The number one question that I get when I tell someone that I am a doula is "A what??". The second question, "Why?".
Birth is unpredictable, lasting a longggg time on occasion. Sometimes pregnant women (especially women close to giving birth) aren't super easy to deal with. And who wants to live the on call life?? Ready to drop everything and leave your child's birthday party with one phone call??
The truth is, there are so many reasons. Pretty sure since the day I was born, I have nurtured. I have instantly jumped into action and cared for others, even strangers.
I LOVE pregnancy and birth!! I am amazed by the entire process. The fact that two people can come together make a precious life then a woman can grow this baby from nothing!!! Mom grows a NEW organ, yes organ that feeds and helps grow this little life. At some point the baby decides that it is ready to live in the outside world and the mom's body does the other wise impossible and expells it. Her bones move and her uterus helps to push this little creature out. WHAT!?!
BIRTH IS IMPORTANT TO A WOMAN!!! Ask an 80 year old woman what her 15 grandchildren's names are and see what happens but ask her about the birth of her children. Watch her face light up as she gives you details!
Families aren't as close as they once were. For centuries and centuries women would gather when it was time for someone to give birth. You were surrounded by others that had been there done that and knew what you were going through mentally and physically. We just don't have that any longer. We are cared for by our medical system but their priority is a medically healthy mom and baby. That is their job and what they have time for. So that leaves the mental and comforting support to be come from elsewhere. Unfortunately it is nonexistent in so many births.
Postpartum Depression rates are ridiculous. The lack of support during birth and the fourth trimester definitely contributes to this. I truly believe that additional help during this time would make all of the difference in the world!
In Part Two I'm going to talk about how my own experiences contributed to my desire to become a doula!!