• Lacey Bauer

You're Not Responsible

Supporting birth can feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders as doulas. We want to see our clients happy and our investment in their goals is something we take seriously. We know how important it is to feel like you have someone on your team when going through such an intimate and momentous occasion.

But feeling responsible for preventing a particular birth experience or making a specific outcome happen is a very quick way to feel defeated as a doula. The lead to burnout is fast and frustrating and you quickly find yourself navigating feeling as though you’ve failed your client.

But, if a client gets the birth they want and looks at you saying “This wouldn’t have happened without you!”, we are quick to dismiss with a “No! I was just here to support you through the process”. So, why don’t we respond in the same way when they don’t get the birth experience they were hoping for? I see doulas leave births feeling like they should have been able to prevent this from happening.

That is far too heavy a burden to bear, doula; an expectation that will leave you feeling insecure about your abilities.

The presence of a doula doesn’t guarantee or promise any one particular kind of birth experience or outcome.

The presence of a doula guarantees unbiased, nonjudgmental, individualized support through all kinds of birth experiences or outcomes.

So doulas, remember, your role in this space is to offer support every. step. of. the. way. Sometimes, birth leads us down a very different and unexpected path, a path that may feel scary for your client. But..not for you. You’re the calm in the storm, the source of comfort and guidance, the voice of affirmation, a mind full of wisdom and understanding. That right there is the very thing that clients seek out our support for; to know someone is by their side as they bring their baby into the world, whatever that looks like.

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