You don’t have children, so how can you possibly understand?
Yes, it’s true. I do not have children.
According to data from the Canadian Medical Association, 58% of Canada’s licensed OB-GYNs in 2017 were women. That means that 42% were men. There are no stats available to see of the 58% OB-GYNs that are women, how many have been pregnant and gave birth. Male and female OB-GYNs go through the same training and residency to become licensed. Both genders are held to the same rules and regulations by their society and colleges. Neither gender is given favourable treatment because of their anatomy.
Midwifery is a female dominated industry, but not all midwives have given birth.
One does not need to give birth or have been pregnant to provide care to those that are.
If it doesn’t matter if your OB-GYN or midwife has given birth, why does it matter if a doula has?
Many doulas start this work after they have become mothers. Perhaps they had a wonderful home birth and want every pregnant person to have the same. Or perhaps their birth was traumatic and had to end in an emergency caesarean and they want to ensure no one else goes through the same.
Both are valid reasons to become a doula. But wanting to support women before, during and after pregnancy and childbirth without having given birth is often questioned and sees eyebrows raised.
Qualities needed as a doula include compassion, respect, empathy and being able to separate her own experiences from the person she is supporting at the moment and therefore, be completely unbiased. Doulas do not judge you for your choices for labour, childbirth and parenting.
Are they benefits to working with a childless doula?
I have more time and availability for my clients. To date I have not yet once had to call a back-up doula. I do not have to cancel on you because I can’t find a sitter, my child is sick or I forgot about an activity I have to go with my child. I don’t take summers off or statutory holidays such as Christmas.
You can message me or call me at any time of day or night. I often meet with clients after 7pm or on weekends. I am super flexible and need very little time to get to you once you call me. Often times, I arrive at the hospital before my clients do.
I do not have my own birth experience to process before I support you. I have a clean slate. No preconceived notions and no bias. When I walk into a hospital room or birth centre room, I do not have to put aside anything that happened or didn’t happen to me. It means the information and support I offer, isn’t based on my personal experiences. There is never any judgement. I am 100% there for you and only you. This is your birth – not anyone else’s.
It shouldn’t matter if a doula has children or doesn’t. Having children doesn’t define the support that a doula brings.
Doulas that have given birth, doulas that are step-parents, doulas that have adopted, doulas that are single parents, doulas that want children but can’t afford to adopt or do ART, doulas that are trying for children and doulas that cannot have children. We are all doulas.
Having children doesn’t make one a better doula than the doula that doesn’t have children.
What about me?
I cannot become pregnant. Once upon a time I was pregnant and lost the baby. Today, I no longer have a uterus, cervix or fallopian tubes. A radical choice that I made due to many years of suffering with adenomyosis, endometriosis and cancerous cells in my cervix. After three surgeries, many drugs and alternative therapy, it was time to say goodbye.
Not having a uterus does not make me less of a woman.
The families that I support are dear to my heart. I truly mean that. Yes, I don’t have my own children but I can say that I have helped so many children come into this world.
Interested to work with me? Let’s connect for a free consultation.
“Melissa was extremely helping in my emotional, physical and overall well being. She was there from the beginning to the end providing any support we needed. We are so thankful for her!” – Ana, mother