But Doulas are for "That" Kind of Woman
In 7 years I've probably heard every iteration of this sentiment. "I thought about hiring a Doula but..."
"I decided I wanted the epidural."
"I couldn't afford it."
"Only white women use doulas."
"My mother wants to be in the room."
"My husband just doesn't understand."
"I have to have a c-section."
"My care provider said she'd be with me."
"My midwife labor-sits."
"I'm having a home birth."
"I'm bottle feeding."
"This is my 2nd (3rd, 4th, etc) child."
There seems to be some confusion as to "whom Doulas are for." Some have told me Doulas are for those seeking natural birth, un-medicated birth, home birth. Some have told me Doulas are for rich women, posh women, spoiled women. A few husbands/ partners have told me doulas are for women with crappy partners.
I would argue ALL of the above women can benefit from having a Doula, and then some. Do you have a baby developing inside your body? You can benefit from a Doula. Have you recently given birth to or adopted a baby? You can benefit from a Doula. There is no income requirement, race requirement, marital status requirement, medication requirement, or even attitude requirement for Doula Support.
No woman needs a Doula. when clients occasionally tell me "I couldn't have done it without you" I always feel as though I have failed in the empowerment part of the journey to motherhood. I want to whip out the Glenda Meme "You've had the power all along dear." But, just like Dorothy benefited from the support and guidance of friends and perceived authority figures, a pregnant woman/ new mother can benefit from a Doula.
It is true that, depending on your economic status, affording a doula can be a bit intimidating. It might be a bit of a stretch or sacrifice. But, despite the fact that I need to be paid for the hours I spend working away from my family, Doulas really are for every woman. Any woman who would like her wishes and decisions respected and heard. Any woman who would like unconditional support and care. Any woman who wants to be the star and center of the most important day of her life. Any woman who has experienced trauma or loss in the past. Any woman away from her partner and family. Any woman with an involved spouse.
Who can benefit from a Doula? ALL WOMEN! There is no choice you can make, no birthing or parenting technique you can try, that I won't support to the absolute best of my physical, emotional, and mental capability. All Women and Families deserve care and support in pregnancy and postpartum.