When you hear the term "doula" many people think of hippy women in long skirts dancing around at home births with animals and birds and rainbows... I admit I used to think of myself as one of these doulas, but I'm going to tell you why I don't see my profession like this anymore, and why I don't think you should either...
When I became a doula in 2014 I was a hard core "crunchy" doula (mind you at this point I did not have any children of my own yet). I believed in anti-vaccines, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, etc. AND worst of all, I felt this was a one-size-fits all category. I thought that everyone should make these decisions because WHY NOT? Sure I still supported clients that didn't make these choices, but in my heart I was conflicted. I didn't understand what would make parents not want to be as "crunchy" as possible.
Then I found Prodoula and chose to begin the journey of recertification.
It seemed like almost overnight I had an epiphany. I realized that not only was I not providing "truly unbiased support" but I was judging my clients (without even realizing it). I began to research and study and realized that ....
EVERY FAMILY IS DIFFERENT!
EVERY SITUATION IS DIFFERENT!
EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT!
How could I, as a doula, make these assumptions and decisions for all families? How could I feel that I knew best for everyone without even knowing them? These questions haunted me, I thought about them constantly, and finally I realized I was growing as a doula and as a human being.
What may work for one family may not work for another. What may have worked for a family's first child may not work for the second one. I realized that I needed to throw my ideas of being a "perfect parent" or "perfect family" out the window. I needed to come alongside these families and aide them in being the best family they can be in this period of time. I needed to provide them with the information and resources that they need to make the best informed decisions they can for their family. Most of all I needed to support and commend them in making the best decisions for them.
Prodoula helped me to realize all of this. They helped me to realize that I could be a strong business owner who supports ANYONE who comes to me for help. Not just one specific group of moms, or dads, or families.
I have lots of parents ask me if I support them in choosing "X,Y,Z" and my answer is always, "YES! I support you!" I don't want you to feel bad or judged about your choices. Parenting is hard enough already without feeling judged, manipulated, and watched every second of the day.
So no matter what decisions you make, whether it be:
Cloth Diapers/ Disposables
Vaccines/ No Vaccines
Epidural/ Natural Birth
Whatever that decision may be, or if you are somewhere in between...
You are not alone!
You have support and help every step of the way!
Yes, it may take time to figure out where exactly you fall in all of these things, but know you are not alone, that every parent out there is also mulling over these decisions too.
Leave a comment of what your toughest decision has been in pregnancy or parenting!