It’s World Doula Week! Hooray! And this year’s theme is: Doulas Benefit Everyone.
As a doula, I hear lots of different thoughts and assumptions about what doulas do. “Oh, you must attend a lot of homebirths.” Or, “A postpartum doula would have been nice, but I decided not to breastfeed.” These kinds of statements really show how much work we still have to do as doulas to spread the message that we benefit everyone.
So, to get a little dialogue going, I asked a question on my personal Facebook page. I asked my friends to tell me what they thought doulas do. And I got some great answers:
- Maintain sanity
- Run interference
- Introduce new babies to big siblings
- Make yummy food
- Be a cool and collected third party
- Act as a physically and emotionally supportive lifesaver
- Do some of everything to help mom and baby
I love these answers because they can apply to anyone.
You don’t have to have a particular type of birth or adhere to one kind of parenting philosophy to benefit from a doula.
We are the supportive lifesavers, the “Jill of all trades” for birth and postpartum. Our birth doulas are there for hospital births or birth center births, epidural births or cesarean births. Our postpartum doulas know how to support exclusive pumpers or exclusive formula feeders. We work with attachment parents or scheduling parents. We work with everyone.
Because everyone deserves professional, nonjudgmental support from pregnancy through parenthood. Someone to be your cheerleader when you need it, someone to just listen when others won’t, someone with knowledge and experience to offer you advice when you ask for it, someone to support you and build your confidence.