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Birth Ambassadors

Birth Ambassadors by Christine Morton and Elayne Clift is pretty much a book about doulas or, more accurately, a book about “is doula work for you?”. The subtitle says it’s about doulas re-emerging in America but aside from the first chapter, that’s not how I’d summarize it.

It was interesting to read the perspective doulas were put in. I didn’t know feeling such a strong calling to this work was so uncommon! On pg 109 I got a little perspective: most people turn away from women in labor or during birth. Being fascinated by it and drawn to it is not a common reaction at all. Doulas are “special women”. Doulas have a strong desire to be near birth and to care for others during this immense transition but for whatever reason doctor, nurse, or any of those related professions just doesn’t fit. The discovery of doula work feels like a relief. Like, finally! Found the right job for me. This is what I was searching for and didn’t know it existed. Reading those sentences felt like the book summed up my personal journey into doula work. And that too is unique to doulas. Few know their calling until they come face to face with it then it feels like you came home.

The other part I really liked is comparing doulas to sherpas. Doulas are the guides that help mothers use their own strength to walk through laborland and come back with their babies. They have no doubt the mom will find her way though she may feel like a blind man flailing and guessing her way through it. A doula just stands by and guides her, knowing exactly where she is going, and that she will come through it. Every mom comes through it, in her own way, and the doula knows that even when mom doubts it herself. On pg 251, “Doulas, like sherpas, have power that comes from knowing the landscape, …”.

I knew I wanted to be a doula since I found out what a doula is but I still understandably wavered at the idea of flipping my life upside down to become one. This book reinforced that passion in so many ways. It felt like it was written about me and for me. If you’re unsure about jumping into this world then I highly recommend this book.

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