This Friday, August 2, I will begin a three-day Birth Doula Training session. For those that do not know what a Doula is, let me explain. The term itself is rooted in Greek and means quite simply, "a woman who serves." Today, that means a woman who serves other women and families to provide physical and emotional support during pregnancy, birth, and just after birth. They provide them with information, continuous support and relaxation techniques. And they help with the early days of breastfeeding. They help fathers support their significant others before, during and after labor, and in no way take that role away from the father.
Studies regularly show that when a doula is present, labors are shorter, c-section rates are lower, and babies breastfeed easier. It's an amazing way to help Mommas through such a stressful and trying time. For any of us that have, in fact, given birth to a child, we understand that our best laid intentions can go awry as we become consumed by giving birth. Having an objective party there with the purpose of providing support to you and your husband (or significant other), can certainly help remind you of your best laid plans and help ensure your wishes are followed.
Another bonus? Research repeatedly shows that women who seek Doula services feel more secure and adapt more easily to family dynamics. They have great confidence, feel more comfortable breast feeding and are less likely to abuse their child.
So why do I want to become a Doula? Don't I have enough going on?
I have served on the Board of the Doula Foundation for about 1.5 years. During that time, I have been so fortunate to meet these amazing women that do this amazing thing. I have always wanted to give back something. And it's always been about the little people. Currently, we serve at-risk women that may not have a lot of support. I know that what we do matters. I know that we help create that very important bond between mother and child. I know that creating that bond is vitally important. And I know that we have an impact on a child's quality of life when we're successful.
I want to give back. I love birth and all things birth related. I love being able to answer questions and help mommas that haven't been down this road. I love the idea of unmedicated births and I am so happy that I had one. I love the idea that I can help others achieve this goal, even though I know many will choose pain relief without consideration.
I love the positive impact I can have on momma and baby. And so....I will become a Doula. Two births a year. I can handle that. Surely.