View Full Version : what qualities do you need to be a doula?
well i love birth! And i love all types of birth and i am very pro-choice! So for the last few months i have been thinking of doing a doula course.....But not sure because of my past birth trauma. Do you think it would matter?
So what do you think you need to have to be a great doula? I would love to try and give women a beautiful birth however they want because i had such a dreadful time with parts of mine. Do you think it would affect me being a doula? Or am i dreaming!!! Be honest i won't mind:)
geez i couldn't be that bad could i? :laughing:
For me, the most important qualities in a doula are trust in birth, a belief in the normalcy of birth, and the ability to remain a calm and focussed presence. As a doula, I try to prepare my clients for birth so that they are not anxious or afraid and I also encourage them to think about their birthing options - not just accept whatever they are told. It's not about standing up for them, but enabling them to find the power to stand up for themselves.
That's just a few brief thoughts...
I'm not a doula, but I'm going to add my 2c anyway. :p This is based on what I'D want in a doula.
I think a doula has to be good with people - because you can't feel comfortable with someone who is awkward and nervous and such.
They need to be confident enough to stand up for me and be the voice I can't be. If I've said, "No I don't want that," my doula is there to ECHO that to anyone objecting... just another person in my corner, supporting me.
She needs to be all about caring for people. She has to be working FOR me. I don't really want her birth philosophies imposed on me... that's not what I hired her. Her job is to care about me, and do her best to make sure I get what I want, not to hope I give birth the way she thinks I should.
I think she has to be impartial to all methods of birthing, and if she isn't, let it be known ASAP. Say she doesn't support elective caesarean... she needs to let me know beforehand (not that I'd ever elect a c-sec, but you know what I mean).
Also think she needs stamina and need to be good in a possibly stressful environment.
That's just my thoughts anyway.
I'm too much of a brat to ever be a doula... I'd just be thinking, "Oh just shut up and push the damn baby out!" Well, maybe not, but I worry I would be...:p
I'd echo what Cara said, and I'd also add that I think you have to be able to listen.
It's very easy to drag your own baggage into someone else's birth and unless you can listen to what they want and need for their birth it's very tempting to do that. It's also tempting to want to "save" others from what you've been through but being a doula isn't about that...every woman is on her own journey with each baby she has - it's our job to listen to her and meet her where she's at.
I think a doula who's experienced birth trauma first hand has alot to offer the mum's she supports. I've found quite a few of the mums I meet who are on their second or third baby have experienced some form of birth trauma already - and that's exactly WHY they want a doula the next time around. So knowing what they've been through can help you to understand their headspace a bit better and gives you a bit more insight into what their fears are, and what they need from you.
I'm finding already that so much of this work is just about helping women find that part of themselves that believes in their body, believes in their baby and their ability to birth. Once they find that, the rest of it just happens. And you don't need to have had a textbook perfect birth to support a woman on that journey...in the same way that a doctor doesn't need to have had a broken leg to know how to fix one if that makes sense.....it's much more about the person you are and the beliefs that you hold, rather than the things you've experienced yourself. I hope that makes sense I'm rambling again :o
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