Being A Doula

Image credit: tumblr

Image credit: tumblr

Being a doula, for me, is not about changing hospital policy, or steering women away from “bad” providers. It is not about disseminating information to every client. It’s not about birth plans. It’s not about informed consent. It’s not about vaginal birth, home birth, or cesarean birth. It’s not about statistics. It’s not about rebozos, crock pots, or rice socks. It’s not even about making a difference or changing the world.

Being a doula is about laying aside my notion of what a particular birth ought to be, and instead surrendering to what it actually is. It is opening my eyes to the reality of each woman’s circumstances, and meeting her right where she happens to be.

It is seeing beyond myself, and stepping into someone else’s experience. It is opening my hands in service, in whatever way the mother sees fit. It is about humbling myself, and understanding that each birth can and will teach me something I did not know before.

It is about respecting the care provider(s) my client has chosen, simply because she has chosen them. It is about learning how to show respect and compassion to everyone in the room, even when I don’t feel like it, because it is the right thing to do. Many times, it’s about being an example.

It is about protecting space around a birthing woman and her partner, so all they see is each other. It’s about becoming invisible, so that the birthing woman can focus on what is most important.

It is about being with this woman, right here, in this moment in time. It is often about helping her surrender fully to this great work she is doing. It is looking her in the eye and lending her my strength when she runs out. It is opening a door when she hits her wall. It is about believing her when she expresses pain, and validating her struggle.

It is believing in her, even if no one else does.

It is about bringing a little bit of sunshine into this storm that feels so big, and reminding her that it will not last forever. Being a doula is a lot like trying to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.

It is about love.

And I love being a doula.

Grace & Peace,



  1. faerylandmom on July 18, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Reblogged this on The Faery Inn and commented:

    My latest blog post at my birthy blog. Just thought I’d share here, too.
    Grace & Peace,

  2. katharinetrauger on July 18, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Sweet. Maybe a bit like being a pastor’s wife…hmm…
    Anyway, where were you when my children were being born. Ha! 🙂

    • faerylandmom on July 18, 2014 at 9:03 pm


  3. greatminus8 on July 21, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    This is beautiful, and something I wish all doulas agreed on before attending births. Thank you for realizing that births aren’t about the care team in general, but more about the parents and baby!

    Looking forward to reading more from you! 🙂

    • faerylandmom on July 22, 2014 at 7:26 am

      This is something I am grateful to have learned early on, through the care and teaching of great mentors. Thank you for taking the time to give me some feedback. 🙂

  4. lovegentlebirth on July 26, 2014 at 5:37 am

    Very well written Tiffany. As a new doula myself, I am learning some of the things you have mentioned as I go along. I came into this wanting to really make an impact, help teach women what maybe they haven’t had the opportunity to learn and to help them realize their own power and strength! However, it is about their choices, their life experience, who they have chosen as a care provider and respecting that, simply because that is who the woman chose. I am honored just to witness their pregnancy and birth experience and to be by their side as they need me. Thank you for this great reminder : )

    • faerylandmom on July 26, 2014 at 9:21 am

      I’m glad you’re learning this, too. It’s an incredible journey, isn’t it?