March 04, 2009

a doula story

I'm watching this movie right now, and my internet is slow so I have to keep pausing and waiting for it to load - so I'll take the time to pass it on here.

It's the story of a doula working with black teenage mothers in Chicago. While I wouldn't choose the birthing options that she does (hospital birth, medication), I can relate as a teenage mother myself. Unlike a lot of the young mothers in this film, I had great family support and my mom was with me through the whole experience. Rather than having a doula support me and go with me to the hospital when labor began, I had my wonderful midwives who met me at the birth center and took care of me throughout the entire process - acting as doula during labor, catching my baby as she was born, staying with me until I was ready to go home, and coming to my house every few days afterwards to check on us.

What runs through the film is that what young pregnant mothers need is love, trust, and most of all just being - being with them when they need it, not leaving when they're scared, listening when they need to talk, and talking when they need to listen. This is what teaches them how to be a mother. The word 'midwife' means 'with woman.' When you are with the woman, you are not only helping to bring a baby into the world, but bringing a mother into the world as well.

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