This is part of my Wondering About Series. Feel free to e-mail any questions you are wondering about to sheridan AT enjoybirth DOT com.
I want to be a doula and I’m nervous about seeing things I disagree with or that seem like unnecessary interventions happening in a hospital. How do you manage that?
This is a challenge. I think one important thing is to make sure your doula clients are well educated on the options/interventions they may be presented with during their birth. Having a good understanding of the pros and cons before birth will help them to make better decisions for themselves during the birth.
Then during birth I really just support mom in dad in whatever their choice is! I will remind them of the pros and cons, but then step back and let them choose. So sometimes I see things I feel are unnecessary, but they are the things that mom and dad chose, so I remind myself “It’s not my birth.”
There have been a few instances when I feel mom may have been scared/forced into certain interventions and that is harder to watch, because mom doesn’t really want it, but has been pressured to say ok. Again, “It’s not my birth.” is my mantra and I just focus on supporting mom in her decisions. Inductions tend to be this way for me. Rarely, as a doula, have I seen an induction that is truly medically needed.
More often I see that mom is supported in her decisions, by the staff, even during the times mom has chosen to go against recommendations.
Sometimes after the birth when listening to mom tell her story I realize I saw something completely different, but she has interpreted it a certain way. I support her version of her story (it is HER story), but if she has questions about anything that happened, I answer honestly.
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