When I started schooling to become a Child Birth Educator and Doula, I thought I wanted to become an advocate for women to have the best birth and to give parents some peace when they brought baby home.
That all changed when I was forced to reflect on my own birth experiences. My purpose did not change because my desire to advocate changed. My purpose changed because I realized that the most powerful advocates in childbirth are not educators or Doulas, but the parents themselves.What became clear through looking back was my mission: to help expectant parents find the information they need to make whatever decisions are best for them and their baby. Those decisions may look vastly different. But if I do my job right, each decision will be made based on fact, not fear. Each decision will be the one that the parents know to be the right one for their family. What I was lacking as an expectant mom was knowledge. It wasn’t that I didn’t look for information. I read all the books (I thought). I talked to friends and colleagues who had given birth. I even took a hospital class about childbirth. I questioned my care providers and discussed with my husband what we thought we wanted. And yet, I still didn’t have the full story and that is what most profoundly affected each birth experience. I was lucky. I had great care and overall our births were fine. Now, I am blessed with three perfect little people so there is nothing to complain about. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have done almost everything differently had I known then what I know now about birth and pain and procedures. So I began with a mission to advocate. What I ended my course work with was this: a mission to educate parents so they can be strong advocates for themselves. Parents, know this: you have choices and you have the right to know what they are and be able to make the best ones for your family. Parenting is about being an advocate. Start the job with your birth. ** RHM is offering birth and new baby classes starting January 23rd in Tinton Falls. Contact for details. therighthandmom at gmail dot com.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.