When you were a child did you have a lovey? Maybe a blankie, stuffed animal, or teddy bear? Maybe you sucked on your fingers instead.
I had a bunny named “Foo-foo”, and he went everywhere with me. He had silky ears, and smelled cozy. I can vividly remember how Foo-foo made me feel. I would suck my thumb, an rub his silky ears, while I breathed in his sweet stuffed-bunny smell. He helped me fall asleep, and cope with the dramatic changes that come during early childhood.
A lovey is anything that gives you comfort, makes you feel safe, and helps you cope during difficult times.
The majority of children have some type of lovey, even sucking their fingers and toes counts. As we become adults we no longer need to seek comfort from our lovey. Eventually most children will trade their blankie and bear for more ‘mature’ sources of comfort. Maybe your new lovey is ice cream, maybe it’s binge watching shows from under the blankets, maybe it’s running your troubles away.
We find new sources of comfort, and ways to cope with life’s challenges.
Maybe those loveys find their way to a box under your bed, or were loved so much they fell apart completely. Sometimes, when life gets too hard you might go back to that lovey. You might remember how it felt, soft, silky, or fluffy. You might remember the way it smells. Most importantly you remember the immense comfort and safety your lovey made you feel.
When things gets hard we seek the same comfort we found from our lovey, we just find new sources of comfort.
It’s undeniable that labor is hard. I mean it’s called labor after all. It’s uncomfortable, and you might want a lovey. Since your lovey can’t make it to the labor room, I know of a great substitute.
It’s a doula.
A doula makes you feel safe. She grounds you to the moment, and reminds you that you have all the power, and the control. She reminds you that you’ve chosen your entire birth team to support you. These reminders are important when you feel things happening out of your control. Remembering your options, and having someone to be your guide through those options makes you feel safe.
A doula gives you comfort. She is an expert on comforting your emotional and physical needs. This comfort looks like head squeezes that make your whole body relax. Comfort can mean hip squeezes that make contractions a little less hard. If you don’t want to be touched it can be a doula encouraging you to breathe, and normalizing the songs of your birth that bring you closer to your baby.
A doula makes you comfortable during an uncomfortable time.
So you can’t have your bear, or blankie in the delivery room with you. But having a doula is even better. A doula fits all the criteria of a lovey. Making you feel safe, comfortable, helping you cope through challenging parts of life, and so much more.