Doulas offer many wonderful things to pregnant moms. Physical comfort, emotional support, as well as information and education. One thing I strive to do, as a doula, is stay as unbiased and objective as humanly possible. Part of how I stay objective is keeping my opinions and personal experiences to myself, including my birth stories and those of past clients.
The topic of birth is weighted enough. Pregnant women have a million opinions thrust upon them at any given moment from doctors and nurses, as well as random shoppers at Target. And because it is nearly impossible to give an opinion without somehow insinuating judgement, I like to steer clear of opinions.
Please don't misread -- I certainly have personal opinions on birth -- how, where, how long, etc -- every human on the planet does. I also have two very beautiful birth stories that I love sharing. However, my clients will not hear any of those from me.
It's not that I am ashamed of my birth experiences, or that I am afraid to share my opinions; I feel quite the opposite. The reason I do not share my opinions and personal experiences is simple, your birth is not about me.
Your birth is not about me, my opinions, or my experiences. Your birth is about you and your baby.
As birth professionals, exposing personal opinions and experiences is more threatening than one might assume. First, sharing my feelings might compel you to choose a route you wouldn't choose otherwise, one that could put you in danger as what is "right" for one, may not be "right" for all. Secondly, if your birth somehow strays from my preferences, you could feel you've let me down. As your doula, that is the opposite of what I want. I want you to feel proud of the decisions you've made, of the work you've done.
No one should tell you how to give birth; No one should tell you where to give birth. It is your birth, your body, your baby. How you feel comfortable birthing is up to you. While your doctor or midwife may have a thousand opinions for you, your doula should have nothing but unbiased, evidence-based research and support.