At DTI, our team has been hosting community calls to gather data and resources on what doulas are experiencing during this pandemic.
And what we’ve seen, across states and in different communities, is that we are all navigating the nuances of today’s particular moment. In some cases, we are grappling with lack of work or struggling to meet the needs of our clients. At some births and especially in hospital settings, we have even been told our work is not valuable—that doulas, during these times, are merely nonessential hospital “visitors.” And many of us are collectively feeling the personal and familial shifts of this new normal, too, as our respective hometowns, cities and regions adopt social distancing measures and enforce shelter-in-place restrictions.
And we just want to say that we see you.
You may be feeling a bunch of emotions these past few weeks.
Anger. Fear. Anxiety. Rejection. Disappointment. Conflict. Insecurity. Stress.
And a sense of grief! As the saying goes, “grief is love with nowhere to go.”
With the current limitations to your role, you may be feeling the depths of sorrow surrounding how you usually show up for people. All of the love and support you have to offer feels like it has nowhere to go but really just needs to shift. Coping with that transition has been a new reality for you.
I hope to remind you of who you are as doula.
These times are very strange but there is no one more prepared to navigate them as gracefully as you, doula.
Rest assured, I see you!
I see how unwavering you are when navigating the uncertainty of birth (and life).
I see your patience as you hold space for each person’s trauma response.
I see your ability to adapt to each client’s needs and love them so well.
I see your consistency; remaining unbiased and providing radical support.
I see your advocacy work for all birthing people. Huge strides have been made in our shitty maternity system solely because of you.
I see your humanity; merely upholding the basics of human rights.
I am in awe of you.
I am forever inspired by you.
I have deep reverence for your role.
I see you, doula!
You are the calm in any storm.
You are reassurance.
You are adaptable.
You are resourceful.
You are essential.
— Jessica Diggs, practicing doula and Lead Educator at DTI
In case you missed it, we offer trainings, support and a professional community for aspiring doulas and birth workers. You can take online courses with us on childbirth education and reproductive health. You can also certify as Childbirth Educator or a birth, postpartum or full-spectrum doula with us. Explore our training calendar here to learn more about what we have coming up and feel free to reach out whenever at firstname.lastname@example.org.