“We have a secret in our culture, and it is not that birth is painful, it is that women are strong.” – Laura Stavoe Harm
Women are strong. Say it with me, “Women are strong.” Yet, sometimes, as women, we may need encouragement to tap into our innate source of strength. Sometimes, we just need a little affirmative energy, and a little nurturing and guidance to help us on our journeys. In the birthing world especially, many of us surrender our voice. I have constantly heard phrases such as, “My doctor wouldn’t let me.”
Somehow, along the way, we have abandoned sight of our innate feminine wisdom, and our instinctive power to birth our babies. Many of us have yielded the management of our bodies and babies during birth to outsiders. As a result, childbirth is often seen as a medical event, rather than a normal and natural rite of passage.
A Birth Doula works with a mother (and her partner) to figure out what she wants for her birth, what she thinks her baby deserves, and helps her to birth within the parameters that she feels comfortable. A Doula doesn’t empower women. A Doula simply creates a space in which women can feel safe to find their own voice, so that they can empower themselves to birth without tension or fear.
As women, we deserve to make informed choices about our pregnancies, births and postpartum care. A true Doula is one who does not have an agenda and does not push unsolicited information onto a woman. However, if asked, a Doula can provide a woman with a wealth of unbiased resources on a multitude of topics anywhere from vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), to breastfeeding, to human rights and circumcision, to vaccinations, meditation, yoga, hydrotherapy and hypnosis during birthing.
Once a woman makes her choices, a true Doula will honour, support and advocate for the woman unconditionally, even if her choices include medical intervention. A Doula brings to births the belief in the strength of women, along with an arsenal of advanced and active childbirth poses, tips and tricks to support a birthing mother.
A Doula does not stumble onto this career path accidentally, like, say, a teenager who is paid to mow your lawn. A Doula’s greatest passion is healthy childbirth and an uplifted mother, and her deepest aspiration is to bring positivity, heart, humanity and spirituality back into a woman’s birthing experience.
If you would like to hire a birth Doula or a postpartum Doula, please contact the Doula Alliance of Trinidad & Tobago (DATT) at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 707-5279 for a complete list of trained professionals.