Doulas, are you nuts?
It’s been a while i want to write about this topic.
When i told my family a few years ago that I decided to become a doula, they thought i lost it. Why leaving my well paid exciting work in the cultural industry to do ‘social work’ that isn’t even recognized by the social security?! although sometimes that’s what it is, I really believe it should be considered in the wellness realm.
Only my english girlfriends could understand… because doula’s have the right to exist in the UK.
I could talk for hours about the subject of the situation of becoming a doula or birthing in France but i’m already working on a comic @gabysbabyofficial which i hope will make you laugh.
Before I start, let’s quote Robbie Davis-Floyd PhD (US) cultural/medical anthropologist specialised in the anthropology of reproduction. Last year, at the conference « healthy birth, healthy earth » in Findhorn, she reminded us about the doula effect:
- reduce length of labor
- reduce number of interventions
- is 2nd in women’s perception of effectiveness only to the epidural for pain relief
- improves both physiological and psychological outcomes
As a conclusion of her speech, she said something along the lines of « if doula’s were machines, the whole world would have invested in them already but because it’s a only a woman supporting another woman, we will need hundred of years of research to have it accepted by society. »
I speak to pregnant women every day since July 2015 and i can tell you that having a doula can only make your pregnant, birth and postnatal life better. Unless you pick the really incompetence, intrusive, stupid doula; which is pretty hard to find.
Doulas are usually kind and compassionate women that care about the emotional and physical state of her clients and even more important, they cares about a positive birth movement, where women are respected, supported and babies can born free of the extra stress that could have been avoided.
Doulas shall stay doulas, not try to be super heros, not try to ‘save’ anyone or try to replace the midwife (who would be crazy enough to want to do that when we are not medically trained?!) - I take this opportunity to truly bow to midwives. They are in a tough place, working really hard, doing in my eyes the most beautiful job in the world, but it’s not easy. It’s long hours, most of the time night shift, schedule restrictions, there is a lot of paper work, expensive insurance, pressure from obstetricians, risks and so on… some of them are so inspiring, i have no words to express how incredible most of those women are. NEXT LEVEL.
Although the other day one said, at the end of a prenatal yoga training I took: ‘I don’t want my client paying for another person to do the best part of my job!’ - that part she is talking about is when the doula is with the women in labour on her side, present and of service which she confessed openly not having the time to do when she has pretty much always 3 women in labor to look after at the same time. So basically, we know there is a need but let’s face it, it’s best to be frustrated than having to deal with doulas.
By the way, to put things in prospective, most of the women i have worked with have given birth at hospital with a midwife they had never met before. That’s the reality.
Oh this is another one I heard recently during that same training… ‘aren’t doulas a sect’?
If we were incredible humain beings living in a place where the women wellbeing was at the center of the society. If we were caring for one another always, kind and mindful, spiritual and grounded, I feel we would not need doulas or we would all naturally be doulas… but that’s not the case, we are all super busy, having to deal with a world that’s insane and violent, and we are trying our best to stay normal.
So let’s stay simple, I’m only asking now that doula’s work is valued as a precious gift, at least like a nice piece of organic dark bread with nuts and berries.