I Am A Christian Doula
I am Christian, unarguably and unapologetically. Have been, all my life. I’m a birth and postpartum doula, too – also unarguably and unapologetically – at heart for a good long time, although officially only since February 2023.
What Does It Mean To Be A Christian Doula?
What does it mean to be a Christian doula? -Probably different things to different people, depending on who you ask. To me, being a Christian doula means that I love to support women through their pregnancies, labours, births and early weeks and months after their babies’ births, and that I believe that there’s a Higher Power overseeing all of it – that while we may do our darnedest to manage every situation, and that it indeed behoves us to do our homework so that we can do our darnedest to manage every situation to the best of our ability, ultimately we are not in charge. I believe that God is looking out for every one of us, and that even when situations don’t seem to be going our way, we can be ok if we trust that it will all be ok, in the long run. *Thy* will be done. (-in due time!)
That’s vague, I know. Let me illustrate with a couple of examples.
1. Unique Individuals, Unique Choices
Everyone is different – in this context, every mother, every baby, every birth professional, and everyone in-between. Each of us has our own opinions: some prefer natural childbirth with absolutely no interference, some prefer to take advantage of all that modern medicine and technology have to offer, and most fall somewhere in-between. Consequently, no labour, birth or postnatal period is the same as another, and no particular way of doing things is best for everyone. This doesn’t seem to have immediate relevance to the Christianity issue at hand, but I’ll say that, for me, being Christian means that I recognise that the Lord made us each unique, and I want to honour the unique choices that every mother makes. (This doesn’t mean that I don’t have preferences – I’m only human, after all – but I will do my best to help my clients understand various labour/birth/ postpartum options, including the pros and cons of each, and support them in their informed decisions.) (I’ll also mesh with some mums better than others, that’s only natural! -I trust that I will work with the mums with whom I need to work, and who need me to work with them. I also trust that I’ll make it to the births I’m meant to be at!)
2. Belief in Life After Death
When my husband and I finally conceived our son, after years of trying and many resources invested into many modalities, I couldn’t bear the thought of losing our child. When I was considering which birth doula to hire, I picked the one whom I knew had a strong belief in life after death, as my husband and I did – because if our baby died in childbirth, we would need someone who could support and reassure us in our time of desperation. This isn’t to say that non-religious or non-Christian doulas can’t do this – I’m sure they can be great at it – but, for me, I needed that reassurance. I don’t look forward to having to be that person for someone else – I hope I never have to! – but the reality is that, in this line of work, I will in all likelihood have to support a mum through the loss of her child, somewhere along the way. When that time comes, – and I want all of my clients to know that if this should be their fate – I will be there for them, 110%. I will be strong for them, I will cry for them, I will hold them in their grief. Losing a child is a terrible thing; NO-ONE should have to experience it. It is not God’s will nor His punishment, but it is unfortunately part of living on this natural plane of existence. I will be there for my clients, come hell or high water; believing that each little bubba will live on in heaven, and the strength that I will beg of God, will help carry me through.
….Those are my thoughts on being a Christian doula. I’m sure there are holes in my story that some people might want to poke fingers through; I’m open to discussion. I don’t meant to say that the characteristics I’ve mentioned are exclusive to Christians only, and I don’t mean to say that I’ll only serve Christians or that I’ll press my Christianity onto anyone – that’s part of my take on being a Christian doula, too: channeling my beliefs to carry me through and help me be the best doula that I can be for my clients, and offering more insights into my spirituality only when invited.
I’m a doula, and I’m Christian; these are intrinsic parts of who Doula Jenn B is. ♥