We explore and stay up to date on Parenting Trends
First lets explore what parenting trends are. The word Trend means: a general direction in which something is developing or changing. In the birth community we see this when parents start to demand to birth their baby differently; for example, the rise in scheduled Caesareans or the rise in Homebirth. We also see trends during the postpartum time. Some people may be interested in Elimination Communication or interested in Sleep Training. A trend may be something as a doula that you support or dismiss but it is there and communities often do have popular trends at one particular moment that may come and go during the shift of decades.
It is also important as a doula to think about what trends resonate with you and which don’t. Are there certain trends that perhaps would make you feel uncomfortable working with a family? How would you handle this situation? What doulas in your community could you refer to in this case? Or is it a possible niche that you would like to carve out for yourself. Perhaps you are the doula who wants to work with families that choose a particular trend and can market yourself as such.
Why is this important? As a doula, in order to serve your community well you need to know what “the buzz” about parenting is. Knowing what is being taught within the community and what materials are being read by those families you serve will help you have educated discussions with them. This means getting your hands on these materials (books, blogs, attending workshops etc) that you may not agree with. If there is evidence-based information that would contradict what that material represents then perhaps that can be discussed with the family. Information could be presented to families when they inquire about them. The family may also come to you with ideas from what they are reading and let you know it didn't feel right to them and you could suggest something more appropriate. This is hard to do if you are unaware of what is being read within your community.
In our doula trainings we explore many trends and talk about them at length with each other. Afterwards while working in your community we encourage you all to stay up to date on trends, share what you have learned with the DTI community and continue your education.