Reblog: Not Any Woman Can

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In my eight years as a birth doula, I have had several friends who have watched me do this work, and realized that it is not for them, no matter how much they love birth and babies. Doula work is more than passion for birth, even more than just passion to support women. It is a complex job that requires continuous assessment and reassessment of my thought processes, honing of my communication skills as well as my double hip squeeze skills. I am routinely humbled by Childbirth, and stunned by Nature. No, being a professional doula is not something that just any woman can do.

Not Any Woman Can, written by Amy L. Gilliland, PhD, is an excellent commentary of what goes into being a doula, working as a doula, living as a doula, and why it is not a skill set possessed by every person who loves childbirth.

My favorite quote, "Doulas need to be able to relate to everyone’s concerns:  medical care providers, nurses, the mother and her immediate family.  This begins with keen observational skills and compassion for conflicting agendas." This ability, among many other skills, to relate to everyone in the birthing room, and to understand each of their important roles and perspectives, is crucial to pulling the team together to truly meet everyone's goal: A healthy mother and baby.