In working with hundreds of women around childbirth I have noticed two common themes that seem to circle each other. Expectant mothers have an intense and urgent hunger.
They hunger to feel confident and prepared for birth and parenting. They also long to be accompanied through their experience by someone who has been there before, who has faith in the process of birth, who believes in the mother’s abilities and who is committed to attending her throughout her journey.
For very many women birth is an awakening. This awakening can be joyful or painful, but it happens nonetheless and it is here that possibility is born. Birth has a way of opening our eyes and for some women, it also opens our hearts in a profound and lasting way. It is that moment I hear about most often… that moment, in their own birth or someone else’s, when a woman’s eyes and heart opened at the same time. In that moment she realizes all that is missing and all that is possible through birth.
It was that moment, whether she recognized it at the time or not, she was given the heart of a doula. Once acknowledged, that awakening becomes the doula’s longing – to contribute, to make a difference. That hunger makes way for an awakening in another mother and a new longing emerges until the circle repeats itself again and again…