So . . . why do you want to be a doula? Part 1

Sabira Stash

Thursday, July 09, 2015

I have spent the last seven years of my life teaching.

I have spent the last five years of my life teaching newcomer refugee children.

I have an amazing family full of strong women and wonderful mothers.

I am blessed.

So why become a doula?  People have asked me this question over and over, since I decided I wanted to help women make their births a more positive experience.  It's a great question, but one that doesn't have a simple answer.

As I think deeply about where my deep desire to work in the field of childbirth came from, I immediately think about the disparate experiences and paths that my life has taken which have lead me to this point.  One of those paths is my work teaching newcomer refugees, which I will get into in a later post.  The other is my relationship with my cousin, Becky.  

Becky and I are close in a way I never knew I could be close to another human being: we both love learning about scientific research, we both are deeply emotional people who require connection to thrive, and we both LOVE children.  

Becky's life is very different than mine: while I was in college in Berkeley, learning about languages and traveling in the Middle East, Becky was creating a beautiful family for herself and her children.  But we stayed connected, and through her I have come to an understanding of the difficulty and struggles that it takes to be a mother in today's society.  She is ALWAYS there for her children: physically, mentally, and emotionally.  She is an amazing mother.  And I always wondered: how did she become the mother she is?  When did it begin?

Becky has given birth to four children.  The first two were born in hospitals, and she describes the experience as emotionally traumatizing for both herself and her babies.  As strong as she is, she did not have the support she needed to have an emotionally safe birth.  And as a mother, Becky tells me frequently how she feels that the callous treatment of her babies during the first minutes of their lives has influenced both their personalities and the relationship that they have with her and the world around them.  And as amazing a mother as she is, those few moments can never be undone.  They are a part of who her children are that will remain with them forever.

The deepest reason that I can come up with for why I want to be a doula is because of her stories.  It's because I truly believe that birth sets the stage for the rest of yours and your child's relationship, both to each other and to the rest of the world.  And it is my goal to make yours and your baby's experience as beautiful, grounded, and secure as they can be.