Skeptical SIL Turned Doula Spokesperson

doula Here’s a delightful, eloquent, funny post from myrubygirl.com, a mother of three who had never heard of a doula before recently attending her brother and sister-in-law’s second birth.

If you’ve had a doula or been a family member who has worked with one, or you are one yourself, you’ll find lots to relate to here. There are so many things to love about this piece and the way it personalizes the benefits of doulas. Here are just a few highlights that I particularly like:

– She’s is so right-on about the whole Pacific Northwest vs. Midwest crunchy-by-association thing. And the doula=birkenstocks and patchouli oil thing! As someone who grew up in Chicago but lived in Portland, OR, I get that. All. the. time. And yes, I recycle, but nuh uh, I do not wear patchouli or Birkenstocks. Doulas really do come in many forms – as evidenced in her post as well as here and here.

– Doulas work the room! We definitely do. This is one of the under-discussed but utterly worthwhile and fulfilling parts of my job. When I am doula-ing, I often get to meet fascinating, loving extended family members. We go through such an intense experience together as labor unfolds and their new little one arrives. It is always an honor and a privilege to be “their doula” and an honorary member of the family, even if just for a little while. She may give short shrift to dads, but she is right that a doula will be helpful for everyone in the room, not just mom.

– Do we all have that person in our family who snaps pictures like the author of that blog?! I certainly do in mine. And I recognize and have given that “universal look of annoyance” to a tee.

A word of caution: there may be potential triggers here for some folks in the author’s description of a contrasting birth she witnessed where there was no doula present  – and things did not go well for the birthing mother or her labor support team. But if you can, don’t let that stop you – in fact it makes the post that much richer.

Enjoy. And here’s to the converted!