It’s #worlddoulaweek and today I’m counting down the top 5 reasons why I became a doula.
Reason #5: Support
I knew I owed it to myself to hire someone dedicated to supporting me.
Just a few years before becoming pregnant with my first child, I trained in a method of using music therapy for birth. During the final day of training I was diagnosed with an abscess that required surgery the very next day.
In my post surgical recovery I could not take the pain medication because it was making me sick and the only thing that helped with the pain and nausea was music. I used all the skills I had just learned in the birth music training and applied it to myself and it worked. However, as soon as I became pregnant, I knew I owed it to myself to hire someone dedicated to supporting me. While I understood how to apply the music to the stages of birth and diminish my pain, I recognized that I deserved to enjoy this role of “birthing mother” and chose not to also administer my own music or coach my husband in support. So when I was 20 weeks pregnant with my first daughter I reached out to the extraordinary doula who trained me music therapy assisted childbirth and hired her to help support me during my birth. Once I experienced the level of support that my doula provided me, I knew that I wanted to help other families feel that supported.
Once I experienced the level of support that my doula provided me, I knew that I wanted to help other families feel that supported.
Reason #4: Knowledge
As soon as I stepped foot into my weekend long doula training, I knew I was in the right place and that I was about to learn a lot. Everyone welcomed me and my nursling ( 6 months old at the time) with open arms I again felt support was key to my journey. After I opened my training binder I realized that knowledge about birth support was key to helping improve birth for everyone.
Knowledge about birth support was key to improving birth for everyone.
It was like unlocking a dusty old drawer or pushing aside an ivy covered door that had been closed for a very long time. Once I had knowledge of how birthing families were not being included in informed consent. I couldn’t “un-know” it. Once I had knowledge of the risks vs. benefits of certain interventions, I couldn’t “un-know” it. I had to help. I felt it was only fair that families also have knowledge.
Reason #3: Paycheck
Yes, it’s true. Becoming a doula has helped bring income for my family. I’ve worked hard and built a thriving practice around being a doula. I deserve to be paid to provide this level of support, knowledge and expertise. One of the main reasons I became a doula is because I knew that anyone who truly saw the importance and personalized level of care would see value in me, my services and pay me accordingly. I can remember several years back a client made a payment for my services and I was so excited and felt so much worth in that moment that I whipped out my phone, quickly text my husband, “Got paid! Booyah!” And then, I received a text FROM THE CLIENT saying “What?” Shit. I had texted the wrong person! We laugh about it now, but seriously, I was proud to get paid and I’m not ashamed to say my paycheck is well earned.
“Got paid! Booyah!”
Reason #2: Passion
So becoming a doula helped me blend two of my passions in life: love and music. Oxytocin is the love hormone with a critical role in birth and I’m fascinated by the role in our lives and yes, even in the dying process. I’m also uber geeked about the microbiology of birth, epi-genetics and the role of love in our DNA (but that’s a blog for another day). Before becoming a doula I served as a music therapist in lots of places from schools to hospitals even to bedside hospice care. With my new knowledge about the birthing process and the supportive experiences I had at birth, it made sense to use my training and begin to hone in on integrating the two passions by supporting birth using music therapy.
Reason #1: Purpose
I was born to help support better birth: for the baby, for the mother, for the partner, for life, for death, for love, for grief.
Being a doula is my purpose.
I’ve chosen to end with the number one reason why I became a doula because it is the most meaningful and personal to me. With the support of my doula and another music therapist, I explored a lot using music and guided imagery while first pregnant. Some of the things I was experiencing and discovering led me to ask my own mother more about my birth experience. She explained to me how, while pregnant with me, she cared for two loved ones while they died from cancer, both within 6 months of my birth. She told me stories of how her body was under stress and the impact grief had on her body and my growth. I was born at 6lbs 5 oz and our placenta did not detach very easily. We were separated for a bit and the afterbirth was difficult for my mom’s body. Even my dad remembers her moaning. So, with all the knowledge I have now, all the discoveries I’ve made in my own growth, my journey as a birth supporter and my deep deep connection to the role of love and grief in birth, I understand this reason even more. I was born to help support better birth: for the baby, for the mother, for the partner, for life, for death, for love, for grief. Being a doula is my purpose.
For more information about me, Kate Taylor, or music therapy assisted childbirth and doula services visit www.birthmusic.net.