It shouldn’t surprise me, but several inquiries that have come my way have mentioned that Mom is interested in hiring me because of my openness to prayer during labor and delivery. I realize this can be a hot topic for some women, because God, Christianity, and prayer can (and does) mean different things to different people! I’ve been asked to pray with roughly half of my clients, either with them or over them during difficult times, and each time it’s been a unique experience. Prayer is intimate and different for every person, and I respect that.
For me, birth mirrors the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. He died so we could have eternal life, and in birth we truly have to die to our comforts and desires for the greater good of our child. In both cases, the pain is not futile, it comes with a wonderful gift! Life!
My philosophy about birth and parenting is that it should be as natural as possible, that we should work in harmony with the way God made our bodies. I follow this philosophy as I bring up my children and am aware of the foods, creams, medications, cleaning supplies, and clothing that comes in contact with my children’s bodies. I don’t believe God made a mistake and created our sons with an extra piece of skin that must be surgically removed after birth! In childbirth, I believe that women are fully capable and deserve to be treated with the utmost respect and dignity. I believe that we are strong, but that sometimes the pain of labor (or raising children!) can humble us, and it’s an opportunity for us to be able to fully rely on God.
However, I am certainly aware that things go wrong. Sometimes our bodies don’t work the way we think they should- or maybe they’re working exactly as they should but something out of our control goes wrong. It happens, and it’s those instances that I’m thankful to God for giving us the technology to make things right again. For baby formula when Mom absolutely cannot breastfeed. For cesareans when Baby absolutely needs to get out. Technology has a place in our lives, but shouldn’t be overused.
Some might disagree with me but I’m okay with that. The goal of the natural birth movement, whether or not you believe in God, is that women should be educated and respected, and that birth is a normal, natural process. We agree on that! I choose to give the glory to God in my work, thanking him for a precious new life each time a baby is born!
If asked, I pray with my clients but I meet them on their level and follow their leads. I’ve been able to listen to a pastor pray over my client, I’ve read Bible passages to a client, I’ve watched a husband pray over his wife, and I’ve actively participated in prayer with them. If you choose to hire me as your doula, know that I will follow your lead! I hope this blog post doesn’t scare away potential clients, but it’s important for anyone hiring me to know what and how I believe! For many women, they want their doula to provide not only physical and emotional support, but spiritual support as well.