New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
Courses for doulas and online childbirth education

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Guest Post-Carol Van Der Woude

After working in the hospital as a labor and delivery nurse for many years,

I began assisting at homebirths. My experience with homebirth enabled me to see the intuitive wisdom of a woman in labor. I learned to shift from the attitude of managing labor to one of supporting labor.

The difference came in observing carefully (without intervening), listening and offering encouragement. Sometimes I made suggestions, offered massage, or nourishment. I learned that many women had an inner sense of what they needed to do.

I learned to read signals given by contraction patterns and pain. A midwife, a nurse or a doula can enhance a woman’s ability to work with her labor. Then the work of labor takes on an intense but amazing rhythm. I tried to capture this in my poem, Morning Light.

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Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.