As a doula I am in so many facebook groups. In these groups doulas ask questions about any number of concerns expectant mothers have. More often than not the responses are either alarmist or blasé. When you are expecting, little things can be upsetting. To be met with alarm can throw you into a panic, but when your concern is met with a, “oh don’t worry about it” attitude then it could make you feel ignored, unimportant or silly. This pregnant someone is at their most vulnerable right now. She is the whole universe to her baby, she is connected to this being, through and through. She is responsible for the baby’s well being, which makes her sensitive to anything that has to do with that.
When I am talking to new doulas in workshops, I really emphasize how important listening is. REALLY listen to your client when she is talking. She may down play her concern but it’s still HER concern so treat it like it’s important, because it is. Please watch the video below and then read on, for tips to being a better listener. Listening is plays such a huge role in our success in being effective doulas. This is the biggest day of your clients life, or at least one of the most challenging. One of her biggest needs is the need to be heard. Who doesn’t want someone to really get where they are coming from? She didn’t hire you (the doula) to just rub her back, she wants someone to witness this amazing thing she is about to do, bear witness, and listen.
Another important part of listening is reading subtexts and emotional cues. According to Joe Valley of Empowered Papa,
“When we tell our stories, we often leave out feeling words because vulnerability is often uncomfortable. That is why it can be so great when a listening friend can identify our key feelings in the stories we share and ask us if that’s how we feel. It’s like we’ve been invited to be vulnerable and open.”
For more information watch this video!
Listening is a real skill. I believe in it so much that I have asked two amazing people to talk more about it in our Cultured Doula Program. The program came about because doulas have so much to know about birth and serving people during the time of gestation, labor and postpartum. That’s a lot to know about. Keep an eye out for upcoming online workshops in the GK University in 2017. Or become a CULTURED DOULA through our CULTURED DOULA PROGRAM by signing up for a FLOCK YEAH Conference. Want to know more? Watch this video.