I don’t Blog
All the latest rave is, blog, blog, blog. Why aren’t you blogging yet? Why do I need to blog? I just want to come and hold your baby while you shower. I want to come get you a cup of tea while you nurse. I want to offer you support in your decisions, what ever they may be. Why does that require a blog?
This morning I read a post from a another doula, (this group of ladies is amazing, so supportive of one another and so knowledgeable.) The post I read was talking about how unsupportive her family was of her being a doula. Her family had made comments about how she is a hippie and isn’t going to be successful etc. She comes from a line of nurses, and psychologist, and a doctor. In this business not all medical professionals are supportive of our services, during birth or after. I have found the same thing among the older generation. You do what? Isn’t that what their mom is there for? Yes, yes, this is true, but what if, like me, your mom has passed away? What if you are military and your family is miles and miles away. What if you just want a fresh pair of eyes, or you want your mom to enjoy the baby just as much as you and want a little extra support elsewhere? In this culture we all have such opinions, and feel not only justified in judging but as if it’s our right to share all of our opinions.
I too, have a nurse in my family, and a nurse as a very close friend. My friend was actually going to take the training along side me, but couldn’t find the time. I have a cousin who is a nurse, she couldn’t have been more supportive of my decision to become a doula. Her words exactly were, “oh I think you will be a fantastic doula. I am very happy for you.” She has even checked in and asked how things were going. Never once has my family offered a negative comment in my decision. In my family we love you for who you are, we don’t care what your profession is, what your gender or gender preference is, or what your financial status is; you are family, period. We hug everyone, even if we are meeting you for the first time. I digress, but my family is awesome and you just needed to know that.
I am not a hippie. Many of the doulas I have met are not hippies. We are not wearing potato sacks or any other form of burlap. I can’t even sew, and find it hard to even sew a button back on. We are not flower children marching around in protests against doctors, or against the government. I do have a garden, we have canned, and when possible I use homeopathic remedies. I do also call my doctor often. I do also use Tylenol when necessary. Many of the women I have met do have strong opinions, and do strongly support moms, and families in their choices. Many use herbal supplements. Many have knowledge of alternative pain relieve, as well as medical pain relief. These women are truly amazing, talented and wise. We feel passionate about making sure mother and baby are healthy and as healthy as possible. We are there to support your decisions. We do not tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. Do you want an epidural, I do not think your doula is going to tell you no. You don’t want to breastfeed, we aren’t going to walk away if you don’t. We are very passionate, do not get me wrong, and many have very strong views on health, on organic alternatives and some political views. Many do massage therapy, and yoga. However, we are not all feminist junkies or have some secret feminist agenda. We are all different, just as much as the families we serve. All of the birth doulas I have met thus far, do mostly hospital births. As I understand they will do home births as well but they are not home birth only.
As a postpartum doula I do not get stuck in the stigma as much. Many people I have met do not even know we exist yet. As I so often do in my life, I have turned a blind eye to others and their opinions. I am not even sure what others are saying about postpartum doulas. It seems most of the time, I march to my own band, and I am very happy being there. Do not let the misconception that doulas are free loving, tree hugging, protesting, hippies hinder you from getting the support you need or deserve. This can be one of the most joyous times in your life. Don’t let the stress, or your preconceptions of doulas, or what your family thinks stop you.