This is Sir Edmond Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing. A sherpa is to climping Everest, as a doula is to navigating the maternity system and preparing for birth.
Just as Sherpas are a specific group of experienced people, so are birth doulas.
As you will see in the link about sherpas, not all sherpas are the same, you need to find your ‘best fit’. So it is with doulas. And as the final statement in the links says:
"Don’t leave it all to your Sirdar (Sherpa leader): You are the expedition leader! Only then will you get respect and your decisions will be trusted."
So it is with birth: You are the Leader. You make your decisions and the doula is working with you, providing information, emotional support and (if needed) physical birth support. You do not need to 'leave your dignity at the door', or 'go with the flow' because 'birth is unpredictable'. Unpredictable does not mean 'unplanable': it simply means you need to cover your bases.
As with any Journey, an understanding of the landscape and climate, the people you may meet and cultural differences, and the possible hurdles you may encounter, will make for a more positive experience.
When you hire a birth doula you are not buying a guaranteed birth. You are hiring a guide, who knows the landscape and culture you are entering. In the lead up to the birth your doula guides your planning, gives you information so you can make informed decisions and supports the decisions you make. As the birth unfolds, the doula can keep you focused and feeling safe. Your support team will find the reassurance of a doula invaluable, taking off the pressure to carry the burden and providing the freedom to ‘enjoy the view’ and focus on the mother.
Just as Sherpas can make a climb better, birth doulas have been shown to improve birth outcomes.
It is also very good to have a Map with you, when travelling into new territory.
As a Birth Cartographer I advocate Informed Birth Preparation, through the creation of a Birth Map. A Birth Map contains your Informed Decisions, and is used by your support team and medical care providers.
A doula, or Mentor, can provide Continuity of Support as you await your baby, through your Fourth Trimester and even onto your Baby's First Birthday.
I encourage you, and you support team, to register for the FREE Member Area, where you can access information and resources to prepare for your journey. I created this space as an alternative to social media.
Selected Articles by Catherine
around the web:
birth without fear
Catherine on Social Media:
wordpress: Beautiful Heart
Why you won't Find me on Facebook
below is my tumblr blog which is fed by my wordpress, where I tend to share my opinion pieces and poetry, topics include feminisim, parenting, nature, birth and breastfeeding.