Judgmental Doulas

Recently I've been noticing a theme in the doula community. The majority of doula websites state they provide "unbiased and judgment-free" doula support. Now that sounds marvelous, and I've never batted an eyelash at it.. until a recent discussion got me thinking...

I would love a doula who's unbiased, but I sure hope my doula has judgment. 

I'm going to start by saying that I bet 99.9% of the doulas who have this on their website agree with everything in this post, and never meant anything by their statement. But let's break it down (because we all know I love definitions and semantics). 

There are different types of judgement. There's good judgement and bad judgement. Positive judgement and negative judgement. 

Positive Judgement
"the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions. synonyms: discernment, acumen, shrewdness, astuteness, sense, common sense, perception, perspicacity, percipience, acuity, discrimination, reckoning, wisdom, wit, judiciousness, prudence, canniness, sharpness, sharp-wittedness, powers of reasoning, reason, logic;"
Negative Judgement
"having or displaying an excessively critical point of view. "I don't like to sound judgmental, but it was a big mistake" synonyms: critical, censorious, condemnatory, disapproving, disparaging,"
Here's a little secret: No doula is non-judgmental. And I'd hope you'd want a judgmental doula too. 

I'd hope you'd want a doula who makes choices for our own business practices that show discernment, wisdom, prudence, and sense. I'd hope you'd want a doula who makes choices in the way that we serve the women we've been entrusted to attend that show discernment, wisdom, prudence, and sense.

I equally hope you wouldn't want a doula who was a Wesley - (think Princess Bride), one who simply said yes to everything, because then you'd miss out on the educational portion of doula work - the options and choices and personal experiences and head space of doula work. Doulas should give non-biased resources and education to their clients so that they feel good and positive about their choices, whether they go 'according to plan' or not, and no matter what those choices are. As I have said time and time again, how can we hope to make mothers out of women when we treat them like children

And then, on the other side of the coin, I would hope (for all doulas) that none of us would be judgmental in the fact we make choices for our own business practices or ways we serve women that are excessively critical, condemning, disapproving, disparaging, or censorious... to their clients, their clients choices, or their peers.

It would do us well to remember the difference between good and bad judgement, and bias; I hope none of us provide biased support, but I hope we all show good judgement. So let's be doulas who use wisdom, prudence, sense, logic, reason, astuteness, and perception to benefit our clients through education, resources, support, and community. 

1 comment:

Rasal Khan said...

great post


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