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A stereotype vs a personality type; a doula is an individual too...

Posted on January 9th, 2014 by | 8 views

Something that was very apparent to me when I first decided to become a doula, was that the term “doula” was almost considered a label.  Kind of like a “WASP” or “Hippie” or “Conservative.”

I’ve found that (depending on the type of crowd or person I was talking to) each time I would share my profession, someone would make a statement that placed me in a certain category in their mind. To help you understand a little more of what I mean, here is a little list of statements I have heard over the years after telling people what I do:

 “Oh a doula... so your one of those people who deliver babies in homes and stuff. Off the grid types.”

 “Ok, I’ve heard that women need those when they don’t get epidurals.”

 “So you don’t like anything thats not natural... Everything needs to be from the earth and   all spiritual too right?”

 “I’ve heard you are against all medical stuff right?”

 Here’s the thing... all of these statements were made by people who have known me for years. Let me be clear: The personality type they seem to be referring to is not a negative in any way... but it’s not me! These individuals know who I am and the type of life I live. Yet when they add the label “doula” to it, they change their outlook on my personality instantly! 

 This is what I would like to make clear: 

 A doula is an occupation.

 A doula is a passion. 

 A doula is an individual person... 

 NOT a stereotype. 

 When someone becomes a doula, they do it because they feel called to help and serve women and their families through the process of pregnancy and birth. Each doula is still the individual that they were before they became a doula. Every one of us is different in our demeanors: humorous, bold, soft spoken, sarcastic, serious, etc...

Forming a stereotype with doulas is like taking a group of mothers, lining them up together, and assuming that each one of them only has their children eat the Gerber brand of food... because thats what you do when you become a mom. Crazy! That would never happen!!!! Each mother is there own person and will feed there baby according to their own personal desires and diet.

 The job of a doula is to support the desires of their clients. No matter what their own opinions may be. But, they are still human. They have their own style. What’s important to remember is that every woman needs a doula, but not every doula is going to be a perfect match. Connection is key. 

 I personally think that natural birth is wonderful, but I also lean towards taking Excedrin when I develop a migraine rather than using homeopathic remedies. Neither statement places me in one specific category.  So the next time someone tells you what they do for a living... a psychologist, a pastor, a lawyer, or a doula. Try not to form an opinion on who they are based only on what they do. There is so much more to them...

-Doula Laura



* * Embracing Labor is a team of San Diego labor support offering Birth & Postpartum Doulas, Childbirth Education, Lactation Counceling, Placenta Incapsulation and Prenatal Massage. Visit to learn more, receive free education and a complimentary consultation.

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