We trust normal birth and parents instincts
To trust normal birth means to trust a normal event in someone life. Many people in America consider birth to be a medical event. Here at DTI we believe opposite. We believe in normal birth. We believe in the freedom to give birth.
But what is considered normal in birth? Its hard to know anymore. Birth has transformed and morphed into something different throughout the years. Many years ago women were taught to observe women in labor, the skills were passed on from generation to generation. They were taught to trust a woman's body, trust the baby, and trust the process of labor. Now a days birth is more managed and controlled. Valerie El Halta, describes it well in her article, Normal Birth: Do We Believe? Can We Remember?, "The modern birth has been so managed, arranged, choreographed, augmented, drugged, sliced and diced that many of us have forgotten its very nature."
So, as doulas, how can we encourage people to remember that nature?
First, educate people on the differences of the medical model of care vs the midwifery model of care. The medical model of care focuses so much on telling people what they should do or what will happen. Its based on fear. While some people need that "take charge" direction, it can often take any chances away from people to make their own decisions.The midwifery model of care encourages people to find a birth 'style" that fits their lifestyle, they educate women so they can dig deeper in themselves and find an inner strength that will help them achieve the birth they want, rather than suspecting that something will go wrong. Its based on trust. If you give them room to find what they want, this will build their confidence, which is a fantastic way to approach parenthood.
Second, focus on educating, informing and providing skills. Tell stories! We believe birth stories hold great weight in the birth world. It makes the impossible seem possible. Most of the time, people hear of scary stories. Many people are so disconnected from birth. So when people hear a "crazy" or scary story, they share it. And then it feeds to that fear. TELL POSITIVE STORIES. Show people that the other side is possible. If you have a client wanting to pursue a VBAC. Educate them on the benefits, give them articles on what helps achieve a VBAC and tell them stories about other successful VBAC stories.
Last, hold your clients in what ever decision they make! While we believe in normal birth and trust women's bodies, not everyone we support will. And thats okay. The best thing we offer clients is our non-judgmental, unconditional support. What we CAN do is understand why they make the decisions they make and help them find comfort and beauty within their journey. All births can be beautiful and full-filling. But we must trust it to be and believe in it.