I get asked more often than you might think what kinds of births I support. What my favorite kind to attend are, or even if I leave when things don’t go the way they were planned. This breaks my heart. Every birth is unique. The needs of every laboring mother are unique. No birth looks the same and the best birth possible looks different for every woman! And I don’t leave.
As your doula, my role is to support you in YOUR choices, not to make sure you make the choices I think you should. For that matter, it’s pretty rare that I even have an opinion. This is your day, your experience. I am not in your body. Yes, there are benefits to a natural birth but there are very valid reasons (including just desire) for that not to be your goal. My goal for all is not that everyone would have a “natural birth,” but that everyone would make their choices from a place of confidence.
I look back on all the families I’ve had the privilege of working with and each one has a special place in my heart. The long births, the fast ones, the ones that ended in surgery. Every mother was amazing. Every father stepped up. It’s such a joy and privilege to be part of that. I would truly not be able to choose a favorite.
No matter if your plan is all natural, an epidural, or even a planned csection, (and certainly when things don’t go quite how you plan) doula support can have a role and enhance your experience. My hope for every woman is that they are able to look back on their birth, be confident in their decisions and be at peace. That’s the best birth.
Fail is the “f” word of birth. It does NOT apply to you. And everyone need stop stop saying it. What a terrible word to apply to inductions and VBACs and everywhere else they use it. What a way to set mothers up. Ranks right up there with Advanced Maternal Age. Sometime the system fails. Sometimes part of the care team fails. Sometimes what you perceive (or are told) as a failure really is the very best choice for you and your baby. But I’m telling you, and listen, YOU NEVER FAIL.
Somehow we’ve got to figure out how to promote normal birth without making people feel terrible when it doesn’t work. Somehow our care system has to figure out how to intervene as necessary rather than as standard procedure so we can trust the system. I don’t pretend to have all the answers but I know this to be true. Because sometimes, the interventions we are trying desperately to avoid really are the right choice and the best thing for us as mothers and our babies.
I know, right about now someone will be thinking that, “if they just had a home birth….” Sure. But not always and the women who are risked out (and those for whom it is just not a comfortable choice) also deserve to have good, evidence based care and to not be told that they should have had a home birth and all would be well.
Whether or not you did things “right” doesn’t matter. Having adequate information to make good decisions matters. Good as in the best for you. How you, as a mother, are treated matters. What happens to your baby matters. How you feel about it in the moment and looking back matters. But there is no failure no matter what.
Adina Nelson, CD(DONA)
I am a birth & postpartum doula and chlidbirth educator practicing in North Idaho.
She was there every step of the way for me and my husband...I thank Adina for everything she helped us with. She truly is a special person and we will be forever grateful for her! ~Erin