Today is the start of International Doula week 2018. It’s the first year I’m a Doula UK doula. It felt like a good time to write about doulaing.
Over the past four years my life quite simply has transformed. I’m so unbelievably proud to be able to say that I am a doula. But what has happened when I now say I am a doula is lots of blank looks, raised eyebrows, furrowed brows. Laughter. Questions. Or nods and silence. Because, what even is a doula?!
A doula is a person who holds your hearts, your space. Supports you emotionally, physically and signposts you information during pregnancy and childbirth (and beyond). A doula holds your hand. Holds your partners hand. A doula can be the birth partner. Or a pool guy. Or a teas made. Or a masseuse. A doula can be a comfort blanket. Pain relief. A shoulder to cry on. A doula is there, 24/7, for the long haul. And when she is there you feel more at ease, more comfortable. A doula believes in you, is in awe of your strength. She sings and dances with you and for you. She breathes with you. She feels with you. She sits in the corner and just is.
A doula is not medically trained. She is there to support emotionally and physically, providing comfort measures to women and their partners during the run up to and during the birth of their babies. She is knowledgable about birth and is able to support women in all different situations, no matter how birth unfolds.
Now I am a doula I know I have always been a doula. And I see doulas everywhere. My husbands golf teacher is a golf doula, my PT sessions are led by an exercise doula, my mum is a doula. Life is full of doulas. Of all different kinds.
I am a birth doula. I cannot think of anything in life that I would find more fulfilling than witnessing the birth of new life and the strength and power of women.
Everyday I am grateful.