Inspired by support
It was having doula support myself that inspired me to become a doula. At that time I wasn't well versed in how doulas worked, I just knew I wanted the reassurance of a familiar and experienced person during the unknown. Someone who was there for me, on my team.
And both times, in different cities, with different doulas, the quiet magic of my doulas' belief in both birth and me had a transformative effect on the birth process. Fear melted away and focus stayed.
What is the value of 'being'?
I wasn't a savvy doula shopper - I was a lucky mama to find two authentic birth keepers. But my two doulas worked in quite different ways and I was taking things as they came with no formalised agreements. Looking back one gave more antenatal support and one gave more postnatal support. Both were fantastic during labour. One charged three times the fee of the other. The bottom line is that doulas are hired for their 'being' not their 'doing'. The influence of deep calm and confidence sitting quietly can have a priceless effect on your hormones during labour - something I have found out from personal experience. But as a new mother you can be very sensitive and it is helpful to know what to expect from this new person who can quickly become close to you.
Unwrapping the package
Now that I am working as a doula myself and have seen the role from the other side, I know that every doula has their 'birth package'. Some have several flexible packages to choose from, some stick to a single formula that fits into their life. Most doulas have some other professional hats, often within the pregnancy and birth field, but sometimes outside it. Having been both client and doula, I have some tips for those considering hiring a doula to help make sure that you have a valuable experience of doula support.
I wish you much joy in your journey with the doula for you!
If you have any further questions about choosing and hiring a doula you can ask them in the comments below!
If you are interested in working with me as your birth doula, you can contact me to arrange a free phone consultation.