What Is Support? 07/20/2009

This is a beautiful poem about labor support that was shared with us by our wonderful doula trainer, and I would like to share it with you.  I think it describes so eloquently, the role of a doula, and what it is like to support a woman in labor.

What Is Support?

Support is unconditional.
It is listening...
not judging, not telling your own story.
Support is not offering advice,
it is offering a handkerchief, a touch, a hug...caring.
We are here to help women discover what they are feeling...
not to make the feelings go away.
We are here to help a woman identify her options...
not to tell her which options to choose.
We are here to discuss steps with a woman...
not to take the steps for her.
We are here to help a woman discover her own strength...
not to rescue her and leave her still vulnerable.
We are here to help a woman discover she can help herself...
not to take that responsibility for her.
We are here to help a woman learn to choose...
not to make it unnecessary for her to make difficult choices.


In honor of the launching of our website we wanted to share with you an article written for Childbirth Connection on the many benefits of labor support.  Many of the paintings and records we have dating as far back as ancient Greece depict or describe a female presence aside from the midwife, attending to the needs of the mother during labor.  Now that our partners are allowed to be in the delivery room we have gotten away from that kind of support.  Having your partner in the delivery room is a wonderful advancement for the birthing industry, as it helps the mother feel supported and cared for.  But most women will agree that their partners could have been more helpful, especially if they had a long or complicated labor.  The experience and training of a doula can really come in handy.  They are trained to know when the mother needs more support, and well-versed in many different comfort measures.  A doula will be there for the mother, but also for her partner.  The doula can assist the partner in being a greater part of the labor if desired.  She can model massage techniques, and suggest other techniques such as showers or baths, which the partners assistance will be greatly appreciated by the mother.   

The following article briefly describes some of the research findings that support the use of a labor support person during your birth.

Childbirth Connection: Labor Support