You know what they say about opinions right?
Everyone has one……..
This is a very common question that we get in interviews. Part of that is because for years there have been lists floating around with “Questions to Ask Your Doula”. One of those questions has always been, “What is your birth philosophy.” This questions stems from the early days of birth activism, when being a doula was all about bucking the system and standing up for women.
These things are still important and activism has its place in society. It does NOT have a place in our professional standards.
Back when I was a solo Doula I would get this question in nearly every interview. Answering it always felt like I was backpedaling or trying to go around the question. What I finally came up with was this.
“I don’t have a standard philosophy of birth other than that it’s a normal part of life. Every single client is different. If you want to have a dance party during labor and turn up the music, that’s what we’re going to do. If you want to watch Star Wars during labor and push your baby out during the credits, (true story) go for it! If you want to watch a Christian comedian on TV, arrange a gentle cesarean, pray between every contraction, light candles, burn incense, get an epidural and hold my hand for eight hours while you doze off, keep completely silent, hold your baby only after they’ve been cleaned up, repeat the same mantra over and over and over again while three people massage every inch of your body……THAT’S WHAT WE’RE GOING TO DO.”
Our personal opinions on any of your choices during pregnancy, birth or postpartum doesn’t matter. What we did with our first, second, third or sixth child and how our choices changed over time doesn’t matter.
ALL that matters is that a birthing family feels safe with the plans they’ve made and confident in choices they make when plans change.
Did you feel supported? Did you feel confident? Did you feel loved and happy? If things didn’t go the way you planned, did you feel safe to talk about it and ask questions? Were you given the answers to the questions you asked? Did you find your power?
These are the only things that matter. What is YOUR philosophy? What do YOU want your birth to look like? What if your philosophy changes with your second, third or sixth baby? Will you feel supported and loved by your Doula? Will you feel safe and confident?
Your Doulas should only have philosophies about their own births so that they can feel safe, confident, loved and supported. That is the only time their philosophy matters…..when it is theirs.
Colorado Newborn’s birth and postpartum philosophy is YOUR birth and postpartum philosophy. Be Educated~Be Well~Be Supported.