Recently I have had the unfortunate knowledge that a mother was not happy with a colleagues doula services. While this is not the usual case it does happen and it will happen.
What I found most disturbing was that the mother decided not only not to speak to or with the doula after the birth to remedy any of the feelings and thoughts she had about the experience they shared, but that she went straight to a popular mom website and listed that doulas first and last name asking any other mother who was even considering using her to contact her first.
This is very worrisome for so many reasons. Even if I were not the passionate and dedicated doula that I am today I would take this stance.
Morally this is very very wrong to do.
Ethically this is very very wrong to do.
So what do you do if you find yourself as the mother in this situation?
First, understand that you just experienced the most dramatic and lifechanging moment in your entire life and with that brings a rush and flood of new feelings. Sometimes that is anger.
Second, write your thoughts and feelings down on paper and do not judge them as you write.
Third PUT THAT PAPER ASIDE.
Enjoy your new baby for a few weeks.
Fourth, pick up that paper after a few weeks and see if you still feel the same way about the experience you shared with that doula.
Now whether or not you feel the same or differently, make your post natal appointment with that doula to discuss the birth exprience.
As there are always two sides to every story and we cannot know what the doula was experiencing and processing and deflecting from the mother from the hospital staff, in effect shielding her from, so that it wouldn't further tramatize her experience, it is necessary to have that dialogue and chance for healing the process for both parties.
If you have found yourself in this position I ask that you consider the detrimental results you will impose upon another woman's life by listing your anger about her publically.
Words have a direct result on other people. Those words are in effect the same as taking a sword and cutting off the feet of another human being. Is that really what you want to do and the person you want to be?
Let me end this post by saying that doulas are human beings. We are not perfect. We cannot NOT make mistakes. But we offer nothing medical and those decisions must always be made between you and your medical staff.
What you can expect from your doula during a long labor is that at times she will sleep or hand off duties to your partner/husband. The doula will go for short breaks to replenish her body with food and water and go for bathroom breaks. It is imperitive that we are not exhausted and have the proper energy to help you through a long birth.
I have personally witnessed Midwives sitting in the corner reading books and this is completely normal and proper. Why? Because birth is normal and physiological and the calmness that this one act shows is very important. A doula sitting in the corner while the couple works together achieves the same goal and allows the doula to rest and have energy for when she must jump in and help her client.
There are so many variables we must be the peaceful force through. Speaking with your doula after you had an unhappy experience with her may allow the healing you both need to realize the truth for that day for both experiences.
Please do not publically commit L'oshon Hora.