The number one rule of being a doula is that your clients come first. IDI’s doula training teaches you to keep your opinions to yourself.
Chances are if you are thinking about doula training, you already have an interest in birth, babies, and mothers. You may have even done some research and formed opinions about the “best” ways to give birth or care for a baby.
If you are a parent, you already established a parenting style and probably feel strongly about the way you raise your children. Perhaps your own birth and postpartum experiences (good or bad) are what inspired you pursue doula training.
All of these things are wonderful, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It’s something very important that you’ll learn during your doula training:
Your opinions don’t matter.
Okay, that might sound a bit harsh. But, hear me out!
All laboring women can benefit from having a birth doula. There is a common misconception that only women who want to have a natural birth should use a doula. However, doula training teaches you to help assist women during all types of labor. Emotional support is crucial for women during any birthing experience, from a 100% natural home birth, to a planned cesarean birth.
So, it doesn’t matter if you thought your epidural was the bees knees. If your client wants to have a drug free birth, you will tell her she’s amazing. Then, you will show her all the awesome comfort measures you learned during your birth doula training.
Similarly, whether a family leans toward attachment style parenting, or a more scheduled approach, they can benefit from having a postpartum doula. The early days with a newborn can be stressful and demanding. Having a caring and knowledgeable person to help you navigate them can make all the difference.
So, it doesn’t matter if you breastfed your baby on demand. If your client decides to formula feed, you will remind her what a fantastic mom she is while you help her properly prepare and sterilize bottles.
To put it more simply, when I say that your opinions don’t matter, what I really mean is that your clients come first.
The International Doula Institute’s doula training programs emphasize a non-judgmental approach. We teach our doulas to be competent in all areas of birth and postpartum care. When you complete your doula training and start working with clients, they can be confident that you will be able assist them no matter what choices they make. If they’re undecided about how they want to birth or parent their newborn, you will have the resources to help them make an informed decision.
Put yourself in your client’s shoes. Having a baby is a vulnerable time. You want someone who is going to support you no matter what, and have your best interests at heart. That’s exactly what IDI’s doulas do.