Getting to know your client will have a powerful, positive effect on her pregnancy, labour and birth outcomes. ‘Knowing’ the woman gives you an understanding of her physical, emotional, social and spiritual being. It makes the woman visible and provides balance. This is an opportunity that is unique to doulas. You represent her and her baby, you are her advocate. It is a different relationship with all other caregivers as they represent a medical/hospital/health system in which they have to follow THOSE rules.
All pregnant women have some fears and anxieties, which are often fuelled by an intimidating hospital system. Combine that with all the overwhelming online sites and it can be a recipe for disaster. Our pregnant women are way too stressed.
A doula must understand fear, where this comes from, and how to release fear.
TESTIMONIAL FROM RILKA
“Once I decided I was going to the birth centre I knew I wanted a doula.
Susan was an excellent choice for us. She is fantastic. I wish I’d had
Susan there for my first birth too! Having someone with the experience and
knowledge and sensitivity Susan has, on our side, all the time, through
whatever decisions we had to make would have made a HUGE difference to the slightly early birth of our twins by c-section under a general due to
It definitely made a difference in my totally natural, drug free, in the
caul, VBAC. Without Susan’s support it would
have been easy to lose trust in myself and listen to the voices of the
midwives offering to break my waters. (I had tested positive to strep B and
knew that there was only a problem once my waters had broken so I was in no
hurry to have them break. I also wanted as little intervention as possible
and saw no need for my waters to be broken). I had placed my trust in Susan
and asked her advice when I was unsure. Having her there to remain rational
also helped my husband, who hates hospitals, so that he did not have to
negotiate on my behalf. He was able to hand over the role of advocate to
Susan and she became the advocate for both of us.
I also believe that all the birth preparation (chiropractic, acupuncture,
talking to my baby about what I imagined the birth could be, trusting
myself and my body) I did at Susan’s suggestion helped me be able to
deliver my 5kg+ baby. I had a mantra that I would say every time I went to
my appointments and any other time it came to mind: I trust my body, I
trust my baby. And even though I tore, and even though the student midwife
I allowed to be present wouldn’t shut up, and even though I ended up with a
pph requiring a blood transfusion, I laboured and birthed naturally and my
gorgeous and HUGE baby boy was born in the caul approximately 12 hours
after the first contraction.
If there is a next time I will probably labour and birth at home. However,
if I ever need doula support in a hospital again I will be calling Susan
for sure. If I could change one thing it would be to decline the student
midwife. I agreed to her presence because I feel strongly about giving
learning opportunities to future midwives and I had liked her during
appointments. However, it turned out she was not able to tune into me or
the process I was going through and I found her presence and her
inappropriate comments throughout the labour inhibiting. I truly hope she
learned something but next time I won’t be offering up my labour and birth
to students. With Susan’s support I was able to re-focus on my body and my
labour and continue to birth my baby.”
Thank you Susan for being a phenomenal educator and mentor. Not only do you have a wealth of experience across fields, you also have a real talent for delivering information and a wonderful demeanour that allows your students to blossom. I was gratefully challenged by the assignments; I researched a lot of Doula education programs and I’m so pleased I chose Birth Right. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher, truly. Caitlin
IMPORTANT FOR A DOULA TO UNDERSTAND THE FOLLOWING:
INFORMED CHOICE, INFORMED CONSENT & THE RIGHTS OF THE CLIENT