Doulas Aren't Only For Hippies
And they aren't only for home births, or "natural" births either.
So who are my clients?
My clients are Doctors, Midwives, & Nurse Anesthetists. My clients are hair stylists, lawyers, Vice Presidents of corporations, chiropractors, servers, engineers, artists, police officers, military personnel, aromatherapists, and social workers.
But that's just what they do. So, who are my clients?
My clients are first time parents and 5th time parents. My clients are straight and are part of the LGBTQIA community. Some vaccinate & some don't. Some breastfeed and others don't. They use MFMs, OBs, and midwives. They stay at home or they can't wait to get back to work. Some cosleep and some don't. They are married, separated, single, engaged, or are boyfriend/girlfriends.
If they don't birth at home, then where do they birth?
Some birth at Grosse Pointe Beaumont or St John Hospital. Some birth at University of Michigan and some birth at Henry Ford West Bloomfield. Some birth in typical Labor and Delivery units, and some choose the Alternative Birthing Center at Southfield Providence or the Karmanos Natural Birthing Center at Royal Oak Beaumont. Sometimes, they even unintentionally birth in their bathroom at home! Sometimes they birth in the bed or leaning over a chair. My clients birth with their OB receiving the baby, and sometimes with the partner receiving the baby. Once, no one received the baby except the bed! Sometimes they push for 6 hours, and sometimes they push once or not at all!
They all usually have one thing in common though.
My clients understand that there is someone by their side who knows what questions they should be asking, what do to in labor when they can't think, and can help them through every single contraction and wave that labor brings. They might not know what they want when we first meet, but with the right questions, they find their own answers that are right for themselves. My clients find comfort in knowing that if they unexpectedly are GBS+, have gestational diabetes, or pre-eclampsia they can have someone help them navigate the muddy waters with their doctors, and not alone. They find comfort in knowing that even if everything is perfectly healthy that they are increasing their chances at a more positive birth experience.
Labor and birth are such unpredictable events that humble us and show us that we are not in control. That we must succumb to the powers of labor, and simply focus on one breath at a time, one sound at a time, one minute at a time. Sometimes my clients go into pregnancy hating epidurals, and then find themselves needing one to reach their goal of a vaginal delivery. Sometimes they go into birth expecting an epidural and not using it. Once in a while, they go into labor knowing that they have a higher risk of a cesarean birth. Sometimes I am able to go into the operating room with them, and sometimes I wait in the recovery room, but I helped prepare them beforehand so it isn't as scary.
Through it all though, my clients know they have me unconditionally, without any bias or judgement for anything they need at that moment. Whether they choose to forego the epidural, choose the epidural or choose a cesarean. My clients have me. They have me through their pregnancy to help navigate the mountains of decisions and life changes. My clients have me through labor and through birth. They have me by their side for breastfeeding support, and overnight support. My clients are supported completely in their parenting journey and can even message me six months or a year down the road.
Now doesn't that sound right for everybody?