What does that even mean? Is it a thing to own? Does it belong to you? What do you do with this thing…this birth? On the flip side…of COURSE it is YOUR birth! Who else would it belong to? It is only happening to you. This baby is growing and living inside of you- no one else.
Let’s step back for a moment, shall we? Let’s talk about your pregnancy. YOUR pregnancy. It is yours. What is it like? Yes we know how you got pregnant and we know that you are now carrying a growing human in your womb. It may seem at times like you have no control over your body. It is growing, expanding, making room for life. With that can come aches and pains. Food aversions to things you previously devoured with gusto. Nausea can creep up on you when you least expect it. Heartburn that never seems to go away.
But with all of that you have choices. You can choose looser, more stretchy clothes to accommodate your new shape. You can choose to sleep with mountains of pillows to ease your sore joints. You can find that new food that you suddenly crave, and keeps the nausea at bay. You can make this seemingly alien invaded body transformation something that you own, that you control, to make it YOURS.
And so birth. Hiring a doula does not take away your options. Instead it can open more options. A doula will assist you in taking such an unpredictable and uncontrollable event and stream lining it to keep you in the driver’s seat. Having doula support does not mean a natural birth is your only option. What it DOES mean is that you will have complete nonjudgmental support as you navigate your options in labor. For some laboring moms support means physical pain management techniques such as positional changes and counter pressure. For others, support is completely hands off and more emotional or educational based.
A doula can help prepare you for what to expect and reassure you when it looks like the control has been lost. She is there to keep you in the driver’s seat. To remind you that this is YOUR birth. You want to use the tub…birthing ball…some nitrous to take the edge off…an epidural? You want to talk about your options? Weigh the benefits and risks? Just go with it? You got it.
Your birth. Your choice. My absolute honor.
Brooke Rogers, Birth and Postpartum & Infant Care Doula, owner of 3 births.