The BIG one: Why should expectant families hire a doula?
‘Peace on Earth Begins with Birth’ – Jeannine Parvati-Baker.
A lot of first-time parents don’t know why it’s a good idea to hire a doula. They may have heard from friends who have been through birth that they REALLY should get one, but it doesn’t sink in. I guess it’s like having kids, that way. You don’t know til you KNOW.
The big piece doulas talk about is consistent and intimate support. We know about birth, we know about you, and we are there when you want us and need us. We’re there early on in labour, to reassure you that what you’re feeling is a normal part of the journey. There’s great value in this reassurance. We’re also there to guide the partner as to what is most helpful, to remind them of what roles they may want to take on at the time. To establish a general sense of calm for what is a natural physiological process.
A birth is the most remembered day of a family’s life – birth is a big, strong, and also vulnerable place. Intense energies abound, and they can help or hinder the process. We’re there to promote the positive – if a family in the making is feeling informed, considered, and powerful within the birth experience, it sets up a positive trajectory for the short and long-term postpartum experience.
In case this sounds like a nouveau-narcissistic ploy, please consider that the parents’ experience IS the baby’s experience. THERE IS NO BABY WITHOUT ITS CAREGIVER. You may have heard the line “well, as long as you have a healthy baby…(that’s all that matters)”. Let’s get rid of that right away! A parent’s experience is not “paramount”, it actually IS the baby’s experience, too. Parents are birthing this child; they are raising this child. Caring deeply about how parents are cared for is neither a fad, nor an extravagance. The nurturing of the parents has been, until recently, fundamental to the village – to survival, to peace, and to healthful evolution.