Some people make the assumption that doulas are ‘birth advocates’. They aren’t wrong. Some doulas are advocates. As for Southern Pacific Doulas- we are not, and will never, be advocates.
By definition an advocate is:
“A person who publicly supports, or recommends a particular cause or policy. An example is a lawyer who fights and speaks for their client.”
If your doula were to feel the need to advocate for you, that means you need someone to speak for you. And you don’t. You and your partner have your voice, and the ability to make decisions. I never want to crush your voice. By advocating I may push my own vision onto your birth.
That’s not good because it sets me up for failure. We make a birth plan with the knowledge that they may change during your labor. If I advocate for unmedicated birth, and during labor you decide to get an epidural, you may feel like you disappointed me. That means my ability to offer nonjudgmental support is lessened. A changed birth plan may make me feel like I failed you. This may bring past ‘failures’ to your birth. That just wouldn’t bode well for you or me.
So instead of advocating, I educate (if you want it). The education, and ability to make your own choice empowers you, and brings you comfort and security. I leave advocacy out of my agency, and instead I offer nonjudgmental support. I support you, not any single type of birth. Medicated, cesarean, high risk, unmedicated, home, birth center, hospital, a change in plan, or no real plan at all- I will be there to support you.