Yesterday I had an interview with a couple expecting their first baby, who are looking to hire a birth doula. I really enjoyed speaking with them, and they seemed like really interesting people who I would love to support through this transition into parenthood.
But I found myself in a familiar position...
I do not judge people for the choices they make as a parent, beginning with choices made regarding childbirth. I know we all do the best that we can do, knowing what we know. But as a Doula it is my job to provide informational support. So when a mother tells me that she would like to try to birth without pain medication, but she is a patient of a pro-epidural and anti-doula OB group, what is my responsibility to her? She does not have options if she doesn't know about them, right? My fear is that she will hear my words as judgement, especially if she remains with her caregivers. But even worse than that, my biggest fear is that she will not have the wonderful birth experience that she, her husband and her baby deserve.
Because of course the MOST important thing is that She and baby are healthy after their birth. But it is ALSO important to me that she arrives at Motherhood confident in herself, happy, and not traumatized by an overly medicalized birth.
So I nervously explained what I know about the practice she is with and the other options she has. I hope she heard me--and the place of non-jugdgement I was speaking from. I would be honored to be her birth Doula, no matter where she decides to give birth. I might just have to show up as her support as well as her advocate.