After reading about how one of my fellow classmates from my doula training course sometimes incorporates prayer during labor if her clients wish, I have been thinking about the role my faith plays in my doula work.
When it comes to religion and prayer, I am generally a pretty private person. Do I go to church? Yes. Just about every Sunday. Do I pray? Yes. I try very hard to pray every day by myself and also as a family. Do I study my scriptures? I try to do this every day. I am not always successful, but lately I have been doing a better job at getting my scripture study in. Do I talk about my beliefs about God and birth and how they relate at doula interviews? Not usually. I have never been asked about my religious beliefs at interviews, and I have only met one couple so far who have taken a Christian based childbirth education class that focused on Biblical principles. Most of the time I meet couples who have taken courses such as The Bradley Method or Hypnobirthing or even nothing at all!
Because the couple I mentioned above were open about the fact that they were enrolled in a faith based class, I felt that they may be more welcoming to the fact that I consider birth to be one of the most spiritual experiences of my life and that I thank Heavenly Father every day for the wonderful experience I had giving birth to Lily. It truly was one of the most transformative experiences of my life, and I consider it one of the times in my life that I felt the closest to my Father in Heaven.
I have been debating whether or not to share this information on my blog for the past several weeks, but today I felt impressed to do so. Obviously some people market their practice, whether it be a doula practice, midwifery practice or a childbirth education practice, as a faith based practice. And why not? There is a market for that! There are people who want a doula, midwife or childbirth educator who is of their same faith. I don't think that will be my focus, at least not at this time, but if someone wants me to pray with them, or read scriptures, or share my feelings about God and birth and how they relate, I am willing and open to doing that.
After talking with the sweet couple I have been working with who have taken the faith based childbirth education class, I felt like I could admit to them that I always pray for my clients. I pray that I can be a good doula for them. I pray for them that things will go smoothly, but mostly I pray that I can be the best doula I can be for my clients. After all, they deserve my very best, and I can't do that without the Lord's help.