doula

My Promise As Your Doula

baby doula knoxville chattanooga

I take my job as your doula seriously. When I began birth work I don't think I truly understand the impact that doulas can potentially make -- for good and for bad. 

So, here are some promises that as your doula I make to you...

I PROMISE TO...

  • Never judge your decisions. I may push back if you've indicated you want me to. But judge? Nope. Never.
  • Tell you that you are amazing. Always. No matter what.
  • Let you tell your own birth story. I'm not going to take to Facebook, etc and even give vague details about your birth without your explicit permission.
  • Validate your inner feelings and decisions. Whatever you are feeling is true. Whatever decision you make is the right one for you.
  • Not replace your partner. 
  • Be your biggest cheerleader (but not the annoying kind).
  • Give you options, choices, risks, benefits, and alternatives throughout your entire labor.
  • Hold your birth in my heart and treasure the sacred time you've allowed me to be a part of. 

Those are just a few things you can expect from me as your doula. Doula work is such important work. I don't take it lightly. 

<3 Your Doula for Knoxville, Chattanooga, Athens, & Beyond
Martha H.


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But You Don't LOOK Like A Doula....

As I wrote in a recent blog post "Does Your Doula's Personality Matter?" , people get strange notions in their heads about how a doula is "supposed" to act... and they also think a doula is supposed to LOOK a certain way.

Hippie with braids and a long flowing skirt, anyone?

I do love me some skirts, but I'm a little more mainstream in my appearance. (While I don't normally like pictures of myself, my husband -- photographer/co-owner of Howell Photography -- took some amazing shots to prove my point.) 

And, I may not act like your stereotypical doula either. 

For example, I'm personally not 100% crunchy (although I do love natural living and natural remedies -- I'm just not dogmatic about them). I'm relatively young(ish) (many people think of doulas as older women --- which some are!) I don't push my views on anyone. I don't fight with doctors. I don't make decisions for you. 

But, to tell you the truth, I think it's time we redefined this stereotype of what a doula looks like and how she acts. 

Because, the birth world is changing. And more and more professionals are entering the birth field hoping to educate and support women from all walks of life. And we, as birth professionals, also have unique backgrounds and experiences that will shape the way we do our doula work. 

And, that's okay.

Love,
Your Chattanooga Doula / Knoxville Doula,
Martha H.

 

Doula... Just tell me what to do! Your Knoxville + Chattanooga Doula Weighs In

mom laboring in tub

Sitting across from a laboring mama faced with an impending medical intervention that she wasn't planning on encountering, I saw her eyes begging me -- her doula -- to just TELL HER WHAT TO DO. I quickly apologized and reminded her that this is her birth. I can't tell you what to do. I can give you options, choices, alternatives, risks, and benefits. I can help you evaluate what is best for you. I can help you ask questions. But, I can not... I will not tell you what to do. So, I did what I always do and had the mom's partner ask the care providers to leave the room for a minute so they could have some time to think about things. 

After the doctor left, I still did not tell them what to do. I told them the pros/cons of this intervention. I had them evaluate what their intuition was telling them about it. I helped them brainstorm questions to ask. That's what I do.

I'm not one of those warrior doulas. You know the doulas I'm talking about... The doulas who come storming in with their own agendas, thinking that every woman has to give birth the way that doula feels is "right". 

But this is life. Every birth is different. As your doula, it's my promise to you that I will always help you to be armed with information and the tools to find your own voice. 

<3 Your Knoxville and Chattanooga Doula,
Martha 

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Doulas. Not just for "Natural" Births.

I remember telling my husband that I booked a client who was scheduling a c-section birth.

He looked at me with his brow raised and asked, "Why? What are you going to be able to do?"

Poor hubby... he certainly got a mouthful from me at that moment, because there is SO MUCH that a doula can do for a c-section mama, from helping her throughout pregnancy by providing information to helping her develop a birth plan that includes a gentle c-section to breastfeeding support postpartum.

The point is -- doulas are NOT just for moms who want a drug-free/intervention-free birth, although that's sometimes where we shine with our knowledge of pain management techniques and physiological birth experience, we are still awesome at supporting moms in all sorts of birth situations:

*Non-Medicated Births
*Epidurals
*C-Sections
*Inductions
*Home Births
*Hospital Births
*Birth Center Births
*Water Births
*First Time Moms
*Fourth Time Moms

Basically, doulas can help ANY mom navigate her pregnancy and labor/delivery, arming her with knowledge, empowerment, and helping her to find her voice to help her have the experience of a lifetime. 

I STRONGLY believe that EVERY. SINGLE. pregnant mama deserves a doula in her corner. No matter what her birth choices are. So, even if you don't choose me to be your doula... please, choose someone. You deserve a doula.

Labor On, Ladies!

Your East Tennessee Darling Doula,

Martha H.

Knoxville Doula, Chattanooga Doula, East Tennessee Doula, Birth Doula