The Type of Person Who Hires a Doula

Hello there! Hayley here! As I sit here reflecting on the last few days, I wanted to share some of my musings.

This week has been wild, to say the least. I attended THREE births. In three days. Insert wide-eyed emoji here.
The first was on Monday (also my kiddos' first day of school), and after attending that birth, literally as I was saying my goodbyes to that family, I got a text from another client saying her water had broken and she was headed up to that same hospital right then! So I had two births in less than twelve hours, but after that second birth, I had the next day off. The following day (today), I had a third birth! Today's birth was my last August baby so I'll be able to rest for a few days before beginning a long-term postpartum gig. It's safe to say I'll be spending several days this week in a yoga studio. And also my bath tub.

Today, as I left that third birth, as I reflected back on those three experiences, each of the mothers, their partners, their families and friends, and their babies, I noticed that each one was quite different from the others. And even different from every other one of my past clients and their births. So I realized something that I'd always known subconsciously, but something many people don't know. When it comes to who hires doulas for their births, there is no "type." There isn't this one-dimensional category of women who seek out doulas. It isn't always the "crunchy" moms who want to go all-natural, as I think many people assume. I don't only attend home births (as a matter of fact, I personally never have). I've had women who plan to go "all-natural," I've had women who plan to get pain medication the moment it's available to them, I've had women who go into their labor with no real plan at all, I've had women who plan c-sections, I've had women who will move mountains to avoid a c-section. I've had women who prefer laboring at home, I've had women who are itching to check into the hospital. I've had women who labor naked without a care in the world, I've had women who don't even want their doula to see their panties. I've had women who have read every book on pregnancy, birth and parenting they could get their hands on, and I've had women who feel no need to do much research at all. I've seen overbearing families, gently supportive families, critical families, I've seen partners with strong personalities, ones who are much more laid back, quiet ones, loud ones and more. Basically, there is no way to define a "type" of people who hire doulas. The only thing they all definitely have in common is that they all care about the kind of birth they have (but don't we all?).

The uniqueness of each family, plan and birth is one of my favorite things about what I do. I used to have a job where I worked for the same boss all day every day, and I gotta say, I much prefer the variety of the clients I work for today. You are all so beautiful, so wonderful in your own ways, and so inspiring. Keep keeping us birthworkers on our toes. You make our job worthwhile.

- Hayley Dwyer, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator