Yeah, but Doulas are for Crunchy Moms, right?

I love me some crunchy mamas.  Really.  But doulas aren't *just* for home-birthin', cloth-diaperin', baby-wearin', co-sleepin' Crunch masters.  I love when you know what you want, and if you want to do all or some of those things, I am all for that, and am happy to support you.  If you aren't interested in ANY of those things, and are sure you're going to be a epidural toting, stroller using, formula-feeding mom, then I am STILL the doula for you.

Having a doula isn't a sign of how "hippie" you want to be, or even how unmedicated you want your birth.  Hiring a doula is like hiring a mom who will ONLY help, a friend who is knowledgeable and experienced with birth, and a sister you can yell at during labor and who won't be offended.  Those people don't decide your birth style, and neither will I. 

My favorite part of having a doula at my 2nd and 3rd births was the idea that it was a BUSINESS TRANSACTION.  I could fuss and be angry and terse or tell her to stop or squeeze harder and I knew she wouldn't be offended.  I was HIRING her to come with us to our birth to offer support and assistance, but I didn't have to take care of her in any way, because she was paid to be there.  As funny as it sounds, paying her to be there, knowing my needs and my husband's needs were going to be met without me having to ask or worry allowed me to calm down and be present in the birth.  To focus on the life we were bringing in to the world.  Which may sound a little hippie-ish after all, but it wasn't. 

Having a doula there, with me, in the hospital, turned my last two births into something I could truly experience, not just something I had to endure.  She was like a safety net, not because she told me what to do or put any expectations on my husband or me, not because she "stopped" us from doing something we said we wanted, but because I could breathe.  I could just breathe, and focus on breathing, and the rest of it was taken care of.

It was such a valuable service to me that I trained to become a doula myself.  And I truly don't care how you want to birth-- Super Natural Mom or Super Medical Mom, we're all Moms, and you deserve education, skilled support, and compassion before during and after birth.

This video, while not specifically about birth, puts into words exactly how I embody my job as your birth coach-- this is hard stuff, ladies, and we need to be kind to one another (AND OURSELVES) no matter what our choices. (Thanks to MOPS for the video and the link.)

Victoria McCollum

Victoria McCollum is a birth and postpartum doula and owner of Doulas of Fredericksburg, in Fredericksburg, Virgina. She resides there with her husband and three precocious sons.