Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I was reading this blog and came across something that really sparked my attention- these words: "The doula becomes the surrogate community that is missing in our culture–"

I am really saddened when I think that some women birth alone, spend their babymoon postpartum period alone, raise their babies alone, dream alone, laugh alone, cry alone...

I, too, have been there. Alone.

It is not a pretty place to be.

Where is our community? Where have the days gone when neighbors and friends bring tons of food, help around the house and give loving support instead of wanting to be entertained while they visit? When mama lies down with her baby to nurse, fall in love with and study her baby and, of course, rest When coming to google over the baby wasn't the only reason for visiting a family after the birth?

It is a shame that women have to PAY for this type of support. What if they cannot afford to have help or feel that they are failing as a mother if they do need support?

Yes, I know-you are saying-aren't you a doula? Yes, I am. I still want the services to be free for the families. Grants are underway, benefit fundraisers are on the brain, my mind is constantly trying to figure out ways that I can afford to be a doula for women that cannot afford to hire me... are my intentions in check, my finances, my family, my heart...I am constantly pondering.

What a shame that we all don't do more for each other and less for ourselves.

When we give and give and give and give we quickly realize that what we thought we were giving away, leaving us with not much, has really MULTIPLIED, and came back attached to tons of joy!

Okay, so anyway, I love the way that she words her post, here it is, pay attention:

Till Human Voices Wake Us, Or Why I Wish Doulas didn’t Exist
Posted on May 27, 2008 by InexplicableWays

I imagine if you visited a culture in which birth was considered a normal event–a visible part of the community–the idea of hiring a doula would be laughable. Your intuitive knowledge of birth would be intact. You would believe that since you figured out how to digest your food and how to wake up after sleeping, you would, indeed, know how to birth. And the people around you would let you.

In our culture, birth is private. Typically we retreat into the den of medicine, technology, and malpractice to celebrate our journey into motherhood. Once entangled in this trinity, we are pinned and wriggling on the wall so how should we presume?

And we need instruction and authority and equipment to deliver.

Some families hire a doula. A woman who has attended many types of births. A woman who can navigate the intricacies of the system. I do believe that whether planning a medicated birth, a cesarean, or a low intervention experience, families can enjoy the best outcomes with a doula at their side. The doula becomes the surrogate community that is missing in our culture–she provides support from early pregnancy coffee shop talks to postpartum home visits. And she is the advocate–working for the family and no one else; no hidden agendas, no judgement, and no insurance company to answer to. And–she is pretty inexpensive considering she is on call 24/7 for you. She’s less expensive than an epidural and probably less expensive than the bill from your wedding florist.

The fact that the profession of doula exists is merely one symptom of a deep isolation, fear, mystery, and sterility surrounding birth. So while I love being a doula, I’m sad that the profession is necessary. I wish that our community guarded the sacred transformative power of birth instead of timing it, numbing it, sterilizing it, insuring it, managing it.