When I decided to re-train with a new certification organization, ProDoula, I did it for very specific reasons. They operate with the utmost professionalism, they strive consistently to elevate the role of doulas around the world, and, according to Randy Patterson, co-founder of ProDoula, they are working to "leave birth better than [they] found it." I realized that if, as doulas, we were focused on our clients reaching specific outcomes in their birth and if we were operating with some sort of battle plan in which to stave off interventions, that we were actually leaving birth worse than we found it. By that I mean that the birthing process and system would always be a battle, and birthing parents and their families would be fighting that battle forever.
I wasn't willing to be in a defensive position with my clients at their births. And I don't even want that for any birthing family. Being on the defensive is stressful. It's exhausting. And neither of those negative feelings belongs in the birthing space.
The standards that ProDoula has adopted for doulas are important in this field. When I found ProDoula I knew that I had found an organization that aligned with my goals to improve birth and to do so in a way that promoted professionalism and collaboration, and focused on supporting families while they reached their birth and parenting goals.
Building bridges between my client(s)' prospective or current care provider(s) and myself is incredibly important to my business. I want my clients to trust me and to be able to have the utmost confidence in my ability to remain personally uninvested in their choices. But I also want them to know that I will never come between them and the hospital, the nurses, the doctor(s), or the midwives. As part of their whole care team, I work to build a relationship of trust with providers. I have found that when parents have the support of a doula, they feel confident in their ability to choose a provider that they trust. And when that happens, they are able to work with their provider toward the best possible outcome for their family and their baby(ies).
I wish that we didn't have to talk about building bridges with hospital staff. I wish that the standard in our industry was to reject the "us vs. them" mentality when it comes to hospitals and the care providers that work inside of them. But it is important that I work hard to draw a distinction between the way my company works with providers and hospitals, and the way doulas have done so in the past.
Thankfully, it has become more and more common that doulas and care providers work collaboratively. I believe that in a few short years, it will become the norm. We are blessed in Fayetteville to have multiple professional doula companies who embrace this kind of philosophy.
At the end of the day, our hope here at Erin Stephens Birth Services is that you and your family feel safe, cared for, supported, and adequately prepared for this life-changing transition. We feel confident that our company can provide you with that.
As always, we promise to support you with the utmost professionalism.
Authored by: Erin Stephens
Erin love to write about topics that families are interested in, to help spread awareness throughout the community, and to help her clients and future clients better understand her services. She loves chatting with people about her blogs, so feel free to contact her!