My Doula Journey

So why become a doula?

It’s a question I’ve gotten more than once since I became a doula. I’ve been asked if it’s something I’ve always wanted to do or if my doula inspired me to become a doula. Well, here’s my Doula Credo:

I became a doula because I know how valuable it is to be supported in labor. I know that not everyone has this support and sometimes those around us are unaware of how to best support us. I became a doula because I see a need in the Boston area for diverse birth workers. It is a diverse place! This is often not reflected on the medical and non-medical side of birth and I want to be part of changing the atmosphere. I became a doula because I want to help women advocate for the birth they want. I became a doula to provide affordable and unwavering support to mothers. I became a doula because I want to support women through pregnancy and beyond.

Becoming a doula is not something I’ve always wanted to do, it’s something I discovered was meant for me. I am a supporter of family, friends, colleagues, neighbors; I like helping others. I’m “that friend”. The one you go to when you need advice or a little extra love or a little kick in the pants to remind you of your awesomeness. After having my own child, I realized what a crazy time pregnancy and birth can be! I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to help other moms than helping them through these huge life transitions, starting with pregnancy. So I became a doula - a birth and postpartum support person.

Another question I’m often asked is if I had a doula myself. Like most other doulas, I didn’t have a doula at the birth of my son.

I didn’t have a doula for a couple of reasons.

  1. I didn’t believe I could afford one. Doulas in this area can be costly, especially if you’re looking for postpartum help. I value birth work. I believe doulas should be well-paid for the support they offer mothers and families. However, with our first little one on the way, saving to move into a new apartment and for a whole new person, it wasn’t feasible for us to spend the extra money. Overall, it was a really special day and thankfully I felt completely supported by my husband, OB, and nurses.

  2. For about 6 weeks I thought I may have a scheduled c-section. I had a slight case of placenta previa that resolved around 26 weeks. I’d been told that if I did have a cesarean birth, I’d have no need for a doula. Though, I’ve come to believe that anyone who wants the support of a doula or other women in labor, should have that.

Do I feel like not having a doula informed my decision to become one? YES. Absolutely. I probably would have said no to things that happened. I would have been more informed during the induction process. But do I feel like I needed to experience a doula to know their value? Nope. Women need other women. Mamas need the help of other mamas. It’s just the truth. Motherhood is a shared experience. Birth is a shared experience. There are always differences but with support and information, we can help one another grow and make the best choices for ourselves and our families. I became a doula because I want to empower women to make those decisions throughout their pregnancy and journey into motherhood.

Dashanna Hanlon