I often reply that a doula is different from a midwife because we don't catch babies. We are present for the entire labor and birth providing emotional support, physical comfort, perspective, information, suggestions and encouragement to women and their partners. I choose not to talk about the important but intangible holding of the space. And yet, it is that and also so much more.
Even when I am exhausted, I don't want to shrug it off and let an opportunity to share the nature of this work pass by. By talking about it with everyone and anyone, we validate the need for it. We are creating a movement that does not stop with moms and babies. This is the entry point. Birth is the only time when healthy people go into the hospital as 'patients'. If we can make a difference here, think where we can go next.