Doulas generally seem to fall into three different camps. Those who become doulas when their families are older, find out about our role, and wish they’d had that option when they had their children. Those who had amazing, supported births and want to help other women have what they had. And finally, women who had terrible births, know there is a better way, and hope to help other women avoid what they went through.
I fall into that third group. My first birth was terrible. I spent months recovering from things that could have been avoided and learning everything I should have learned first but didn’t know I needed to know. Before that first baby, I did not even have the baseline information I needed to know in order to know that there were questions I should have been asking. That realization is why I decided to become a doula. But that’s not why I’m still a doula or even the place I was at when I actually started attending births.
I’m a doula so women and their partners have a familiar face to lean on throughout the birth of their child. And after. I’m a doula because women have a right to respectful, consistent care and because babies deserve a mother who looks back on her birth with understanding and ownership no matter how baby arrived. While birth is a normal physiological process that usually proceeds normally, occasionally scary things happen. It’s not my role to “save” anyone in any way. I hold their hand so they can use their voice.
I’m a doula because birth is amazing. Women are capable of so much. I’m a doula because a little support and a little “I believe in you” can unleash the power within. It’s not my role to empower women. It’s not my power to give them. They own it. It’s already theirs to use as they choose.
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