What is the way of the Doula? It is the way of Nature.
The image of the birthing Goddess aligns with what a doula is and what she does. In many ancient pieces of artwork, we see the birthing Goddess attended by female companions. They are adoring her, they are feeding her, they are attending to her needs as she gives new life. This is the way of the Doula.
Seeking inspiration from Her, and nature Her creation, is where I have always gone when I had questions and needed answers. I found everything I needed to know in those quiet times of walking in the woods, swimming in the ocean, climbing trees, or overlooking a river from a high cliff.
I have always sought out ways to strengthen my bond with mothers. As a mother myself, I have laughed, cried, suffered, rejoiced, and experienced good times and bad times with each of my 3 children. Focusing on the image of the Mother Goddess guided me through all 3 of my labors, as I will guide women as the handmaiden of the Goddess. I want to walk with women on their path from maiden to mother, and share with them my knowledge and compassion.
Just when I think I know all about what a doula does, I reread Way of the Doula from Birth Arts International and I realize that there is so much more to being a doula than labor support. I am building bonds and memories that will last a lifetime. I am growing confident mothers. I am cooking, cleaning, wiping, and holding.
Nature is the ultimate teacher. In Nature, you will see seasons faithfully completing their cycles, just as in labor. There is a beginning, a middle, and an ending. Early labor, active labor, 3rd stage, like spring, summer, autumn, and winter come faithfully and without fail. I will show women that Nature can teach them everything they need to know. It can guide them during the gestation of their child, and it can guide them in their journey as a new mother. She can observe the behaviors of the plants and the animals and use their lessons to become a gentle, loving, enduring mother. As she grows as a mother, her children will grow with that knowledge. And she can pass that knowledge on to her daughters, and their daughters, down through the generations. Assuredly, the path of a doula will also grow and become more powerful as time passes, and her knowledge will be invaluable in the birth process. Just as doctors were once thought to be essential to birth, so will a doula be as invaluable.
Holding sacred space for women will become important as a way of helping to guard the laboring mother from negative energy. As she labors, her ultimate focus will need to be one of peace and concentration. The negative energy of bickering family, medical interventions, and unexpected complexities will distract her from the sacred work of birthing a new life. I will help her hold that space sacred, and walk with her on her path.
I am a doula. I walk the sacred path as a handmaiden to women.