Doulas are not the solution.

I am not a very political person, and in fact can't tell you whether I'm registered as a republican or democrat; however, I love watching the presidential debates. I love the psychology of it and am so interested in how and why people answer or don't answer questions and how they strategize to try to lure in voters.

Chris Christie turned the debate on its head and everybody missed it.

Did anyone watch the 2nd GOP debate several weeks ago when Governor Chris Christie set himself apart in his introduction from the other candidates? Did you notice what he did? When everyone else was talking about his or her own credentials and bad mouthing opponents or Obama in their intros, he did something DIFFERENT. 

 

Don't look at me.

"In his introduction in Wednesday's meeting of the Republican field, the New Jersey governor asked that the cameras turn away from him to the audience gathered at the Ronald Reagan Library in California. And Christie maintained his strategy of focusing on the voters throughout the night, stressing three times that it was all "about the voters" (CNN News). He actually asked the cameras to turn away from him and focus on the audience, the voters.

In fact, more than one candidate jockeying for the Presidential office in 2016 says that politicians aren't the answer and we should look to outsiders to solve America's problems. Do you understand how revolutionary that is?

It's not about you.

You see, while others in the childbirth professional community and doula world argue about who's right, who's wrong, which organization to train with, which childbirth method is the RIGHT one, and why THEY deserve to get paid as professionals, I am looking at the women giving birth, the ones who really matter. It's not enough to be a good doula.

Some of us are waving our hands, saying "Wake up!! You're missing the point completely! You're asking the wrong questions and still not solving the problems!" It might help to stop talking about how great you are and why you deserve to get hired or paid more and start focusing on the fact that women deserve better and that you're the one who has a plan to help them. We can do better.

Doulas aren't the answer. Mothers are. 

When we look to the women giving birth and choose to work smarter, not harder, and choose simple and effective methods of discovering their needs, we are able to serve them better than the others who are still asking all the wrong questions. I often encounter doulas and childbirth educators who try to equip unique individuals with uniform information about childbirth that leaves them dissatisfied and wondering what they missed. The childbirth professionals are wondering what they missed too!

The answer lies deep in the hearts of the women we serve, and in many cases childbirth professionals have failed to unlock this information in order to find out what mothers really want and equip families for a better experience. We need to start focusing on our clients by taking into account their unique personality needs and decision making mindsets, and give them the power to change their experiences instead of insisting we have all the answers and the power.

You want to know why I say doulas aren't the answer? Because most of us don't know what the question is. How can you be the answer if you don't know what the question is? It's not that doulas don't solve problems, but until we start asking the right questions, doulas will only be part of the answer at best. We can do better.

It's not about charging more. It's about being better.

If you are a professional doula, you are aware of the current talk in the doula world and how many are touting about charging a living wage and improving the reputation of doulas in the childbirth community. I am all about making a living doing what I love and I believe professionals deserve to be compensated for professional services, but if you're still doing the same old thing and putting a higher price tag on your services, you are not delivering on your promises. You can't demand a higher paycheck if you STILL AREN'T ADDRESSING THE ISSUES and failing to meet the needs of the women giving birth.

Most women looking for doulas think they help them during labor with massage tricks, position changes and encouraging words. If that's what you offer then those are the women who will hire you. That's about 6% of the population of birthing women. But ALL women want a better experience. If you can address THAT issue, and reach all the women who are not looking for doulas but WANT a better birth experience, you will be WORTH more as a professional and you'll have more clients than you can handle.

We can do better.

What Doulas are Supposed to Do

Birth Doulas or Labor Doulas offer physical, emotional and informational support to their clients. In training, doulas are often taught very well about HOW to assist women during the actual labor and delivery. When it comes to prenatal support, doulas are taught to do two things: get to know their clients and find out what they want for their birth. This part is just breezed over as if it's a simple task. Any doula will tell you that those two things are much easier said than done. We can do better.

What women want is the most important thing.

We spend so much time and effort honing our skills for how to support women during the birth experience, but no one is telling doulas HOW to "get to know their clients and find out what they want." If you can answer the questions and combat the problems that everyone has that they still can't answer, YOU can be the solution.

I'll let you in on a little secret, the solution is a lot simpler than you think and it's not longer childbirth classes, better birth plans, evidence based practices or higher paid doulas. It's about working smarter, not harder, asking the right questions and using simple and effective techniques that work. If we can find out what women really want in childbirth and help them achieve it, then we'll be making progress. 

#ChangingChildbirthEd

Your Birth Experience is turning the world of childbirth education on its head and doing something different. If doulas and childbirth educators focus solely on the stuff of childbirth and understanding options without turning the cameras on the women giving birth, they will continue to leave women wanting. Read how Louisville Area Doulas are #changingchildbirthed by focusing on the "you" in your birth experience. 

Your Birth Experience approaches the tasks of doula work and childbirth education from a very different perspective than what most of us were taught in our various doula trainings. It causes childbirth professionals to think differently about how to do the same tasks we've been doing. We help doulas and childbirth educators focus on personality and emotional needs of the clients that, in my experience help parents have a more deeper satisfaction of the birth experience than when we solely focus on birth interventions.

I'm ready to change the world.

I have a vision that is big, VERY BIG! My goal is not to give a better experience for the 6% of women who hire doulas. I want every single woman to have a birth experience that is far more amazing than she ever imagined it could be. I want to revolutionize the way women see this experience. I want to change the world as we know it.

I want you to come with me.