Maybe you have only had an epidural birth, induction, or c-section. Perhaps you had a positive experience with those, or you had a negative one. Either way, you might be wondering if you can become a doula if you never had a natural birth.
The answer is, absolutely! You can absolutely become a doula even if you never had a natural birth. Here’s why, your personal birth experience does not necessarily have any role in your work as a doula.
Sure, plenty of doulas become doulas because of a wonderful natural birth experience. However, that is simply what ignited their passion for birth. It is not what makes them an experienced or knowledgeable doula.
Quality, evidenced-based doula training and experience is what makes a great doula. Regardless of your birth experiences, you can become a doula.
Why Your Birth Does Not Matter
As a doula, your role is not to encourage clients to emulate your birth experience. Your goal is not always for clients to have a natural birth. In fact, your only goal is to support clients in an evidenced-based way.
Some clients plan on having an epidural. However, all births benefit from a doula, not just unmedicated ones. Longer births, such as an induction, often benefit from doulas even more than one who might be planning an unmedicated birth.
Some doulas have only had natural births yet support clients in all birth experiences. Your never having had a natural birth does not impact your ability to support a client having a natural birth.
In fact, you can never give birth, never be pregnant, and still be an amazing doula. This is because your birth experience does not impact evidence.
Become a Doula – Professional Doulas Support All Births
When someone becomes a truly professional doula, they are equipped to support all types of births. Even for someone hoping to work as a home birth doula, it is vital they be comfortable and confident in supporting medicalized birth too.
While birth almost always unfolds well, occasionally, complications can arise. Even low risk, home birth clients could result in a transfer and augmentation or c-section. In that case, it can be even more important that you provide quality, evidenced-based non-judgmental support.
When you take a comprehensive evidenced-based doula training, you will learn how to support each type of birth. Regardless of how your clients’ births unfold, you can be sure you will have the skills to support them.
Doula Provide Non-Judgmental Support
As a doula, it is vital you be comfortable providing non-judgmental support. As someone who has never had an unmedicated birth, it might be easier for you to fully trust that clients make the best decision for themselves.
As a doula, your role is not to encourage clients to make the same decision you would have made. Your role is to help them make an informed decision that feels right for them.
You can do this regardless of how you have given birth. You can do this even if you have never given birth.
It is very unlikely that your client will ask their OB/GYN or L&D nurses all about their birth experiences. If they’ve broken a bone in the past, it is unlikely they only look for an orthopedic surgeon who has also broken bones. They simply trust the professionals are properly trained in providing care. They certainly would not choose someone to repair their broken bone purely because that person has also broken a bone but has no professional training.
As a doula, the same thing applies. Your comprehensive training is designed to equip you to support clients. It does not matter how you’ve given birth. It does not matter if you’ve never given birth. Your training equips you to attend a birth as a professional support.