You heard me. This agency does not hire birth advocates and we do not advocate for our clients. Instead, we support our clients and give them the tools to ADVOCATE FOR THEMSELVES.
Advocating FOR someone implies that they are unable to do it for themselves. Advocates are for animals and children and those who otherwise can’t speak for themselves. My clients are smart people with rights and options and can choose what they believe is important to them and clearly state their desires. My job is to support that. Period.
I don’t care if you want to go to the middle of the woods and birth your baby and name them Sparkle Bubbles II or re-create the nativity, or go straight to the hospital at the first contraction and get your epidural. As long as you have a medical provider on board with your choices, you do you, and I’ll be right here, helping you along the way.
If you want to do those things on your own, with no provider around, I support that too. I’ll just be doing it from home, while I sleep or watch Netflix, because that’s not covered by my insurance. For my family, I will advocate for safe business practices. I will say great job when you are all done, and provide Postpartum support. 🙂
I’ll admit, I used to be a birth advocate, but not anymore. What does that even mean anyway? A birth advocate? I advocate for birth! Well, duh, people have to be born to continue the species. Let’s definitely keep doing that. It keeps me in a job! What people really mean when they claim the title of birth advocate is that they are advocating for birthing people to have access to options and safe birth practices and respect. Sounds great, except that what often happens in reality with birth “advocates” is the exact opposite of those things.
Advocating that NATURAL BIRTH IS THE BEST THING FOR YOU AND YOUR BABY removes options, like pain relief or procedures that could be exactly what some people NEED to be safe and respected.
Advocating for SAFE BIRTH PRACTICES is completely subjective, even in the scientific realm. There are statistics, sure, there are known risks and benefits, absolutely, but while a home water birth might be completely safe for one, a cesarean may save anothers life. Safety is not a blanket term when it comes to birth. Safety is determined by the two (or more) individual bodies experiencing the process, their DNA, their biology, their genetic history, mental health, and the care providers training and EXPERIENCE with said circumstances.
Doulas have no idea what “safe birth practices” are. We don’t take medical classes and if we have done so, and bring that into the birth room, we are going to be directly affecting my last point.
Sing it with me! We all know what it is, we all know we want it, and OF COURSE doulas want to see their clients receiving it, but somewhere along the way advocates can forget that respect goes both ways.
You cannot demand respect.
Respect can be given. Respect can be earned. Respect can be expected, but it can’t be demanded. Especially, when it is not being given.
Say it with me. Doulas are professionally hired SUPPORT people.
It is our job to GIVE RESPECT to our clients and their families, to our colleagues, to the nurses, midwives and OBs who care for our clients. It is our job to EARN RESPECT from our clients, their families, our colleagues and nurses, midwives and OBs. We can EXPECT TO BE RESPECTED only when we do these things.
Respect given to care providers, and their vast amount of schooling and experience only enhances the providers ability to provide safety for our clients. Earning respect from providers and clients opens up birth options innumerably for our clients.
I don’t know about you, but when my kids are being disrespectful to me and think they can argue a rule to get what they want, my reaction is NOT,
“Oh, this is a well thought out plan. I will now acquiesce to your demands because you are just so damn passionate. You MUST know what’s best for yourself”
If, however, my child asks for something that is not par for the course, and I say no, and they come to me with rational discussion, explaining their reasoning, why they want/need something different and offering alternatives to my concerns…….well I can absolutely RESPECT that and often times can come up with a safe compromise that works for everyone.
Sometimes, the answer is still no, but I’m proud to have worked along side of them to come to a resolution and much more likely to continue these types of conversations in the future.
The moral of the story, is we don’t act like entitled, know it all teenagers giving advice on areas of the world we have yet to experience.
We are mature, professional adults who understand that individual circumstances vary widely. We understand that we cannot possibly know all the variables to a situation, therefore advocating for something in particular is NOT our job.
We know what our role is, and what it is not. Professionally supporting our clients AND their providers through the birthing process is our role. THAT is how we IMPROVE BIRTH. That is how we TRUST BIRTH. That is how we build bridges with providers and hospitals and THAT is how we help our clients gain access to the options, safe birth practices and respect that they deserve.
Looking for a professional and unbiased doula in Colorado? Contact Colorado Mountain Doulas today.