Please welcome back Stephanie Nickel. She’s going to let moms-to-be in on twelve invaluable traits a labor doula should possess. You’ll want to know this before you hire a doula. If you’re not sure what a labor doula is, click through to read this post.
Stephanie is not only a gifted writer and editor, but she also helps deliver precious gifts—she’s a certified labor doula through CAPPA Canada. (CAPPA stands for Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association.)
Take it away, Stephanie.
Picking the right doula can be as important as picking the right doctor. The following twelve traits are invaluable for a labor doula:
1. Compassion – I want to see the compassion in her eyes as well as sense it in her demeanor, and then hear it in her voice.
2. Encourager – Without the ability to encourage clients, she will not succeed as a doula. Whether with words of affirmation or a caring touch, a doula assures her client she, indeed, can bring her little one into the world.
3. Patience – She must be patient with her clients and with the birth process.
4. Trustworthy – Clients share personal information. A doula must be able to keep a confidence.
5. Knowledgeable – Of course, clients want to hire a doula who can answer their questions, and she has to know where to find the answers if she can’t.
6. Availability – Being readily accessible goes a long way in developing the client/doula relationship. No one wants to feel like their doula won’t be available when they need her.
7. Strong – She must be physically strong as well as strong in character. Some comfort measures require a good deal of strength and stamina.
8. Maternal – A doula doesn’t have to be the age of the client’s mother, but I’ve found this is a wonderful time of life to enter the profession. I can offer the comfort of a mother figure without the same interpersonal dynamic.
9. Nurturer – This, hopefully, goes along with the previous quality.
10. Sensitivity – Doulas must be sensitive in many areas. They must be sensitive to the mother’s needs as well as to the needs of others: the woman’s partner, the medical staff, etc.
11. Devotion – A birth is almost always a long, emotionally charged event. It’s easy to get wrapped up in it and then burn out, unless a doula is devoted to her profession and those with whom she interacts.
12. Caring – If a woman doesn’t truly care for her clients and the whole birth process, it’s probably best she seek another line of work. 🙂
Please be sure to check out Stephanie Nickel’s Eclectic Interests blog. There you’ll discover the other roles she plays.
Care to share a good or bad experience you or someone you know has had with a labor doula?
On another note, Father’s Day is just fifteen days away. I hope you’ll send your dad a card to tell him how much you love and appreciate him. And perhaps you’ll consider my latest greeting card. 🙂
There’s a “Share My Post” heading at the bottom of this post. Press the Email, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, or Facebook icons so you can pass along this marvelous post.
If you want to receive my free posts by email, just enter your email address in the box under “Sign Me Up!” or check off the box after you leave marvelous comments!
Don’t forget to join me on my Facebook page.
P.S. Don’t forget to send Dad a card for Father’s Day! There’s one available over on my Fine Art America site.