As a doula, I get a lot of questions along the lines of, “what do you do when your client does something that you don’t agree with?” I’m here to set the record straight. It doesn’t matter whether or not I “agree” with my clients’ decisions. They are NEVER my decisions to make. I will 100% support whatever my client decides to do with her body and her birth. Doulas incorrectly get associated with being advocates and having an agenda for how they think birth should go. I’m here to say that I am not one of those doulas. Birth, as with everything in life, is not black and white. What works for one client will most certainly not be the same for anyone else.
There’s something else. I have a LOT of knowledge about birth but I do not have a crystal ball. There are so many variations of normal that I would never try to predict what your process or experience may be and I shouldn’t be trying to do that anyway. I want my clients to feel supported in a way that gives them the freedom to make decisions without worrying about what I would think of those decisions.
Do doulas improve birth outcomes? Research says absolutely yes, but my interpretation of that research is that it is a result of feeling more supported and empowered in your decisions. I certainly have many resources and information to provide my clients when asked, but I am more concerned with my client’s satisfaction in their birth experience than how many interventions were or weren’t used.
My 4 years of experience has shown me that while improving birth outcomes is of course important to our maternity system, that is not a doula’s role. My promise to all of you, my clients, is that with my services, you will feel supported and confident and I will strive to improve your overall experience and outlook as you become new parents.