The most common definition you will find of what a doula is, is “a physical and emotional support for a mother (and her partner) before, during and after childbirth.”
Bla bla bla, boring.
A doula is so much more than that. Lets start by noting that it has become common place(and greatly contested) to use the term ‘doula’ outside of child birth. Many birth doulas say moving the term away from birth, dilutes the meaning and hardwork. To them I say Pthhhl. That’s like saying you’re only a waiter if you work at French restaurants. French foodies are not the only ones who need waiters to bring them delicious goods from the kitchen, just like families going through childbirth are not the only ones who need support. I am quite happy to share the term with Postpartum, Bereavement, Adoption, End-of-Life and Fertility doulas. The setting is different, but the work is the same.
A doula brings calm and a sense of safety when you are at your most vulnerable, but she is the support you need to realise you are actually at your most powerful.
She is there to quietly hold your hand, or throw motivational quotes at you. She is there to keep you calm, but awaken your spirit.
Your doula is a familiar face in the chaos
She is an objective touch point
She is knowledge
She is the handle you use to hoist yourself onto the top step
She will Nourish, Nurture, Support, Encourage and Empower you.
No matter at what stage of life you need her, your doula is there to serve you.
She is a guide and a light. As Randy Patterson of ProDoula says, “a doula instills strength and reduces fear”, and couldn’t we all use a bit of that when life’s big milestones cross our path.