We cannot save you from your choices
We support you in your birth choices. If you want an unmedicated birth, you need to prepare for it either by taking out-of-hospital childbirth education classes and educating yourself and practicing coping techniques at home, regularly. If you ask for an epidural and truly want one, we will support you in that choice, even if it wasn’t what you originally wanted. We cannot and will not stop you from getting an epidural; but if you have adequately prepared for an unmedicated birth we can help you cope easier so you won’t want one. We help bridge the gap between education and coping. We DO NOT replace a good childbirth education class that teaches you how to cope on a regular basis.
If you have a doctor or midwife who is not supportive of your birth choices, then, again, we cannot save you from their standard practice of care. It would be best to interview other care providers and find one who supports you in your choices so that you can have the birth experience you desire. You will not be able to change their mind or their standard of practice, so find someone who routinely practices the way you would like to birth.
We are an advocate for you, but this does not mean we speak on your behalf
An advocate is a person who offers independent support to ensure you are heard and taken seriously and that your rights are respected. An advocate also to assists you to access and understand appropriate information. It is actually out of scope for doulas to speak on your behalf. We can remind you of your wishes and discuss those with you, but ultimately you are the one responsible for your choices and care.
We would like to know if have chosen a different doula
Ghosting is not just annoying, but seriously rude. We took the time out of our busy schedule (and money) to drive to meet with you and discuss your goals for your upcoming birth. We typically have bonded a little during this short visit, so it is disheartening and extremely rude if you don’t at least let us know that you’ve chosen someone else. It’s not awkward; it’s part of the job. Please let us know!
We don’t replace your birth partner
Some people are hesitant to hire a doula because they’re afraid their husband or birth partner will feel like they are being replaced. We do not replace your partner, and cannot. They have a specific role of their own, whether they know it or not, that we cannot replace. They know you best. We know birth best. Together we can make the best decisions for both the birthing person and the labor.
We wish you would utilize us more
The internet is a wonderful tool; however, it is also full of misinformation, especially public forums. If you are looking for advice on birthing, please ask us; that’s what we’re here for! It’s unfortunate when we see clients asking a birth related question on a forum, instead of asking their doula, who has training and extensive knowledge on the subject, and are getting terrible advice from the forum.
Your doctor only shows up to catch
A lot of women get attached to their doctor and are excited to birth with them. The big day comes and they don’t see anyone they recognize. They have nurses they’ve never met caring for them. They finally get to 10 cm and still do not see their doctor, especially if it is their first baby. Their doctor is not called in until the baby is most of the way out. Unfortunately, this is pretty typical for hospital births. Some doctors will show up when you are 10 cm, others don’t want to come in until they need to catch the baby.
Other times your doctor is on a rotating call schedule and sometimes they are not the doctor on-call when you go into labor. Instead, you get another doctor from their practice whom you’ve probably never met.
Midwives spend much more time with you during your labor, but they too have to go catch other people’s babies so they cannot spend the whole time with you. A lot of midwives have also turned to rotating call schedules as well.
This is YOUR birth, not your mother or mother-in-law’s
Unless you specifically want your mother or mother-in-law with you, they don’t need to be there and will actually add time to your labor. This is your birth and you get to choose who is with you. This is big and hard and they weren’t there when you created this baby, so they don’t need to be there when you birth this baby, unless you want them there. You don’t need to worry about hurt feelings, because this is YOUR birth and YOUR feelings are the only ones that matter.
The rules and practices have changed A LOT since your mother and mother-in-law gave birth, so their advice probably isn’t relevant to birthing women today. If you want them there for emotional support, be sure to let them know what you expect of them and provide them with a job to do. Birth is not a spectator sport.
Red flags indicate your care provider is not supportive of the birth experience you desire
Red flags are your warning sign that you need to switch providers to have the birth experience you desire. This does not mean that care provider isn’t a great doctor or midwife, it just means that they don’t support your wishes, which means you either won’t get the birth you want or you need to switch providers. Your care provider does not share the loyalty that you feel toward them. They may briefly be sad to lose you as a patient, but it will not keep them up at night. You will remember this experience for the rest of your life. In a year, they probably won’t remember you, unless you see them on a regular basis.