My view of birth, as a whole, is that God has created women's bodies with the ability to give birth, and I believe that we are fully capable of giving birth naturally (with a few medical exceptions of course). I love seeing women empowered by the natural birth experience, realizing their abilities, and being fully active in the process.
Our society has medicalized the whole process and views pregnancy as an illness that needs to be treated and messed with. I believe that most of the time, women are able to go through labor without any sort of medical treatment, and the result is the miracle of birth! It's truly an amazing experience!
Having said that, I do not think medicine or interventions are bad or wrong (think how many lives have been saved!), but usually just unnecessary. I fully support any decisions you make prior to or during the birth.
During the birth I feel my role is to help you stick to your birth plan as much as possible, but ultimately support you in your choices. If you go into the birth saying you prefer natural, but might want some pain medicine, I will probably guide you by saying, "Why don't we try one more position first," or, "Let's give it 30 more minutes before we try an epidural." Then if you choose pain medicine, I'll encourage you to look at the positives of that, instead of letting you feel guilty.
My goal is facilitate the best birth experience possible for your situation. This means that I help guide you, based on our discussions, as you make decisions during the birth process, and help you have a positive memory of the whole day. Rarely will a birth stay completely as outlined in a birth plan, but if you have a good experience, and good memory of the day, and feel confident that you did the right thing, and above all, you and the baby are healthy, then it is a success!
Another big emphasis for me is to make sure I am involving your partner (whether husband, friend or mom etc.) in the birth as much as possible. This is a day for the two of you to remember, long after I am out of the picture. I want you to be happy with what he is doing for you, and I want him to feel like he is involved and doing the right thing at the right time. Sure, you will probably take birthing classes, but neither of you will remember all the details when it comes down to it.
I like to coach the dad as to what is helpful during each stage of labor, and what is not, so that the two of you can focus on what is happening... the birth of your child! Instead of focusing on being stressed or upset with each other. I have found that my presence at a birth relieves the dads and family's pressure as much as the mom's since they do not have to carry the full burden of responsibility alone. (See Dads and Birth Doulas)
Also, most people do not realize that your doctor will not be there the whole time, if they are there at all, which ultimately means you will be laboring alone with your partner, with an unfamiliar nurse in and out. Having a doula there is guaranteeing that you will have someone there who you know and trust to help guide you through the process.
- "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin
- "The Complete Organic Pregnancy" by Deirdre Dolan and Alexandra Zissu
- "Husband-Coached Childbirth" by Robert A. Bradley, MD
- "The Birth Partner" by Penny Simkin
- "The Doula Book" ("Mothering the Mother" - older verision) by Marshall & Phyllis Klaus
- "Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn" by Penny Simkin
- "Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year" by Susun Weed
- "The Natural Pregnancy Book" by Aviva Jill Romm
- "The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth" by Sheila Kitzinger
- "Obstretric Myths Versus Research Realities" by Henci Goer
- "Your Amazing Newborn" by Marshall H. Klaus and Phyllis H. Klaus
- "Vaccinations - A Thoughtful Parent's Guide" by Aviva Jill Romm
- "Father's First Steps" by Robert Sears, MD and James Sears, MD