Don't blame the doula!

birth birth politics careprovider doula labor labour medical metoo midwife obstetrician opinion respect May 30, 2019
Dear careprovider,
I want to begin by saying thank you for caring for my client. As a doula, I completely respect your medical role in keeping my client and her baby safe. I have, however, a few things that need to be said. This comes after nearly 10 years of birth work and a range of "interesting" interactions with colleagues such as yourself. I'll be as delicate as I can. ;) Here goes....
If my client chooses to decline an intervention - please don’t blame me. I don’t tell my clients what to choose, I just support them in their choice.
If my client doesn’t trust you - don’t blame me. Your relationship with my client is not my responsibility. I understand it's not the easiest thing to build rapport with a complete stranger while they are in the throws of labour, but again, not my problem. This is an unfortunate side effect of a fractured medical system that doesn't put women first. I will stand with you in advocating for change, but I cannot magically make my client love you. That is your responsibility. And a hint on how to achieve that? Speak quietly, lovingly and respect her space and choices. Yes, you heard correctly, I said "lovingly". We are humans not robots and society is built on connection. Love is what the world needs. And love is certainly what a labouring woman needs...
...Moving on!
If my client is being “difficult” or rude even - don't blame me! I am not responsible for my client's behaviour. I am hired to support them. I work for them. I accept them for who they are - quirks and all. I am specifically trained NOT TO JUDGE but to be accepting of all people. In reference to the perceived “rudeness” - you are aware that my client is in labour right?! All social etiquette goes out the window in labour - she can express herself as she pleases. Not to mention the gas that you eagerly shoved in her hands from the moment we walked in the door. So yeah, don’t blame me if your mind altering drugs are affecting her “manners”.
If you are trying to convince my client of a particular course of action - don’t recruit me! My role is not to convince my client of what choices to make but to support her in whatever her choices are. This may involve helping her to weigh up her options (perhaps using a decision making tool), but I will not use my position of trust to influence her decision!
Don’t blame the doula,
don’t blame the doula,
don’t blame the doula!
Perhaps instead of blaming the doula, you should reflect on our current medical system which routinely treats women like children (and you wonder why they "rebel"?). This is 2019. The age of the #metoo movement. Women know their rights and they are tired of being
bossed around,
and made entirely invisible.
Finally, if you speak down to my client and tell her what to do, wrongly implying that she has no choice, I will tell her she has a choice. I tell her this, not to be contrary, or to hint to her to say no. (Sidenote: I honestly don't care what she chooses. What I care about is that she feels confident and supported in making a choice.) Anyway the reason I will remind her that she always has a choice is because that is the truth.
It is her legal right to choose.
It is her human right to choose. 
And that is what matters.

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