“Breathe in, You are doing great….think about Jesus on the Cross dying for you…let out your breath….good work….Your pressure waves are for Jesus….think of Him….you are doing really good…” This is what a session of a Christian or Catholic Doula practice may look like. A client who wants Christianity added to their labor experience…so they can share in Christ’s Passion and Resurrection through labor.
So, do you think spirituality and doula work really mix?
By the way it doesn’t all have to be a Christian focus. A Muslim mother may concentrate on “Allah” or a Jewish mother may invoke G-d. However, the idea of adding in a spiritual element into doula work seems more foreign to some doulas.
Why is adding in the spiritual important? My mothers that I have worked with really appreciate the added “spiritual element”. Lydia writes, “The focusing on spiritual pictures like of Mary and Jesus helped me in my labor more than previous labor. I also liked Julie’s approach to focusing on Jesus’ Passion esp. with the harder pressure waves. Julie’s attention to these little details helped me feel more relaxed throughout the labor. It really is a unique experience adding in spiritual elements. I wouldn’t birth any other way again!”
Developing a spiritual touch can take some skill and practice. Julie writes: “Back in 2014, I thought I would not do this — train doulas — I had tried a focus group about a summer before — had mixed results — but I am not one to give up easily. So, I decided to come up with a program based on the 7 Gifts of the Holy Ghost and launched ‘Catholic Doula Program’ back in March 2014. I have been truly blessed to find a good mentor Lina Martin along this way. Another person that has been super helpful is Meghan Hickman — though she has stepped down now for working on other things; she is a graduate from our program. I am deeply blessed to have started this with God’s help and grace.”
Developing a spiritual touch in your doula practice does not have to be that hard. Consider adding in some of the ideas below:
1. A religious picture for focus.
2. Religious or calming music in the background.
3. Prayer beads or the Rosary.
4. Spiritual touches of adding in breathing techniques to go with the beliefs of that person. (Breathe in for Jesus).
5. Offering prayers silently or out loud for your client during labor. (Even silent prayers she will appreciate).
6. Keeping dad involved by having him remind her to focus on the spiritual too.
7. Lighting “fake tea lights” (hopsital) or real candles (home birth) in front of a special picture or statue.
8. Making the relaxation possible for mother (light massage, etc.)
9. Using the comfort techniques you know with the added spiritual elements.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. To learn more about the Catholic Doula Certification Programs go to www.catholicdoula.com and Catholic Doulas available for mothers at: www.catholicdoulanetwork.com — some doulas are added that are trained through other organizations. Thank you.
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