From My Births to Yours: Healing Through Helping #wellbeingwednesday
Do I support women differently because of my own birthing experiences? I was asked this on my doula Facebook page. Initially, my answer was yes. Then I began to contemplate the question more deeply. I became a Doula shortly after a fairly traumatic experience birthing my son, Hudson. I didn’t know it at the time, but becoming a doula and attending other women’s births was the most healing thing I could have done for myself.
I know now that I suffered mentally from the birth of my son. Every time someone would say to me, “at least you’re both healthy,” or, “the health of the baby is most important,” I would almost cringe. Obviously the health of the mother and baby is important, but my birthing experience didn’t leave me healthy. It left me very scared. I wanted answers so I contacted my midwives and my family doctor. I never really got the answers I was looking for until I found the doula group, Bebo Mia. They helped me dissect my birthing experience with evidence-based information that corroborated what I was feeling, and offered me ways to advocate for myself, and for others, in the future.
I had found what I needed. I went on to learn as much as I could about pregnancy and birth. So the reason I became a doula was very heavily tied to my own birth experience, but in practice, when I support other women in labour, I am totally there for them. I know that their births have nothing to do with my experiences. Every birth is unique, and every body does something different.
I am reminded constantly that our bodies do know what to do, given the time and a calm environment. With every birth I support, I become stronger. By the time I had my daughter, I felt confident and trusting again. I had an unmediated V-Bac, and for me, it was pretty perfect. Now that I’ve seen birthing experiences from a few different angles, I’m confident in supporting all forms of birth, and helping women who are looking for any kind of birthing experience. Because all birth can be beautiful.
NICOLE STONE is a certified Birth Doula who owns her own practice servicing all of the Toronto Area. Visit Toronto Doula at torontodoulanicole.com