A doula is not a medical professional. A doula does not replace a woman's partner. A doula does not deliver babies.
A doula gives support and advice to the birthing mother and her family. Advice about what to expect from the labor and delivery process, whether the mother is delivering in a hospital, in a birth center, at home, or having a cesarean section. We stay with the mother through it all, as long as she wants us there.
We decode the medical speak of nurses and doctors when necessary. We offer back rubs and counter pressure to ease the discomfort of a labor with out pain medication. We help guide and support husbands, boyfriends, wives, girlfriends, sisters, mothers, partners, and friends through the tumultuous experience of being with a birthing woman.(And occasionally we're impromptu photographers...)
We hold space and hands when things don't go as planned. We hug. We laugh. We crack inappropriate jokes at the best times. And sometimes we cry.
This work... it's beautiful and difficult and amazing.
Every birth of every baby I have ever attended has been such a gift.
This is the best hobby ever.
Some day, when the girls are bigger, I might even make a job out of it.