Who to Pick, Where to Go, What to Take?
I love for women to really allow themselves to dream about their birth experience. I like them to visualize it and imagine. If she can not dream it she won’t know how to achieve it. If she is painting a picture that is not the experience she is setting herself up for, she needs to know that. Often a mother does not know what she does not know. This is where she may seek advice from others.
It is important to really feel totally secure in labor. Otherwise you may have adrenaline rushing through your veins instead of endorphins which will allow you to relax and open up to your baby. I have written about picking your team and location carefully. Recently I had a mom come to me who had selected her doctor based on her girl friends recommendations. But the birth she desired and the birth they had were two different kinds of births. She realized she may need to change care providers.
I met a woman at our Meet the Doula Tea recently who had selected her location for birth based on the local hospital that was only two miles away from her home. But then she shared how it was imperative to hire a doula since she wanted to stay home until the very end and may need protection when she got to the hospital. I reminded her that a doula would have no means of making sure she and the baby were doing great while at home, and although it was up to her- would it not be better to be able to birth in a place she felt safe and have a doula for support rather than protection. She agreed and recently changed her birth location to one that is a bit farther but not one she will need protection from.
I recently had a student that I really clicked with. She mentioned that she wished she had considered me as her doula. She likes her doula but realizes that she was given the advice to hire a “sister” doula- one who is her age rather than a “mother” doula. But when she heard the term “mother” doula it made her think she did not want to have her mom there. When she attended the tea, she only talked to the doula whom the friend had referred her to. I think it is imperative that potential clients attend the tea with an open and intuitive mind to select the doula she feels best drawn to. Last night at a class a student asked if I ever paired up doulas to potential clients for best matches. I definitively said no. And shared this last story. I love that folks love their doula and want to tell others she is the one they should hire- but I think it is best for the woman to decide that herself.
I think just like water birth vs bed birth…. medication vs natural….hospital vs home…. midwife vs doctor… instrumental music vs vocals…. those decisions are best made by the mom for herself. Certainly give her your input and your experience, but let her learn to trust her instinctive voice.