It’s not all advocacy and applying counter pressure. Sometimes being a doula means saying yes to my clients for the most basic or bizarre of tasks. If you’re on the fence about hiring a doula, or just want to make sure this one will be there for you no matter what, read on! I’ve done all of this and more for my clients. It’s not going above and beyond, it’s just providing the kind of support people need while they’re doing the most important work of their lives.
1. The hormones coursing through your body during labor make you hot, then cold, then hot again. If you forget a hair tie (or binder, as we say in Minnesota), guess who will absolutely have three around her wrist just for you? That’s right, your insanely prepared doula.
2. You have a solid plan for your parents to drive in from three hours away once you’re in early labor to take care of your older child, but your labor is progressing rapidly and Grandpa and Grandma are stuck in a snow storm. Who should step in? Your doula! We make Birth Day artwork for the new baby, clean the kitchen together, and pick out a special outfit to wear for meeting big sibling’s little bro or sis. Sibling Doula work is so much fun, many doulas are making it their main gig.
3. You love your fur babies and your doula loves meeting them at your first prenatal meeting together, but then she drops a bomb: “What’s the plan for your animals when you head off to the hospital?” And you realize. You. Forgot. About. Your. DOG. You thank her profusely for reminding you to ask a neighbor to step in once you’re in labor and then give your pup a million cuddles because you had momentarily forgotten to plan for his feeding and potty breaks.
4. You’re in the middle of active labor and sitting still in your hospital room doesn’t feel right. You’re making great progress with lunges, walking up and down the hallways, and climbing stairs. While the intention is changing your cervix and helping your baby get into a great position for birth, your doula is getting a fantastic workout right alongside you. Do you really think we’d make you do lunges all by yourself?
5. Your partner “accidentally” told your mother-in-law you’re in labor and on your way to the hospital. And she meets you there. In your room. Who gives her the boot? Certainly not the woman about to birth her grandchild. Sorry to toot my own horn here, but my In-Laws Negotiation Tactics are so good I routinely get appreciative hugs from family members I relocate to waiting areas. Toot toot.
6. And then there are the times that aren’t basic or bizarre, just necessary. You gave birth via an unplanned Cesarean and for whatever reason your newborn is whisked away to the NICU. Initially, your partner goes with the baby and your doula stays with you. But once you’re in recovery, you’re dying to hold your partner’s hand. So you send your doula to the NICU to keep your brand new baby company. She keeps a watchful eye over your little one and stands close to the NICU nurse, asking gentle questions to learn what she can so she can report back to you. She holds the little one’s tiny fingers in her own when the nurse returns to her charting. She doesn’t leave until your family comes to send her on her way. Your doula’s connection to your baby is different from any other she’s watched enter the world. She held his hand through the first difficult moments of his life. She was there when you couldn’t be. And you both know in your hearts the difference she made.
Did your doula do something unexpected at your birth? Comment below or get in touch!