Not all doulas are the same. True. Just like all birthing mothers are not the same. Most people outside of family in our lives are there because we have chosen to share our special moment with them. We tend to migrate towards people with the same interests or beliefs. Not everyone is going to be the perfect match in the realm of friendship. Why should a Doula and client be any different?
I believe it is safe to say that all Doulas come from a place of love and willingness. They have chosen to take the time to educate themselves and spend time away from their families to facilitate a passion. The financial drive is often less than the drive to extend a hand or heart to a new family. The Doula does not operate on a robotic time line dictated by clocks or production lines. Flexibility is a must in most instances. Let us not forget the support team who handles the Doulas everyday duties, children, animals or otherwise. I am sure all Doulas have these realizations at some point or another whether this is their first or three hundredth birth.
Experience is not always the first factor to dwell on. It is important for a client to realize that even though a Doula may come with less experience, they may match on a better level than a seasoned birth veteran. Birth is a very intimate time. Any tension or discomfort can hinder a mother’s ability to truly let go. Instead of dwelling solely on numbers of births attended by the Doula, compatibility needs to be explored. That compatibility does not end with the mother. The partner’s feelings must be taken into consideration as ultimately the Doula will be part of the birthing team with them.
Many Doulas have different beliefs. Doulas are trained to give the pros and cons of every situation so that the client may chart their own path. This is not to say that emotions will not come into play. It is imperative that the client and Doula understand this dance. Judgment may not be avoided in every situation.
Please be mindful that a Doula’s motive may vary from one to the next. I can assure you that each one has their own story on how they came to such a giving vocation. Before credit is given or taken away, find out what it is that has lead them on their journey. I am sure you will find many common denominators.
Not all births are the same. Not all mothers are the same. Not all Doulas are the same.