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To me, a doula is a servant to mothers-to-be: she is a servant of birth. The pregnant / birthing / newborn mother (parent), being the owner of the birth, are the doula's central point of focus: their preferences, experiences, wishes and needs.

I believe that besides having substantial knowledge about pregnancy and birth, the doula is an expert in the areas of safety and trust - trust in the process of birth and in the abilities and knowledge of the person giving birth. And safety, in the sense that she is very aware and mindful of personal boundaries, both her own and other people's. In gently respecting those boundaries, and requesting they be respected, she invites all involved to do the same.

A doula can, I think, do a lot of things: she can provide the parent(s)-to-be with all the right information and help them make sure they are super prepared. She can come up with spot-on suggestions for positions or comfort measures, can give a mother a delightful massage or offer her just the right kind of touch. The doula can be a creative and knowledgeable outside-the-box thinker.


But what is most special about her, I think, is her simply being there and being close, throughout the birth: she serves, first and foremost, through her connected  presence.

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