Welcome to Birthyourway's Blog. This space is intended to serve as an interactive site for Doula related stuff based in Ottawa and around the globe. The archive links on the right hand margin will help you identify topics of interest to you. Your pictures of real pregnant bodies- stretch marks and all- would be most appreciated as contributions. Share your birth stories, concerns and comments by submitting to

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

To baby or not to baby... is this a question?

I personally have never been pregnant. I deeply want to have children in this lifetime and all that jazz but I still have 4 years of university ahead so not now. As a doula, I've noticed that this is a sticky point for some people (mothers and other doulas alike). Sometimes I read in books, magazines and articles that doulas are women experienced in childbirth and are themselves mothers...there is often a huge emphasis on a doula having given birth herself. This is very important to many women who want to know that they are being supported by a woman who knows and can attest to the feelings of labour and childbirth. I have always been upfront with the fact that I have not. Some women are happy to know in advance and decline my services. Others say 'thats great, it means you can come see me in labour on the spur of the moment and won't compare my birth to your own and super-impose your expectations on me.' I don't doubt my capacity as a doula because of these personal preferences. But I do wonder about the (new) age old question: can we have it all~at once~? For career women, when is it appropriate to have children? Is it possible for me to continue my work as a doula and become pregnant, have a baby and carry on with my professional life? Our country still owes women so much in the way of support for surviving while having a baby. And on that note, since I've chosen to study midwifery, when then, will it be a good time for me to have a child? Will I again be faced with decline on account that I have not myself given birth? And what about midwives who are infertile or chose to adopt? What then do they represent?
A dear friend and midwife that I know asked me "so how do you really feel about this?' when I first told her of my acceptance into the programme de sage femme. I sighed and said "well I'm just thrilled that I can now have my children before my mid 30!" Her answer: "You're in now. You can have them anytime. It will never be a perfect or easy time to have them."
A pregnant midwifery student, a mother of a young child midwifery student? Is this really possible? How and why are women expected to do it all at once?!!


  • At 3:36 a.m., Blogger k.thedoula said…

    Yes it can be done... all of it.
    This gal caught my second child... first hbac.
    She had children before, during and after her midwifery training.
    I'm sure she would be happy to tell you about it.
    I'm off to rage against the medical community for the umpteenth time this evening. Imagine being called selfish for not giving birth in a hospital?!

  • At 10:56 p.m., Blogger Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said…

    It's poppycock--POPPYCOCK!--I say, that a woman should have borne children to be a doula or midwife. Doctors/men have been catching babies forever. Doctors treat all kinds of ailments without having experienced them.

    In ages past, nuns in the home of a king cared for and nursed family members and caught the babes.


  • At 10:41 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh yes, you can have children in the midst of your studies. I plan to. I am at Carleton doing my social work degree and feel I am running out of time for having kids.

    See if your Midwifery program has a Student's Rights board. Carleton does. They *have* to give you ONE YEAR of leave and keep the place in your program OPEN if you have a child. It isn't fair to penalize women for having kids and a University must make accommodations.


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