A new (or not so new) mother in our society is bombarded with advice. Media and lay people, doctors and and people who suddenly think they are qualified to give you medical advice: your neighbours, friends, aunts, mother, older sister (or heck, even your younger sister!!), second cousin twice removed; anyone you talk to has plenty of advice, admonishment, scary stories and lessons to offer. No experience or qualifications required!
When you’re thinking of hiring a postpartum doula – you may stop and think: do I really need another expert bossing me around?
Doulas aren’t experts (or they might be but they check that at the door). Doulas know that when it comes to your baby – you as the parent – are the expert-in-chief. A doula does not expound the virtues of doing this, or exhort you about the evils of that. A doula doesn’t scold, or boss or even offer much advice unless asked. Instead a doula supports you – physically, practically, emotionally and socially so that you can settle into your role as expert-in-chief.
Sure she strives to be a fount of information when asked (or at least can look it up for you – or connect you with an expert). Sure she’s seen and held plenty of babies and mommies and can suggest things that you could try to help with this or alleviate that. But at the end of the day – a doula’s job is to support you while embark on your own personal path to experthood. Whatever you chose – the doula will support.
Note: Obviously – some strongly held views by either parent or doula may not be conducive to having a particular doula-family match – however, there is likely another doula that would be able work in harmony in that situation. Also situations where the baby/mother/family are in actual danger are exempt from doula support – obviously.