This face book post was recently brought to my attention and I find it troubling on several fronts.
“If they [doulas] are giving so much of their time and energy to be with a person in labour and birth, but are not compensated appropriately, they become attached to an outcome.”
1) No evidence was provided for this weighty declaration and it has the potential to lead many astray. This statement is not only absolute nonsense, it’s dangerous self serving falsification. If this were accurate there would be no need for critical incident management; there would be no PTSD or vicarious trauma. We’d just need to increase salaries and it would magically take care of itself! *poof*.
2) For doulas, exploring emotional intelligence, good boundary setting and debriefing skills is imperative. You can’t turn your feelings off like a faucet when the bill has been paid. Doulas can only be compensated monetarily for time and expenses there is no magic number that will relieve you of your emotional stress and misplaced attachments.
3) It's asinine to think that doulas don't have an eye on outcome. Our main focus is "how will she remember this?" Considering outcome is part of what we do and it requires that every doula is trained in an environment that provides fertile ground for self awareness. A great doula is clear on what she can and can’t control, what she brings to a situation and how to keep herself emotionally safe.
Look for workshops and continuing education that help you with this skill set and that don’t promise that a “wage” solves everything. Be discerning and require evidence. There’s a lot of bologna out there.