The doula line of work is very interesting... and very different than what most people think.
We are in the business of support. We are basically making a living at loving people (which I love!) <3
From the outside looking in, the job of a doula is romanticized. People always say "That must be very rewarding." AND......... That's it.
Being a doula IS very rewarding. It's my dream job. It's my passion. It's amazing and beautiful work.
The vast majority of doulas don't support each other. Doulas will RIP each other apart for not agreeing on business practices or birth philosophy. They don't trust their clients to make decisions for themselves. They don't trust providers (OBs, nurses, hospital staff). They think they know the best way to birth, and will share that with you in a way that makes you feel "wrong" for making any other decision.
Many doulas have no interest in serving a client who chooses an epidural...or a doctor she doesn't like... or a hospital she doesn't like... or a hospital at all... or someone who chooses an induction or a c/section... and on and on and on.
I LOVE natural birth... when it's my client's choice and she is empowered by that choice.
I LOVE working in birth centers with midwives... When my client is 100% empowered by that choice.
I LOVE working with OBs, with clients planning epidurals, or c/sections, or induction, or ALL the interventions WHEN IT's HER CHOICE and she is EMPOWERED by those choices... because it makes her feel SAFE and SATISFIED with her experience.
IT's not for me to say what should and should not make a woman feel safe at HER birth.
I have seen MAGIC at natural births, planned epidural births, and c/sections alike. I have seen women BEAMING and ECSTATIC, in tears with gratitude at ALL types of births.
There's this thing that doulas do... They sit around and talk trash about providers...and hospitals. They get stuck on things that are not 100% perfect and that has a major effect on the ability for things to change for the better.
I will not participate in bashing a client's doctor or midwife. I will ALWAYS encourage my client to go and talk to their provider about their concerns...and be there to listen and help them know how to come up with a solution. I will meet my client where they are and not push them to do something or go somewhere they are not 100% comfortable with.
Trusting your provider is crucial to having a satisfying birth experience.... But those are the dirty words.
"Trust your provider" is not something many doulas are accustomed to.
You know what else is dirty in the doula world? Trusting your client to make the decisions that are right for her and her family. REALLY trusting her... in a non-judgemental way. Support shouldn't be conditional...but it so often is.
Not in my doula world. I can walk into any environment with absolute confidence that I can find something positive and peaceful....and support the family I am there for.
I LIKE working with doctors, midwives, in hospitals, at home and at birth locations. I like having faith in those around me. I have mad respect for Obstetricians and CNMs, L & D nurses and CPMs who communicate and collaborate and work with my clients to have the best care possible for them.
If a client doesn't trust her provider, I help her find someone she does trust... then we will all work together to give her the best birth possible for HER. But I will not plant fear, distrust, or hostility. I will not fuel a negative relationship between a client and her team. This I promise.
Fort Worth Doula
Abbey is a birth and postpartum doula and placenta specialist in Dallas/Fort Worth and a mom to 4 children between the ages of 25 and 11.