I am sure you have all heard it before; a good friend, a coworker, a family member offering polite concern or questions about your pregnancy or new baby.

“You’re having a cup of coffee?”

“Wow, are you sure you aren’t having twins?”

“You think you aren’t getting sleep now, wait until the baby is born!”

“You’re not planning on getting an epidural? You’re crazy.”

“You’re planning on getting an epidural? Doesn’t that increase your risk of c-section?”

“Moms should make whatever decisions they want, as long as they are informed.”

“You’re not even trying to breastfeed? Even the first few days helps. What about pumping?”

“Your baby doesn’t sleep in your room? I could never not hear my baby’s cries.”

Every one of these statements is judgment masked as support. People want to help you make good choices and save you from the path they took. They have read, heard or experienced many things, and think they are offering you advice so you don’t have to look back in regret.

Doulas of Capitol Hill NonJudgmental Choice

What they don’t realize is ANY choice you make, come to by ANY decision, instinct, or FEELING, is valid and appropriate.

Don’t be fooled by your care providers, family, or even a potential doula with this undermining language. There was once a time where I fell into the belief system of ‘any choice is fine, as long as they know they have choices.’ What is wrong with this belief, and what took time and reflection to become a genuine, unbiased doula, is that not everybody wants to know all the choices. Not everyone makes their decisions based on evidence. Not everyone feels connected to birth. It is not a doulas job, or anyone else’s, to offer advice or suggestions you didn’t ask for, because you are an adult, capable of making decisions about your body and your baby. It is my job to say, ‘Great! Let me know if you have questions about that or want more information.’ Done. No opinions, no pressure, no assumptions.

So how would a doula from our company respond to the statements above?

Instead of “You’re having a cup of coffee?
You’ll hear “Can I join you in a cup of coffee?

Instead of “Wow, are you sure you aren’t having twins?
You’ll hear “You look stunning!”

Instead of “You think you aren’t getting sleep now, wait until the baby is born!” 
You’ll hear “Pregnancy insomnia stinks. Have you talked to your care provider about it?

Instead of “You’re not planning on getting an epidural? You’re crazy.
You’ll hear “Great! Let’s talk about how I can support your goals.”

Instead of “You’re planning on getting an epidural? Doesn’t that increase your risk of c-section?"
Y
ou’ll hear “Great! Let’s talk about how I can support your goals.”

Instead of “Moms should make whatever decisions they want, as long as they are informed.”
You’ll hear “Moms should make whatever decisions they want. I trust women to make the best choices for their body and family."

Instead of “Your baby doesn’t sleep in your room? I could never not hear my baby’s cries.”
You’ll hear “Every family has different needs and goals. I’m so happy you have found a sleep solution that allows everyone to get some rest. How do you feel like you’re managing?”

Instead of “You’re not even trying to breastfeed? Even the first few days helps. What about pumping?”
You’ll hear “You're bottle feeding? Great! Let’s talk about how I can support your goals.”
 

Being truly, authentically non-judgmental is a CHOICE.

Let me repeat.

Being non-judgmental Is. A. CHOICE.

It is so easy to pass judgment, especially with the number of divisive issues swirling around us in the media. There are magazine covers asking 'Are You Mom Enough' and the internet is riddled with advice; some good, some bad. There are decisions made by people every day that I would not make for my family. That doesn’t mean I can’t CHOOSE to empathize, connect, understand and affirm.


Doulas of Capitol Hill will not engage in ‘Mommy Wars’. 

We Choose Support.
#IChooseSupport

 

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