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How I became a doula

A wise woman from Mexico once told me that a midwife will become ill when she refrains from accompanying births. I am not sure whether this is true, nor if it also applies to doulas, but for me this statement was spot-on.


When I was pregnant with my third child, I was hit by a depression so heavy that the doctors thought it necessary that - during several months - I be admitted to hospital. A short time before the birth I was allowed to go home, where my son was born.
 

I was lucky enough to have a young, but very dedicated midwife assist me with my  pregnancy and birth at the time. It was she who at some point said to me: "Shouldn't you become a doula?"

I had played with this idea after my second pregnancy, when I was reorienting myself with regards to work, but somehow I had found all kinds of reasons and excuses not to choose that path. For who was I to think such a lovely profession could be mine? Or actually: was it really necessary to have a doula at one's birth?

Well, strictly speaking a doula might not be necessary, for many women are perfectly capable of giving birth on their own, but incredibly valuable: yes! That is what I experienced when a year after my son's birth I did a training and started to work as a doula. I was delighted about how meaningful I could be to clients. About how I could contribute to them being and remaining in charge during their births. About how I could contribute to their pain being bearable, or to them finding the strength to bear it. How I could help women and their partners make choices they felt good about. I was delighted about the love, the faith and the security I was able to offer them. This was who I was.

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