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Category: Slice of Doula Life

  1. But what EXACTLY does a doula do?

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    It can be really tough to explain what it is that a doula does to someone who doesn't already know. This is especially true when you start to talk about things like "active listening" and "holding space" which make perfect sense to doulas but can seem like really abstract and meaningless concepts to people who have never experienced them.

    "So what exactly do you do then?"

    "Well, you see.... I doula people. That's what I do."

    Modern life is expensive, and babies can be even more so. Everyone wants to know what they're paying for; reassurance that they aren't pissing their money up the wall, and it can be hard to imagine what you're buying when your prospective doula can't really describe what she does. How do we put a monetary value on "holding space"? Or explain a charge per hour for "intelligent tea drinking"?

    Our society has an obsession with observable external THINGS that we can point to and say "this!" and that doesn't often mesh well with the essence of doulaing. So, here is a list I've put together, of "things that I have done for clients so far". It is not exhaustive, but it is pretty comprehensive, and I hope it helps.

  2. Birth Stories and Houseplants: How a Glimpse into Someone Else's Soul Gives Me a Glimpse into My Own

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    It’s a bright and crisp Tuesday afternoon. I’ve found my seat and stashed my suitcase. I’ve committed the rookie mistakes of forgetting both a nail file for the snick in my thumb nail and my yarn scissors (how?!), and while I’ve managed to fix both of those things thanks to other passengers who have clearly got their shit together more than I have, crocheting is no longer holding any appeal.

    Even eating my lunch and browsing Facebook and Instagram only takes twenty minutes and I still have over two hours of train journey left to fill.

    I pull out one of the four (!!) books I brought with me. This one has been on my To Read list since I bought it eighteen months ago when a client asked if I had it on my shelf.

  3. Continuity, Contingencies and Chicks: A Birth Story

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    2 am, and I was woken from a semi-sleep state by a text message, reading, “my waters just broke”. After a quick text exchange, I put some clothes on and got in the car to make the 20 minute drive to my client’s house. I was not at all surprised to get this message - my client had been experiencing steadily strengthening waves throughout the previous day and we had been in touch almost constantly through the build up.