Monday, March 7, 2011

Just be there

"Sometimes the best thing to do is to simply be there, quietly standing by while labor unfolds and the mother searches within herself for her best way to respond."

-Penny Simkin The Birth Partner

I've heard experienced doulas say that the more experience they gain as a doula the less they feel like they need to do. Because I have yet to attend any births, I will need time to learn what they mean when they say this. I imagine it will be hard for me to feel like I am helping the mother at all if I am not doing something active like rubbing her back, holding her hand, talking to her, etc. Eventually I hope to get paid for my services, so I will feel like I may be cheating the couple if I am not doing something for the mother. However, when I think back on my own birth, I appreciate that my midwife never touched me and mainly stayed in the background. My husband did not talk. He just moaned with me as I moaned. No one asked me questions. No one gave me massages. No one made me change positions. They were just there, and that was the best thing they could have done for me. They left me alone to enter that deep place within myself to cope with my labor without distractions.

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