A while ago I posted about doulas and what a doula really does: What Doulas “Do”. For this post, I’m going to talk about the importance of a Hypno-doula. Let me preface this by saying that all (good) hypno-doulas should also have the basic regular doula training as well, usually through DONA, CAPPA, ALACE or the like. They might not actually be certified but they should at least be trained. This is because a Hypnodoula training is not meant to be a complete doula training but rather supplimental information to teach doulas how to use Hypnobabies techniques along with their other tools.
That being said, lets move on to what a Hypno-doula does. A hypno-doula is specially trained to assist a mom/couple who have chosen to use hypnosis during their birth. They understand the power of the mind body connection as well as the tools and techniques taught in a Hypnobabies class (or home study). This might sound like a simple thing to learn and it is as long as that doula is open to learning. In fact, many doulas will say that they are familiar with the techniques but in reality, that doula may have a fundamental belief that pain is necessary in birth which is totally contrary to the philosophies of Hypnobabies. If a doula is serious about supporting couples that are using Hypnobabies (or any other class), they should be willing to go through the additional training (if offered) or sit in on the class with the couple.
You may be getting the sense that this is a bit of a sore subject for me because well… it is. I love teaching! I love empowering families to have EMpowered births that can be comfortable and peaceful. Finding the right doula for you is just one step in the process. I personally don’t believe that birth has to be a power struggle where a woman has to earn the right to be called mom. At the end of the day it may be a struggle for one mom but it may NOT be for the next. It’s all about her journey. Would I be a good fit for a mom that believes pain is necessary? Maybe not, which leads me to my point. Find a doula that will support you in the method you choose. Talk to her and find out what her core beliefs are. If she is teaching another class than the one you are taking, there may be a difference of opinions. Please understand that I’m not saying that one class is better than another because there is no “perfect class”. They are all (well most of them) great classes with amazing information and they are all different.
What I’m saying here is that if you choose to invest you time and money into a specific class, do your homework / homeplay and find a doula that is trained to support you, or is willing to learn about the way that you have chosen. If she says she can support you along your Hypnobabies journey, ask her if she is a certified hypno-doula, if she has attended a class, a training or if she is willing to. Ask her what instructor she trained with and why or why not she chose to get certified. Check out the Hypnobabies website to see if she is listed.
Why is it so important you ask? Great questions. At the end of the day, in the wee hours of the morning, doulas rely on their inner strength and their core beliefs to get them through. In the beginning, a doula can “try” different things that might work and if she doesn’t believe they will work, they won’t. In Hypnobabies class we talk extensively about “focus on what you want” and “what the mind believes the body will achieve”. During birth, a mom is on auto pilot so she relies on her birth partner and her doula to be her voice and sometimes even her brain. If a doula doesn’t believe that mom can have a comfortable birth, chances are, she won’t so do your homework. Ask for references from other couples that have used the same method that you have chosen. At the end of the day, you get one chance to have the birth you want so be your own advocate and ask the questions.
If the doula you choose is or is not a hypnodoula, can you still have an amazing birth? Of course!!! This is just one step in the process. One choice you can make that will form the complete picture. There is no such thing as a “perfect” birth except your birth so why not make informed decisions.