Trying to explain what a doula does can be challenging. It is a profession that some people have heard about but often they aren’t quite sure what a doula does. One of the ways I explain it to someone is to use an analogy of a profession they are familiar with. These are some of the useful analogies I have used to explain what I do.
A doula is like a personal trainer
A personal trainer is a qualified professional who is an expert at helping you achieve your health goals. They will get to know your unique goals and help develop a realistic plan to get you to your destination. They will motivate you when you start to lose it, and let’s face it- we all lose motivation when it comes to going to the gym! They are up to date on the latest information on exercise and dietary science and can help convey this information to you in a relevant way. If you have any injuries or set backs on your fitness journey your trainer will help you to navigate these changes.
This is much like a doula. A doula will get to know what your unique goals are for your baby’s birth and help develop a realistic birth plan to achieving those goals.
A doula will be there to cheer you on when you are in the depths of labour and struggling to cope. A doula is up to date on the latest information regarding pregnancy and birth and can relay this information to you in an unbiased way. If your birth plan needs to change she can help you navigate your options and ensure you feel well supported.
A doula is like a wedding planner
Imagine you are engaged. You are planning your Big Day and spending ridiculous amounts of time on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook groups pouring over everything wedding related.
It is so time consuming checking every retailer, venue, caterer, florist, photographer etc that you start to feel incredibly stressed out about the whole thing.
This is where a wedding or event planner can help. They will find out what your perfect vision of your wedding is and they know the steps that need to be taken to achieve that vision. They save you time and money because they already know the local wedding services and can easily connect you to the right one.
On the day they will do all the little behind the scenes things that ensure the day runs smoothly and you aren’t bugged by every.little.problem that arises. They want you to have a wonderful experience and will work hard to ensure your memories are positive.
Similarly, a doula will listen to your vision for your baby’s birth and will know the steps to take to help you achieve your specific goals.
A doula knows the best local pregnancy related businesses (yoga, chiropractor, lactation consultant, parenting groups, etc) and can save you time and money by directing you to them. On the day of your baby’s birth a doula is there to provide support and help with the little things to ensure you feel supported and relaxed.
A doula preempts your need for a sip of water and has a drink waiting for you. When your partner runs out of comfort measures she will gently suggest another technique to help you cope. If you need a bath or a shower she will organise those things before you even have to ask. When you feel nauseous she will have the vomit bag ready and wipe your forehead when you are sick.
A doula will stay until your baby is born and work hard to ensure your memories are positive.
A doula is like a Sherpa
A Sherpa is an experienced mountain climber guide. They walk beside you on your journey offering advice and expertise. They know the common problems of the mountain and how to avoid them or navigate them if they are unavoidable. They will walk beside you on your journey and ensure you are never alone.
Having a Sherpa does not take away the glory of conquering the mountain, they may provide assistance and support but ultimately you have to be the one to get the summit on your own.
A doula is an experienced birth support person. They know the road map of birth and what birth looks, sounds and even smells like and they aren't fazed by any of it.
They also know the common detours and can provide you with information to help you decide how to forge your own path. And just like a Sherpa, a doula does not take any of the glory of your birth.
A doula can walk beside you and offer support but only you can give birth to your baby. It is all about YOU and helping you achieve your goals.
A doula wants you to feel the power that comes with
climbing your own mountain.
A doula is your cheer squad, your guide, your cheat sheet, and your personal birth trainer. So now you can see how a doula can be an invaluable addition to your birth team!
If you would like to know more about how I can help you prepare
for your baby’s birth, contact me today.