29 Jun Attunement vs Experience
practical contact with and observation of facts or events.
being or bringing into harmony; a feeling of being “at one” with another being
I’ve been a doula for over 4 years now and throughout that time I have learned and heard lots of different ideas of what exactly makes a good doula.
I’ve heard that the training organization is what makes a good doula. I’ve heard attending 100 births is what makes a good doula. I struggled because I felt I was a good doula but for a certain amount of time I didn’t have these qualifiers that supposedly made me a good doula.
I remember in the first few births I attended, I wondered what could I possibly do to help this mom? What do I know? My mantra was, “studies show a woman sitting in a chair who says nothing changed birth outcomes; surely I can offer more than that!”
Now after having served over 40 families I can better see exactly what it is that doulas do. I can also see exactly what it is that makes a good and maybe even a great doula. I can see exactly how even a doula who hasn’t atttended a single birth offers a family just as much as I do.
A doula who understands and is trained in what attunement looks like at a birth or at a postpartum shift can serve a family just as well as a doula who’s served 200 families, even if it’s the first time she’s ever served a family.
She understands the harmony that happens when care providers and mom and baby are able to work together in perfect harmony. She is trained in how to make that happen. She wants to support this environment in the home or the hospital.
She’ll come and sit and listen to your questions. If she doesn’t know the answer she’ll help you find it. She’ll listen to your fears and either help you feel better about them or helps you accept this as just being where you’re at.
I can’t promise you that she’ll make your fears disappear. What I can promise you is she will listen to every single one of them no matter how big or small.
I can promise you she’ll never leave you feeling unheard or leave you feeling like your choices are the wrong ones.
She knows you’re a great parent and you’re doing the best you can right now.
If you’re in transition during your birth and your body starts to shake uncontrollably and you begin vomiting she’ll hold your hair back and rub your back and tell you this is normal. Your baby is close to being here.
If during your birth your doctor tells you for your and your baby’s safety you need to have an unplanned cesarean. You’re scared for your baby and for yourself. This wasn’t the birth you planned for, what will you do? A doula who is attuned with her client will know exactly what to say to her in that moment. She’ll tell you what you can expect in the OR. She’ll remind you of the reason you chose your care provider is because you trust them to keep you and your baby safe. Now is the time to trust them to do their jobs.
She’ll hold your hand while the anesthesiologist tells you the overwhelming list of possible complications. She can come with you, doctor permitted, during your c-section and tell you what’s happening, and she can take pictures of the birth. She can help get baby to breastfeed in the OR even if she’s never been there before.
If postpartum you have only gotten 2 hours of sleep in the past 24 hours and your nipples hurt and you’re just over it, she’ll answer the phone when you call. No matter what time. She is YOUR doula.
She’ll listen to you cry. Without any judgment she can be present to hear your emotions without any need to offer you a solution because she knows that’s not what you need. What you need is a safe place to express your emotions.
If what you need is a solution she’ll help you work through your emotions to decide what is your next step.
When it’s your first week home alone with your new baby and you feel so isolated and overwhelmed you don’t know how you can do this. Your doula can come to you and care for you while you care for your baby.
Anyone can go to tons of births and read all the books ever written about birth, postpartum, and infant care. That doesn’t make them a good doula.
At Indianapolis Doulas what we are specialists in and what we have tons of experience in, is building relationships and becoming more and more attuned with our clients. Being exactly what she needs in that moment.
A new doula is experienced and educated on what normal is. She has confidence in her training organization’s ability to give her the tools she needs to handle any situation that comes her way.
Many doulas feel they have been “called” to this work. I know for me I’ve always been great with people and sensitive to their feelings and emotions. When I found birth workI had an “Aha” moment. I had been training for this my entire life. I attune with people and birth and postpartum was just the method for me to use this skill.
A great doula has confidence in her knowledge of you and your wishes and hopes for your birth. She has built a support network of experienced doulas and experts in the Indianapolis area so if she does run into a situation she doesn’t know how to handle, she can call them even in the middle of the night. There are all kinds of extra trainings and certifications doulas can get to, in theory, help serve clients better.
A doula who is attuned to her client doesn’t need any bells and whistles. She has all the tools she needs to help you. Just like you have all the tools, with your doulas help, you need to be the best parent you can be. She’s been attuning to people her entire life and has been attuning to you since the moment you first spoke.