doula, natural birth, doula myth

Doulas only support natural birth


A widely held but false belief or idea.

Example: Doulas only support natural birth.

Now, I am not sure where this myth originated. Nor do I particularly care. What I do know is that thousands (I’d be willing to venture millions) of women and families around the world have believed this myth. We hear it from friends, family, colleagues, and strangers on a daily basis.

“I would’ve loved a doula, but I was scheduled for a cesarean.”

“A doula would’ve been great, but I needed my epidural.”

“I’m sure a doula is nice, but I didn’t want a natural birth.”

“I had to be induced so I didn’t call my doula because I didn’t want to disappoint her that I wasn’t able to have my baby naturally.”

The fact that this myth is so embedded into the mindset of our culture is great cause for concern as an agency owner. What is perpetuating the myth that doulas only support natural birth and what can we do to change it?

Education. Lots and lots of education.

Natural Birth

Let’s start by taking a look at this term.

For many, this term means to birth a baby without drugs, interventions, or any medical involvement. To some, this looks like a home birth or birth center birth. To others, a hospital birth without the use of pain medications.

And although all those choices are great for some individuals, some women simply do not want to birth that way. Guess what?

That’s perfectly fine!

Medicalized Birth

Some women want an epidural. Some want, or need, to be induced. Some have a medically necessary cesarean. Others an elective cesarean. Some choose to have IV medications. Some choose Nitrous Oxide.

Every single woman makes the choice that she feels is best for her and her baby. No exceptions.

So where does that leave doulas and our role in supporting a woman’s birth?

Simply put, we are here. We are here to support your birth, your plan, your choices, your way. We are here to offer unbiased, non-judgmental support to you and your family as you navigate the many options that surround pregnancy, birth, and parenting. We are here to support you whether you birth at home, in a birth center, or at a hospital. We are here to support you whether you have a natural birth, a medicalized one, or something in between. Whatever you choose, we are here to support you.

Doulas only support natural birth…

Myth busted!


About the Author

Christine Santos

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Owner of Sun State Doulas, Christine is passionate about pregnancy, birth, and parenting issues that affect mainstream families. She is mother to 3 girls and is an active member of the roller derby community. Her favorite quote is, "Not my body, not my baby, not my birth, not my choice."

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