As doulas everywhere are navigating a new way of support during this COVID 19 pandemic, it just so happens to be World Doula Week. I am hearing about doulas not allowed in hospitals, and MotherBaby being separated, and a rise in inductions which often leads to cesarean section.
The truth is that all of these interventions are harmful. We have such limited data about pregnancy and COVID 19. My heart is heavy. I can feel the collective tears and sadness.
What is the appropriate response to all of this? As I thought about this when I went to bed last night, I was reminded of the Doula Oath. I first read this in the early 1990s. The author, as far as I know, is anonymous. It seems appropriate to share this, for the doulas that need a reminder, and for the doulas who may not have seen this before.
I believe that we can all be the light, and bring hope, and calm to the current situation. We can do this whether we are physically connected or not. Our collective doula conscious is powerful when we come together.
Doulas everywhere are courageous, and are an example of love and selflessness. It is also okay if you are a doula and you need to practice self-care, or take care of your own children and family.
The direct translation of the greek word doula is “of service” or “servant.” This term was originally coined by anthropologist Dana Rafael in the 1970’s in her book The Tender Gift. This book extolled the benefits of woman to woman support after birth, particularly with breastfeeding and recovery.
Over the years the role of the doula has expanded. In fact, the birth doula, who attend to a woman during labor and birth, is more well-known than the postpartum doula, who serves the woman and her family after birth. Both roles are equally valuable.
Childbirth is intuitive, which is why you already know how to give birth. Your body knows exactly what to do, and your thinking brain gets in the way. There is still something to be said for preparing for this major life event.
While every method claims to be "the way" to a healthy, and satisfying birth experience, there is no one size fits all. You get to explore your own views, how you feel, and what safety, health and satisfaction mean to you.
Think about how we have survived as a species, long before Google, Smart phones, Facebook, and all the other ways we search for answers. The wisdom of giving birth is within you, if you are a woman. Women have been giving birth since humans have been in existence.
Sharing my knowledge and wisdom about all things birth