Why “Gentle Birth Doula Services”?

September 11th, 2009

How can you call birth “gentle”? Or do you mean the doula is gentle? Those are some questions I’ve been asked when people learn the name of my doula practice. So here’s my best explanation of the name “Gentle Birth Doula Services”:
First, birthing women need to be treated with gentleness and respect. Not only should they have procedures explained to them before the procedures happen, but they should be the ones with authority over their births. There is no one more expert than the mother and the baby in their own unique dance of birth. Mothers should be treated as the intelligent human beings they are and not be coerced, either overtly or covertly, into doing things. Finally, they should be touched gently and have their physical boundaries respected, especially in the process of childbirth. Birthing mothers are creatures of great worth and beauty, and this is the message they should be receiving as they give birth.
Equally, babies need to be treated with gentleness and respect. They deserve to be brought into this world by the gentlest process possible and held by gentle hands. They deserve to spend the first sacred hours of their lives in the safest, most reassuring place possible: their mother’s arms. It may come as a surprise to many of us in our Western culture, but babies are intelligent people who are active in the process of being born. Babies are creatures of great worth and beauty, and we grown-ups should affirm this even at birth.
Of course, I try as the doula to be gentle, too ;) , but primarily it’s because I believe mothers and babies deserve to go through the journey of birth with compassionate attendants and respectful treatment.