What to do when during a birth

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How do I know what to do during a birth? How do I decide what positions to suggest, and what to say?

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I am asked this question all the time, by birthing families and new doulas alike. I have taken a wide variety of continuing education courses, and will continue reading and learning more and more over the years. Certifying and maintaining my certification with DONA International taught me to hold myself to high standards, and that I should always continue learning and growing as a doula. Spinning Babies training helped me understand how the characteristics of a labor tell us what baby needs from the support team, and how to help pregnant people stay more comfortable during pregnancy and into birth. Gena Kirby’s Rebozo certification gave me a stronger foundation in supporting the hormones of birth, and in working smarter, not harder, with my Rebozo, and all the things in birth bag, as an extension of myself, not as tools. Hypnobabies certification taught me how to support all births with an improved mind-body connection and how to support those birthing with self-hypnosis for comfort better. Evidence Based Birth® taught me how to create a team for my clients in their birthing room, and tons of evidence too. All of these things are good, I highly recommend all of these organizations, and many that I have not experienced personally, to other doulas. However, when I am at a birth, deciding what I can do to support the birthing person better, to help this birth progress well, to help create a positive memory for this birthing family, I just have to do one thing:

When I don’t know what to do, ask the birthing person.