I was recently discussing an uncomfortable birthing situation with a doula with longer experience than myself. We were talking about the different feelings in a birth room with the staff present. And while I was frustrated with staff responses, she brought a different perspective to my thinking.

You’re in MY house.

I don’t walk into your house and tell you how to raise your children, what to clean with, or use rooms you ask me not to use.

Yet, we walk into a hospital with that attitude. And while it’s our bodies, and in some ways we are taking our house into someone else’s house, we also have to find a way as birth workers to still be respectful of the “owners” of the home we are walking into. These workers have trained and day in and day out have a way of doing things. If we walk in and demand they do it different, we are essentially telling them they are doing it wrong, automatically bringing chaos into a birthing environment.

And so….. how do we walk in, respect their “home” yet push the envelope that our client desires? How do we do this with respect to what they do every day, but help our clients advocate for “their house”. My job is to support my client in their wishes, without bias, yet as a birth worker who will return, I also want to respect the home I am visiting.

It brings an interesting conversation to the table of doulas and clients, as well as doulas and other birth workers.

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