in 20 years and smile whether that is a planned cesarean, a home birth or any of the many options between that are available to you. Your birth is about you and your baby, my expectations and goals have no place in your birth space.