Thursday, January 08, 2009

What is a Doula?

I've recently attended the third birth I needed in order to complete my DONA Doula certification. Since the DONA workshop in May, with Elaine Montgomery, I have attended 5 births and I'm now venturing into the stage of literary composition, a large part of the certification process. The question is posed: What is the purpose and value of labour support (in 500-1000 words). Ack! I'm tempted to write from a purely professional viewpoint, basically quoted the mutitude of books I have read on the subject, and come up with a very formal essay that any university professor would love, BUT, I'm not particularly fond of professors opinions when it come to writing styles. My instinct is to take a more personal and anecedotal stance, creating prose that would be interesting for non-professionals to read, perhaps even humorous and emotional, BUT, I really don't want to flunk certification due to entertaining writing skills. Hmmmm, finding a balance would be nice.

I have found my experiences as a doula to be humbling. Mostly cause my intuition sucks, and I previously thought it was pretty good. AND although I beleive a doula's main purpose is to facilitate a positive birthing experience for the family, especially the mother, in my heart what I want is for all women to feel empowered by birth. Not all women want that.

I would say, as a generalization, that most women are content to hand the birthing reins over to the institution and bask in the pandering and control that most health professionals love to administer. There is a feeling of safety, and a transfer of responsibility that an instituion allows which, for many women, creates a positive birth experience, but without any large sense of empowerment.

And so, how can I, as an empowered woman advocate, liberally making choices for my own life that will further empower me, really be a doula who puts other womens agendas before my own. How do I maintain respect for that women and pride in her accomplishment? How can I portray to a woman that she is strong, beautiful, and dignified with sincerity?

I have a feeling that it is in the little things, in the small yet emotional victories, that I will see the reality and will give heartfelt praise to its beauty.


  1. llamamama6:59 AM

    gorgeous fiber treasures. charming descriptions of your life and times. good luck doula-ing. new word for me. :) peggy

  2. You these things, I have read twice, for me, this is a relatively rare phenomenon!
    handmade jewelry


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