The journey into motherhood looks different for every woman. It even looks different for women with each of their babies. My journey with Thomas (my 15 year old) was much different than with Sierra (my 13 year old). Each pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is so special. Every time a mom grows, births, and mothers her children, it will be unique. It’s a journey that she should not have to walk by herself. The people that come along side her are very important. They will encourage, support, and love her.
Her partner is perhaps the most important. Together, they will journey into parenthood. Mom will go through lots of changes and knowing that she is loved and supported is meaningful. This can look different for each person. It might be foot rubs in the evening, listening as she is crying over what seems like nothing, helping her get comfortable even though it takes 10 pillows, or driving to the store to get pickles at 11 at night. But it will always mean loving her, celebrating with her, and enjoying the journey day by day.
Her family is another important piece of the team. She will need their support, as well. This means supporting her choices, even when they differ from the other women in the family. It means staying positive and telling her that they believe in her. It means celebrating the life that is growing inside her.
Women often don’t know the importance of a good provider. Someone that listens to their concerns. The right provider will have a similar view of birth as the mom. They will support her decisions and if something happens that changes the plan, they will make sure that she and her partner understand what is happening. The right provider will make a mom feel safe and she will trust them with herself and her baby.
The doula is the final piece. A doula will come along side the woman and her family. She will be there to offer support in any way that is needed. Mom will be able to call or text anytime. She will talk with a woman about her fears, her excitement, and anything else she needs to talk about. She will help the partner to feel confident in their role. She is not a replacement, she is an addition. The doula will “hold space” for the mom, helping her voice to be heard. The right doula will help a woman feel confident, supported, and understood.
In many situations, one or more of these pieces might be missing. She might be a single mom, or her partner might have to be gone during labor and delivery (as is often the case with military families). She might have a rough relationship with her family, or have a provider that doesn’t always agree with what she wants. One thing she can count on is that her doula will support her. The right doula will know that every birth story matters.