I had my trusty minivan for thirteen years, and it was time to replace her (yes, I considered my car a "girl"). Moving into my new vehicle taught me a few things about what doula support is and teaching birth classes.
How Is a New Car Like a Doula?
When I bought my van back in 2003, it was my first experience buying a new car. And I got to pick all of the features I wanted on it - which happened to be *all* of them. The base model was safe. Plenty of air bags, ABS, all that technology offered over a dozen years ago. But I also got my sun/moon roof, dual screen DVD player, GPS, "magic" doors and trunk buttons, Bose 6 disc player... I was a new mom traveling in style! In my defense, I wanted the features because they were functional. I'm not typically a flaunter. (Ok, well, the Bose might have been more of a luxury than a necessity.) I am more of a function over form kind of engineer.
Then I got to drive my new crossover home. It was technically used, but it's a 2016 that we bought in 2016. At 12K miles, taken care of by a rental agency it was in really good shape and I was happy. The new one didn't have all the bells and whistles, it was more of a base model. Still wonderfully safe, no concerns about four (or five) digit maintenance and repair bills coming up which was a great relief. But I found myself missing my on dash GPS display. When my favorite song came on and I turned it up, the rear view mirror started shaking. I didn't realize how much I loved those magic buttons to open doors.
And then it hit me. Birth was like a car. The base model is safe and it will get you were you want to go. But having a doula is like all those little extra features that make driving, well, fun. At least closer to it. Traffic jams are still annoying - but being able to really enjoy music sure helps make it more manageable!
How Is a Radio Like Childbirth Classes?
One thing I did get to try with the new car was SiriusXM, that's a treat! I turned on my free trial to check out that new toy.
But when I was listening to the satellite radio, there weren't any commercials. When the DJ spoke, I knew it was just for me. I was paying for this radio, so the DJ's worked for me. No hidden commercials, no hidden agenda.
Childbirth classes come in two major flavors - hospital and independent. Hospital classes are similar to the regular radio. The teacher isn't working for you, they are hospital employees. Sometimes their hands are tied and they have to tell students what the hospital wants them to know. Independent classes are more like the satellite experience. Independent teachers can offer you more information so you can make truly informed decisions. I dislike the term "informed consent." The implication is that if I give you enough information, you'll consent. Informed decision making implies knowing your alternatives, including waiting, and that you can decline the offered service as well. This is what independent teachers offer.
Melissa and Ellen are birth doulas, childbirth educators, placenta encapsulation specialists, and Parent Effectiveness Training instructors serving the Denver, CO area. They are passionate about pregnancy, birth, baby care, and parenting. They bring over twenty years of combined experience to their premium childbirth classes, doula support, parenting classes, and placenta encapsulation services in the metro Denver area.