I have been asked this question countless times since beginning my journey as a doula and I am sure that you have heard the explanation that “a doula offers physical, emotional and educational support” which is absolutely true, but what does that mean? I am sure that all of us in the birth world have a different explanation of what we do, her is mine:
I will answer any and all questions that you have through your pregnancy without bias and with evidence based information.
I will be there to listen to any fears or concerns that you have and will do my best to comfort you and calm your mind and your heart.
I will answer your calls, texts, emails and messages as quickly as I can.
I will think of you on days that you have appointments and check in with you to see how you and your baby are doing.
I will offer you suggestions to help make your pregnancy as comfortable as possible.
I will memorize your birth plan and look at it often as your due date approaches.
I will run out of the house when I get the call that your baby is ready to come and meet you.
I will stand by your side while you labor and work with your baby whether that is 20 minutes or 20 hours, I will be there.
I will stand by your partner and help them to see your cues and provide the support that they are comfort with.
I will squeeze your hips and provide counter pressure while you rest so that you have the strength to bring your baby into your arms.
I will laugh with you and cry with you through your journey to becoming a parent whether it is for the first time or the tenth time.
I will watch as your birth partner stands with tears in their eyes and admires your strength.
I will smile as I see the moment that you realize just how powerful you are.
I will take pictures of the beautiful moments happening around you that you will want to look back on for the rest of your life.
I will hold your hand and cheer you on.
I will tear up the moment that you hold your baby.
I will admire your strength.
I will jump in when you need me and hold your space when you don’t.
I will watch the beauty in baby’s first latch, bottle, skin to skin and all of the other firsts that you experience so quickly.
I will sit with you a few days or a few weeks after your baby is born and go through the memories of your birth and answer questions about your baby and this new journey.
I hear all the time “you must love all those new babies!!” Absolutely, but what I love even more is watching women find the strength and power that they have and channel all of it to become mothers.
Among so many other things this is what I do as a doula.