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What does a BirthWorks Birth Doula Do?

How Does a BirthWorks Birth Doula support women in birth? 

by Cathy Daub and Cristin Tighe

  • Birth is an emotional, exciting, and changing time in the lives of parents. It is a transformational, magical, powerful and uniquely special time as well. Parents’ views and awareness during these important months – of pregnancy until meeting their newborn – show up in their energy – in how their thoughts, feelings and are embodied during pregnancy, during labor and birth and carry into them being new parents. One key to assuring parents are informed and happy to choose their birth experiences, and that mom and baby are healthy and happy, is who supports them during these key moments.
  • Parents can be influenced by their birth doula’s beliefs, attitudes, lifestyle, and how she has given birth. A BirthWorks doula exemplifies the importance of respect for body, self, family and home. Also, the human-values of — Truth, Right Action, Peace, Love, Nonviolence — are underlying each intention, word and action as a BirthWorks Birth Doula supports a new mother, baby and new family. There are varied ways a BirthWorks Birth Doula can do this such as:
        • strive to be a good listener
        • be non-judgmental and open minded
        • seek personal growth through her experiences in life
        • support the safety of VBAC over scheduled repeat cesarean section in most cases
        • promote the nutritional and emotional benefits of breastfeeding
        • respect the instinctive knowledge of birth within mothers and babies
  • Is the BirthWorks Approach different from the approach of other doulas? For those who have gone through our training program, it might be the case, because ~ BirthWorks Is Different!
  • BirthWorks Philosophy [link to Philosophy page] includes the belief that the knowledge about how to give birth is born within every woman. Birth is instinctive and what is instinctive doesn’t need to be taught. Rather, we help women to have more trust and faith in their bodies which already know how to give birth.
  • BirthWorks is a process, not a method. We believe that each woman will labor and birth in her own special way. We offer an experiential and innovative approach that through the practice of human values, integrates the  mind, body, and spirit in birth, thereby increasing confidence and decreasing fear in birth. This is empowering and transforming in nature..
  • BirthWorks encourages women to listen to their bodies by following their instincts, moving and eating/drinking as needed, and breathing slowly and deeply throughout labor to promote relaxation and facilitate labor.
  • Our birth doulas agree to the Ideals of a BirthWorks Birth Doula listed below:
        • Believes that birth is a deeply spiritual and joyful experience that impacts a woman’s entire life.
        • Recognizes that integration of the mind, body, and spirit generates a more positive birth experience.
        • Sees herself as a companion to the birthing woman, providing information to help her develop a birth plan prior to birth and staying with her throughout her entire labor so she can feel safe to let go and give birth.
        • Understands that emotions and nutrition of the pregnant woman have a great impact on the health of her baby from its life as a fetus through adulthood.
        • Believes that breast milk provides optimum nutrition for the newborn baby, and therefore encourages breastfeeding whenever possible.
        • Respects the privacy of a laboring woman and her family.
        • Is trained to recognize the progress of labor by observing body physiology, facial expressions and speech.
        • Knows that her role is to support the social structure of the birthing environment, i.e., caregivers, family and friends, and to meet the emotional needs of the parents, providing suggestions and information as necessary. Her role is not to provide medical support or to make decisions for the expectant parents.
        • Keeps talking to a minimum, knowing her actions speak for her. She can remain humble, calm, loving, peaceful, and harmonious, so the baby can be welcomed into a quiet and loving atmosphere.
        • Sees herself as an important member of the birth team, all on a journey together with birthing parents, caregivers and other doulas, sharing their love of birth and having mutual respect and cooperation with each other.
        • Trusts her own conscience when responding to events surround the birth process and releases any fears and expectations of the birth outcome.
        • Fills her heart with compassion and is prepared to help anyone of any age, race, religion or community, acknowledging that babies are beings of love and should be met with only one language, the language of the heart.
        • Realizes that it is important to limit her number of clients so as to create a balance between her own re- responsibilities to her family and to those she serves in birth.
        • Strives to see good, think good thoughts, speak kind words and listen to what is good, knowing these feelings can only come out of love.
        • Believes that the ability to love is essential for the health of the body, peace of the mind, and joy of the spirit.

We hope this gives you a deeper sense of what a BirthWorks Birth Doula does and how they provide support! Always reach us with questions: info@birthworks.org 

For parents: you can find a BirthWorks Birth Doula here or check our our Parent Workshops.

For aspiring professionals: one of our Workshops or Certifications might be of interest.