1. What is a Doula?
The word "Doula" is a Greek term meaning "Servant." Though the word is newly coined, the idea has been around for centuries: A woman continuously supporting the birthing mother physically and emotionally. This could be as easy as making sure the mother stays hydrated to recommending position changes and massages based on pain. A Doula is NOT a healthcare provider, however she is well versed and can provide information and (more natural) options that may not be stated by the medical staff. She recognizes when a decision deviates from the birth plan and will make the mother aware of it. A Doula will not speak on behalf of the mother and will support any decision that is made. A Doula knows what a natural birth looks like and reminds the couple when things are progressing normally or when intervention seems necessary and appropriate.
2. How are you able to be a Doula and a Photographer?
In my birthing experiences, I have found that a Doula's role is primarily throughout labor and birth and a Photographer's role is directly after birth and following. When a birth fits this mold I am able to carry out both tasks with full attention given. However, on the occasion of birth complications, my priority will be caring for the mother and child.
3. Will a Doula replace my husband and his role during labor?
Natural childbirth is hard work for everyone involved, even the father! Labor can last many days and is physically demanding. A Doula recognizes the importance of an actively involved father. She will not take the place of the husband! Her job is to learn how the couple interacts with each other and how best to ensure the birthing mother's needs are being met. As a team, the mother will always have someone present and available for assistance. If the father needs food or a rest break, he can be assured that the mother is being taken care of.
4. How do you feel about medication and interventions?
I believe that God designed the female body with the strength and fortitude for giving birth. The birth process is completely natural, but for the birthing mother it can be confusing. I am grateful for the advancements made in modern medicine as interventions have saved many lives (my nephew born at 26 weeks is a beneficiary of such breakthroughs). However, I believe that our culture's acceptance of medication in a normal birth has negative effects that are not fully realized. God gave pain in childbirth as a punishment for sin. Trying to bypass it will have consequences, whether emotional or physical, long-term or short-term. Though He did give childbirth pain as a punishment, the joy that awaits on the other side is so much the more! My beliefs and experience of natural childbirth led me to try to influence and encourage the practice by becoming a Doula.