The answer to this is no. And sort of yes. (But mostly no.) A doula should never speak to your care provider or the medical staff of your behalf or interfere when a provider is caring for you (i.e. “She doesn’t want you to do that!”). Our job is to support you in your birth wishes. A doula will never tell you what decision to make or how to handle a situation. We will help you remember what the evidence says in a given situation and help you remember what questions to ask, but it is not in our scope of practice to make any kind of decisions for you. We will ask the nurse to bring your more ice chips, or let her know when you’re feeling the urge to push, but it is not our job to communicate your wishes to the medical staff.
CAN MY MOM OR SISTER BE MY DOULA?
Yes, but also no. As with your partner, your mom and/or sister will have a more intimate relationship with you than your doula will. They will know you, but it’s not very often that we have a mom or a sister who is also a trained doula. Doulas go through months of study and training and have hours and hours of hands-on experience in the birth space. This training provides us with a set of professional skills that are hard to replicate without training. And while we are more than happy to help your mom or sister support you during your birth, there really is no substitute for a trained labor doula.
HOW DO I BECOME A DOULA?
There are a variety of training programs available for aspiring doulas, but understand that not all training programs are create equal! Birth Boot Camp offers an all-inclusive training program that teaches you more than just how to support couples in labor, but provides doula mentorship, marketing materials and guidance, training in communication skills, and so much more. Having trained with a different organization first (before Birth Boot Camp was even around!), I am amazed at the difference and all that Birth Boot Camp has to offer. To learn more about the Birth Boot Camp training program and to find out where your closest training is happening, visit https://birthbootcamp.com/doulas/ .