- You absolutely should carve out your ideal birth team – me included! Many of my clients often speak to me about a lack of understanding or support – emotional or educational – from their providers, partners, family, or friends. You may not be able to choose your relatives, but you can and should interview your birth team to make sure they align with your birth philosophies. There are many resources that offer preliminary questions on what to ask your OB/midwife, doulas, lactation consultants, and other birth workers. A similar list of questions can also be found for your hospital or birth center tours. While the idea of questioning your potential team can be daunting, settling for anyone or anything that simply doesn’t fits your needs could be a source of frustration or distraction during labor. And don’t worry: it’s (almost) never too late to change things up if needed. Plus, it ensures that our support will be even more tailored to your needs.
- Remember: we can’t speak for you. It’s an unfortunate misconception that doulas take the place of your birth partner or advocate for you with your provider or hospital. On the contrary, a professional doula will serve as your and your birth partner’s sounding board, offering emotional, informational, and physical support during your prenatal, labor, and early postpartum experience. We can encourage your partner to speak on your behalf, or educate you both ahead of time on how to advocate for your needs. Having a doula should bring peace and empowerment to your overall experience. But when it comes to birthday, the decisions are up to you. 3. We can quickly become your confidant. Once you sign your contract with your doula, stay in touch! She’s there to support you for the duration of your pregnancy, so pick her brain on any areas of your pregnancy journey. In addition, she’s likely very familiar with the emotional journey you’re facing, so don’t be afraid to share those feelings. If you picked the right person for you, she should offer a safe space to support your needs and help you work through any excitement or nerves you’re facing.
Seven Things I Wish My Clients KnewBy Nilma Black, 23 May 2019
Being a doula, much like other prenatal or postpartum work, is both an honor and a unique calling. It comes with unmistakable joys when welcoming the new family and little one into the world. But it’s not without its challenges and gained wisdom along the way. There is so much we as doulas hope for our clients as we shepherd them into parenthood. Each birth teaches us something new that can benefit the next mom who is about to go on her own journey – so here’s a little bit of that wisdom I’ve learned along the way.