What Doulas Do.
Today we are going to cover doula do’s & don’ts. There’s a lot of information going around daily on what doulas do. Doulas are usually compared to midwives. “Well there kind of like a midwife”. This might seem reasonable to some but reality is, no doulas aren’t like midwives.
This is just a couple of doula do’s: We support the birth you want.– Our views or opinions are left at home, regardless if you’re planning to go unmedicated or a gentle cesarean. We can guarantee 100% support on all your pregnancy and birthing choices. We respect the medical staff and their choices.– Our job is to make sure we connect with the medical staff and be of support to them too. You’re surrounded by a team of birth supporters, showing respect for what they do is important.
And a final “doula do’s”, we will never leave your side.– (of course we will have to step away for natural needs). I am your doula, you will never feel alone. Your partner will never feel alone, and those you choose to be a part of your birth won’t feel alone either.
What we Don’t do.
Here’s a couple of “Doula don’ts”. We do not perform any medical tasks.– such as checking your cervix (we had a few potential clients ask if we do cervix checks and the answer is a strong NO). The main reason is because WE ARE NOT LICENSE MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS! If a doula tells you she can check your cervix that’s a huge red flag. (read about cervix checks here). Your doula will not alter any medical equipment in the hospital unless asked to HELP. I’ve assisted with holding the monitor on the belly, holding the mask on the mom. I even hit an “off” button but only when asked. Your doula should never act on behalf of a medical professional.
We don’t divide the team.
We don’t get in the way of medical decisions.– Regardless of our personal knowledge, when you and the medical staff make decisions we support you and them in those choices. Your doula won’t know everything about you medically to even consider what is right or wrong for you. We know the medical staff have your best interest at heart, and we respect that.
We don’t advocate for you.– The word advocate gets shifted around by many depending on how they feel it fits their situation. Supporting your decisions and asking the nurses, midwife or doctor for more information is ok. I know sometimes it might be easier to have your partner/husband tell the medical staff, “yes she wants xxx” or “no we decided to hold off on xxx”. As your doula we WILL advocate with you. Help you navigate your choices and make a decision but we cannot tell the medical staff what to do. If you do end up feeling like you’re not being heard, we can filter that together and find a way to shift things without your doula getting kicked out 😉
The benefits of having a birth doula for a vaginal or cesarean birth are high. You won’t regret hiring a doula and Western MA Doulas would love to be a part of your birth team.