When I started this blog, I wanted it to be, at times, a place for me to reflect upon my own insights and experiences that have had a hand in shaping me as a doula. This is one of those times.
I am a Christian. My faith in Christ is the most important thing to me and it drives everything I do in my life. I am certain that God led me into this work as a doula for many reasons and I believe that His desire is that I would bring Him glory as I serve women in this very important time in their life. As a result, I felt compelled to share how and why my faith influences me as a doula.
As a disclaimer, I want to say up front that I partner with couples and families of all faiths. In fact, one of the most important things to me is that my clients and their families know that I hold no judgment toward them for any of their choices, especially in birth. I support people right where they are, as they are, and I believe this is one of the most powerful and valuable things I give to them as their doula. Becoming a doula has been one of the best things to happen to me in my own spiritual journey as I have learned so much about myself and others. I will always be grateful for that!
Here is why I believe there to be a very distinct connection between God and birth.
First, I believe that God made the woman and baby fearfully and wonderfully. I believe that God is the Giver of life, and all aspects of life have been His idea from the beginning. As a doula, this means that I trust the pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum process implicitly. I believe that the pregnant woman's body was perfectly made to birth her baby. This doesn't mean that things sometimes can (and do) go differently than originally planned. But in most cases, I know that this is a perfect process that God has designed beautifully as mom and baby work together. As I support my clients, I know that I simply need to support the process and not interfere with it.
Secondly, I believe that God instructs me to hold no judgment against others. As a doula, this means that supporting women in all birth choices is of utmost importance to me. I stated before that I support ALL women. So whether they birth at home in a tub or choose to get an epidural the moment they step into their hospital room, I am there, ready to support them in their choices. I treat the women in those two scenarios the same, because birth is a very vulnerable time for a woman, and she likely has very good reasons that brought her to those choices. It is simply my job to support her, without judgment, no matter what.
Finally, I believe that pregnancy, birth, and babies are all miracles from God. Every aspect of the process - from conception, pregnancy, labor, and birth to mother-baby bonding and her ability to feed and nurture her child - are truly incredible. I am in awe of the way God designed mom and baby to work together so beautifully. It impacts me as a doula, because I have the knowledge of how the process works in order to support mom, but I also believe in the God and Giver of life that is guiding each of them. As I work with mom in pregnancy, for example, I can encourage her with such assurance that her body can be trusted to provide all it needs to for her baby. In labor and birth, I can remind her that every wave/surge/contraction is bringing her closer to meeting her baby for the first time, because I know that they are both working together, in sync with one another, just as God designed. As baby is born and mom holds him/her for the first time, I watch as the two of them are filled with God-given instinct. Baby rests quietly, and then soon begins looking for nourishment. Mom has already been producing what baby needs and is ready to provide it. Oxytocin overwhelms mom with love and a desire to nurture her baby and bonding continues. I can affirm her in those things and remind her that she is doing great and all is well. Should mom choose to breastfeed, her milk provides all baby needs, and mom and baby are off to a great start. It's all truly MIRACULOUS.
This is why I do what I do. I believe in the process. I am passionate about helping moms achieve a positive birth experience because I know that it increases the likelihood that mom and baby transition easier into life together. Nursing goes better, postpartum depression rates are lower, and mom's satisfaction as she reflects back on her birth experience is more positive. Everyone wins.
As a doula, I am committed to each of the couples I serve and I am truly humbled to be invited into that intimate time with them. I pray for each and every one of my clients throughout their pregnancies and labors, whether they are aware of it or not. It is my hope and prayer that each of them would walk away from their birth experience feeling loved and supported through the process. If they do, then I believe God has been honored as I serve them. The following is one of my favorite verses from the Bible, and it is such a beautiful promise to both mom and baby. I wanted to share it with you today:
"For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well."
Thanks for reading!
Happi loves serving families in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago as a labor doula and childbirth educator. When she's not at a birth, she loves spending time her husband and three boys.