By the way, I think it is time to let you in on a little secret: that is, that we have re-invented the term doula for the purposes of Casa Compasiva. Let me 'splain: In the U.S. and Canada, as I understand it, a doula is a person who gives physical and emotional support to the labouring and birthing mama. She does not assist the attending midwife or physician.
Here at Casa Compasiva, however, our doulas are trained to give support to Mama both pre-natally and in labour, as well as to assist the midwives. They can check vital signs, draw up meds, resucitate a baby, help stop a hemmorhage, care for mama and baby post-partum, etc.etc.etc. Pretty spectacular ladies!
Fourteen doulas took the course (some from start to finish and others coming in late) and now we have a good pool of human resources to draw from as needed. Now that the beginning is ended, we start the weekly process of practicing our new skills to keep them sharp, and filling in gaps for those who missed one or another of the sessions. On-going education will be the standard for our doulas.
One of the saddest parts of the course was hearing the birth stories of some of the doulas and their friends. Time and again we were told of being treated badly, lied to by medical staff, and bullied into unnecessary Caesareans.
Most of our doulas are now for the first time understanding the midwifery model of gentle, natural birth, and are starting to comprehend the tragedy of the indignities that they suffered to bring their babies into the world. Some are grieving their losses.
All are highly motivated to provide kind, gentle support for the ladies to whom they will minister. They are eager to share God's love in the context of pre-natal, intra-partum, and post-partum care. In short, these are wonderful ladies, and we thank God for bringing us just the right ones!
|The "patient" is a doula-in-training, not a teenaged mother|