I know so many young women who are eager to spend their time volunteering. They want to gain experience working with women and babies, so they donate hours and bundles of energy to women who perhaps don't have money to pay a doula, or to women who are in a difficult situation postpartum.
This is the core of being a doula, that desire to accompany women on their path toward motherhood, whether we are paid in money or not. I am sure all of us fantasize about an old great grandmother that we have, who traveled from her village to assist women in childbirth, and accepted just a bag of lentils or some corn as payment. This did happen, although I don't think all of our grannies were midwives.
But we have inherited that peaceful, nourishing spirit, and we try our best to assist women, even though lentils cannot pay the rent.
Of course, a midwife has a much greater responsibility than the modern doula. She was responsible for the life of the mother and baby. Often, she was the only one who could save the baby's life - there wasn't an intensive care unit down the road. But she did her job, and she did it well, and the best midwives were the ones who worked in the background of the mother's labor, who assisted only when necessary, who left the honour and joy to the birthing woman.
Just so a doula peaceably attends birth. Not interfering, humble, almost invisible, not a "Professional" or an "Expert", but a friend, a companion. The volunteer doulas who work for Montreal Birth Companions, and other volunteer organizations around the world, are just that - companions. They attend, accompany, and honor the birthing woman. And all for lentils!!
I have an assortment of interesting classes, workshops and get-togethers happening at my cafe over the next few months. Here's...
birth doula love doula training natural birth doulas midwife The Birth Conspiracy doula course refugees Italy babies Montreal birth companions Lunigiana midwives Bali Greece c-section MBC Doula School birth attendant book breastfeeding Africa cesarean section change gentle birth gratitude illegal midwives death epidural Rivka Cymbalist Syria VBAC birth abuse doula training Montreal fear and birth healing hospital midwifery mothers running volunteer Curioso Books Montreal doula course Montreal doula training Tuscany apprentices birthing community midwifery education mother and child normal birth writing Birth Conspiracy Egypt abusive maternity care baby big babies birth and death birth and fear birth attendants birth blues birth stories experts fear homebirth induction epidemic joy labor meconium peace radical doulas respect woman's power workshops Aleppo Canada Festa della Donna alphabet birth keepers birth process blessings burnout cafe call for doulas calm camps compassion faith friends happiness heart herbs home birth hormones independent publishing justice life marathon meditation menopause mother radical retreat se non ora quando storytelling wisdom CaffedellaPace God St John's Wort abuse acceptance aging ask the doula aspiring midwives bad luck balance barter beauty belief belonging birth books birth dance birth rape birthing herbs births body cement feminism half marathon home death mindfulness race racing radical birth yoga