Are doulas project managers?

rachel hein, maternity, family, newborn, baby photographer edinburgh

I had a hilarious conversation last night with friends – his theory – everyone in whatever career they’re in, work as Project Managers.  I laughed this off – there is no way I am in any way a Project Manger – seriously, I feel very far removed from any sort of what I would call typical project manager role.  And it’s even further removed from what anyone would typically envisage a doula to be.

“Project managers are responsible for the planning, management, coordination and financial control of a project.”

In many ways, what doulas do isn’t that far removed.  We’re:

  • employed by amazing and lovely clients and feel some level of responsibility for ensuring the best birth is possible
  • we support the planning – through the antenatal period, through birth and postnatal period
  • we navigate through the management of the birth with the clients
  • we coordinate the client’s wishes into the plan and ensure that the client is supported throughout their whole experience
  • financial control – we do work to budgets!

We are so blessed that people choose a doula – like in other business – the person they choose, they need to be 100% sure they have made the right choice as they will be present at a momentous occasion for their family.  They need to know they can trust them, rely on them, that the doula will look after their needs and choices, be comfortable to share space with them, and generally feel loved and supported.  Yes, other factors might come into this – namely budget and availability – but to get support in giving birth that women need – they must fully trust the doula they have chosen.

Planning – a doula can support you through pregnancy to plan for your babies arrival, will support you through your birth planning, and support you decisions your make postnatally around feeding, sleeping, general baby care.

Management – we work with your plan, your choices, understand where your comfort zones are, where you need support through your birth.  We might ask you ‘are you happy with what’s being discussed – do you understand why that’s been suggested’.  We will look at BRAIN (Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, doing Nothing). All the time, we are considering what your plans and wishes are with your birth, we identify what the issues are (you might have no idea how much background research we do when we take on a client), we work through any ‘risks’ that we’re aware of (previous birth, VBAC, twins, breech, and much more) and we help you get the information you need from your health team as well as other sources that we have access to. We never tell you what to do but we help you to ensure your choices are informed.

We always support your choices – whether you choose interventions or not – we don’t judge as it’s not our birth – it’s yours.  We support you to get to the outcome you want – even if some of the pathways aren’t what you envisaged. From the moment you start interacting with us, as doulas, we will support you and help you get the best experience possible. We will believe in you.  We will provide you everything you need through our toolkits – both a physical and emotional toolkit that we all have – we’re not talking here about our doula bags – we all bring different skills, knowledge and experience with us and that combined, supports you to give birth.

Doulas as project managers – what do you think?

Get in touch to discuss my premium Bump, Birth and Baby package to support you from conception through to weaning.

Much love, Tricia xxxxx

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