Much of the work of being a doula involves leaving our assumptions at the door. We find ourselves constantly humbled by the varieties of birth outcomes and the routes that lead there. Good doula work does not allow for an agenda- not a physical one, not an emotional one, and surely not one that is burdened with judgment.
During pregnancy, the doula and the expecting parent(s) build a trusting and open relationship that shapes the care the doula provides. This care includes knowledgeable assistance in evaluating your choice of birth settings and care providers as well as in discussing specific obstetric practices that would support your birth choices and lifestyle preferences, developing a birth plan that reflects your preferences, and navigating choices for childbirth preparation classes, pediatrician, breastfeeding and alternative feeding methods.
A doula is a valuable member of the birth team for any family, but expecting LGBTQ parents can reap special benefits from working with a doula. Your doula will get to know you over the course of your pregnancy and is there to become educated to your wishes, concerns and preferences — the doula is there to learn what is important and unique about each pregnant/expecting parent(s).
A relationship will develop that will help put you at ease in the birthing environment where you may be dealing with 1) many attendants who are naive to your family structure and 2) many new care providers in rotation throughout your labor. Your doula will be present with your family throughout your birth and will work closely with those health care professionals supporting your birth, thereby freeing your mind, body and spirit to focus on your most important task of birthing your baby.
An experienced doula can assist with breastfeeding education and support for lesbian couples (for example, who may both want to breastfeed) and transgender couples. The doula can assist gay men who have a surrogate birthing their baby to better understand and support their surrogate in pregnancy, birth and with the transfer of parenting responsibilities (for example skin–to-skin) from the biological mother to the new parents.
The doula provides information, referrals, and networks in the specific to your needs and community, researching your options in cases where the doula is not already familiar with the resources. In addition, the doula will provide access to quality, non-judgmental support in baby care, feeding, pediatrician selection and diapering options, child care and all of the other issues that new parents face.
I am excited to provide loving support to ALL family types in the greater Boston area!