By Jamarius Collins (Benji) of BirthMatters
According to American Pregnancy, “The Doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical, and educational support to a mother who is expecting, is experiencing labor, or has recently given birth. They aim to help women have a safe, memorable, and empowering birthing experience.”
Community-based doulas, offered through BirthMatters, support birthing persons through emotional, physical, and educational support, our number one goal is to be their cheerleader. We all know that pregnancy is a precious yet intricate process, so it’s critical that we advocate for birthing persons to advocate for themselves before, during, and after birth.
As a birthing person, the experience can be exciting and daunting all at the same time. I can speak from experience. When I began going to my OBGYN visits regularly, I would often leave feeling overwhelmed with all of the information thrown at me in the short timeframe I was there. I was apprehensive about asking questions because I figured that, at some point during my pregnancy, the physician would explain things later on. They never did, not in a way that I thoroughly understood. Had it not been for my community-based doula and having a little knowledge of medical jargon, I’d probably look like a deer in headlights at every visit. She was careful to practice questions with me before office visits and educate me on medical terms I wasn’t familiar with. She was persistent in reassuring me, advocating for me, and reminding me that NO question involving my health and wellness was foolish.
“No matter what occurs, your community-based doula will be there to support you every single step of the way.” Just read what Amazing Births & Beyond says, “…the birth of a child is a transformative, powerful, and impactful experience that only happens once. You may have multiple children, but you will only birth this child once. You wouldn’t be expected to plan, set up, decorate, and coordinate your own wedding all by yourself…think of your doula as your birth coordinator…and when the big day comes, they will remind you to breathe deeply and to think about the beautiful baby that will soon be in your arms.”
Community-based doulas are part of Hello Family, which seeks to support, educate, listen to, advocate, uplift, and encourage our expectant families. Check out our video to hear more about how our doulas support birthing individuals in Spartanburg!