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My vision

Having worked as a doula for a while, I started to understand why it had been so difficult for me at the time to answer to my calling. I think that in our culture there is still a lot of fear of the creative female forces that - as I see it - pregnancy and birth essentially are. After all, it is no small thing to be able to create new life and to bring it into the world.
 

I believe that in our society we tend to approach birth in a paradoxical way. On the one hand we often present it as something immense that needs to be managed and controlled externally, thereby conveying the message that mothers are unable to own and canalize their own creative forces. On the other hand we systematically downplay the magnitude of birth and the effect it may have on our lives by communicating that we are deviant if we need emotional support and time to process, integrate and heal.

A doula's job then, I think, is twofold too. On the one hand it is about making sure the forces of birth are respected. It is to ensure that a birthing person remains the centre of gravity of the birthing process and the one who ultimately decides what happens (and what does not) to her own body.

On the other hand, the doula's work is about making sure there is space for people to be vulnerable, without being judged as incapable. It is to ensure the birthing person is honored and given credit for their huge achievement and acknowledged for its impact.

 

In a time in which many women still experience their birth as a traumatic event because they feel they are not heard or seen, this is radical work which requires courage and persistence.

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