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The Village Doula

By Doula Jen

I am so into this little story about a lactation-supporting waitress, I had to take it to the WBC blog.

As a doula, I often have to rein it in when I see a new or expectant mom out and about, white knuckling it, losing tiny bits of sanity, trying to keep it together—or perhaps—in what you know is a rare moment of complete triumph, grace under fire, feeding and loving and babywearing like a pro.

“You’re gorgeous!” I want to say. 

“Rock on!”

“This is just a rough patch…no worries…almost nap time, right?”

“I love you!”

You get the idea. I bite my tongue, I tone it down, I walk by.

See, at any given moment I’m just two breaths away from a thick discussion on perineum care. I think it’s normal to get a little handsy with another woman’s breasts. What? If there’s a clogged duct I want to check it out…

The doula way is not always appropriate for the Target check out line. And quite frankly, when I have offered my help under the overly-enthusiastic proclamation—“IT’S OK…I’M A DOOOOULA”—I am usually met with shy hesitation. Same old story. New moms are isolated and uncertain but afraid to ask for help.

So, I’ve learned to smile, appreciate, ache, realize, and then walk on by.

But this waitress has me thinking…maybe I shouldn’t.

And maybe you shouldn’t.

A whole lot of wonderful would come about if EVERYONE reached out to new mothers. It doesn’t have to be a whole pizza. Perhaps a fancy candy bar, a coffee, a lollipop, a nod, a smile, a thumbs up. You’re gorgeous, rock on, almost nap time, much love to you and your baby.

Doula on, village. Doula on.

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