I celebrated the completion of 12 weeks of pregnancy with a return of full-blown nausea this morning. Yay. Every time I think it’s over, I get a little reminder that I’m still in the first trimester.

But despite feeling crappy, my husband and I went today to meet with a doula in our area who also teaches Hynobabies. I’ve done a bit of self-hypnosis in the past for anxiety and stress, and it has worked well. I figured it would be great to take the class and even better, to have the teacher of the class serve as our doula.

We weren’t prepared with a bunch of questions, so instead I asked her what her whole approach to being a doula was like. She shared that she’s more of a quiet spirit and not one to cheer enthusiastically at a woman in labor, “Ok, now let’s do try this instead!” She said she prefers to suggest things gently and trusts the woman to know if something is right for her. Or, if the woman in laborĀ appears to need a bit of encouragement to even do the thing she’s suggesting, she can offer that support–emotional, psychological, or even physical–to get her there. I really liked the way she phrased this.

What made me almost tear up (damn hormones) was how she talked about focusing on making sure the woman’s partner is supported, so that he (or she) can be the primary support in the room. She said, “This is a really special moment that can bring you two closer together. I don’t want to get in the middle of that.” She’s more apt to be running around, getting things to help the woman in labor, so that the parter is free to be with her instead of searching for a cold washcloth or a birthing ball. That way after the birth, the woman remembers the partner being the one to magically have the thing she needed in the moment, not the doula. In my mind, I had pictured the doula kind of taking over and the partner hanging back, but the picture she was painting was much more in alignment with what we both would want.

She really encouraged us to interview some other doulas, but honestly we felt so good about our interaction and probably will go with our gut on this one. I also really liked that she only takes two clients a month, and that she has a team of seven back-up doulas in case of emergency on her end. This was all really reassuring.

Have you all considered hiring a doula or had experience with one? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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