I know you want all the ‘feels’ – right? You picture your birth – and its beautiful and calm and your surrounded by love and your baby arrives easily and wonderfully – and its, well, perfect!
When you picture your birth your don’t envisage having to negotiate and ask lots of questions and feel in any way concerned about what you’re going through and what might be done to you.
I wish I could tell you your birth was going to be just as you pictured. That because of all your preparation things will go as planned but you know and I know this isn’t necessarily the case. You speak to 8 out of 10 parents and they will regale you with stories of “not being allowed” and “I had to have x y and z”, and ‘to was hard’ or ‘it was scary’ or ‘i felt out of control’.
Birth should not be like this – we are physiologically designed to give birth. In the majority of cases we do so with ease – if, and this is the big if, we are supported in a way that enables our body to carry out this most basic but magically beautiful human processes.
But in our modern society where we have medicalised birth to the point that our inventions are potentially causing more harm than benefit we need to understand that to give ourselves a fighting chance of birthing the way our bodies are intended to, we must prepare ourselves to navigate a maternity system that continues to place risk aversion practices over the mental and physical and emotional welfare of individuals.
I became a doula, as many do, because I had an amazing birth experience. I’ve done it (3 times) and though not ever easy I know that with the right support the majority of the time our bodies and our babies know how to get birth done.
Now I doula because I know there are families throughout society who need to repair themselves after difficult birth experiences, there are people who need their birth experiences protecting and there are babies who deserve to be born the way our bodies, and their bodies, need to be born.
Our human right to birth with dignity and respect and to be protected from undue influence must be protected. Birth doesn’t need to be a constant series of negotiations. It can be beautiful. It can be empowering and magical. It can be the most human experience any of us will live through. This is why I doula….