One of the unique qualities in our tribe here at DTI is that we were all doulas before becoming mothers. The years doulaing without having our children allowed us the freedom to delve into this field without concerns about our milk supply, babysitters, or coordinating schedules with our respective partners. In those days there was a sense that we could get up and go—and we did. We all took on a lot of births each month and loved being completely immersed in the experience of being doulas. Motherhood has changed some of the circumstantial elements, but only deepened our capacity and empathy for supporting our clients.
Every woman finds their path toward becoming a birth worker in their own unique way. For some women, it’s after the birth of their child (or children) when they feel a calling toward this work. Perhaps they were touched by their midwife or they were on the receiving end and experienced the support and love of a doula while they were in labor. Some women come to this path after healing through a traumatic birth experience and their healing process evolves and opens them up to a desire to help other women heal. Regardless of the circumstances, the majority of doulas would describe their work as “a calling.” For many women it is a call to action, as well as a passion.
The path to becoming a doula often can feel choiceless. The work chooses you, grabs your attention and your heart. As doula mentors, we trust the spark that called you into this work. We honor that uniqueness and trust that every doula brings her own wisdom and style to the families they’re supporting. In our workshops, we want to celebrate the excitement and joy that you feel in choosing this path. We know that supporting the catalyst of this choice is just as important as learning the hands-on skills of this craft. You cannot have one without the other. Just as every birth is different and unique, every doula also shines in her own way.
Offering non-judgmental and unconditional support is an essential part of being a great doula. But that also includes offering non-judgmental and unconditional support to ourselves as doulas. We often emphasize the importance of our tribe at DTI. We know that without it, we’d be limited in our capacity as women, partners, mothers, and doulas. We ask women to surrender and meet their deepest fears and excitements in labor. And as doulas we ask ourselves the same thing. Taking accountability for the places that you’re stuck, either as a laboring women or as a doula, can only deepen your relationship to birth and to yourself. It’s not so much about the outcome but about one’s own capacity to stay present and meet the moment. This is the powerful, unspoken dance that we as doulas get to witness at a birth.
What was the catalyst that brought you to this path?