An excerpt of my essay I submitted to DONA International on The Purpose & Value of Labor Support.

“A doula is like a trail guide – familiar with the path, she keeps you hiking through the hard parts knowing the view at the end is incredible.”

I read this somewhere a while ago. It has such a deep meaning to me as it connected birth to hiking, one of my longtime passions. As in hiking, or backpacking in my vision, you have a general idea of when your journey will be over but you endure some quite difficult parts of the trail doubting when you may see the end. Connecting this concept to birth in the same way of having a general timeline of labor and transitioning through some very emotional and physical difficulties. Though facing these challenges, both in backpacking and birth, when you have a guide that knows the way along your side, that also knows the view at the end, you have a sense of comfort that YOU can in fact make it to the end – to that incredible view. When you get there, you look back, and you are in awe of what the human body can do. This journey sometimes provides you with self-doubt but part of the doula’s role is to continuously be by a mother’s side encouraging her with words of strength and validation, providing that emotional support.