birth philosophy doula practice

What do you believe to be true about birth?

We each come into birth work with our own set of assumptions, beliefs, and desires about birth work.  These have been shaped by a lifetime of cultural and family training around birth, our own birth experiences, books we’ve read and trainings attended.  I’m guessing most of you reading this have a pretty clear sense of what your core philosophy is about birth, and how that translates into your work with families.

Every once in a while we are blessed with something new that rocks our birth philosophy, shaking things up or even upside down… This transformative experience may come through a training or workshop, article, an extraordinary birth experience, or even just one truly special person who says just the right thing.

With over twenty years of birth experience, I can still readily name the core experiences that have made me who I am as a doula and childbirth educator.  The lessons learned can be subtle but have a deep impact on your practice, or sometimes they can rock your very sense of who you are as a birth professional.

Check out this brilliant recent blog post by a doula in England reflecting on her experience of a transformational Birthing from Within training and how it rocked her birth philosophy inside out!  Her writing is wonderfully honest, personal, and full of questions rather than answers…

We all need to have our birth world rocked from time to time.  It is easy to get stuck, particularly in anger at the ways in which modern birth culture can disrespect women, birth and babies.  If there is one thing I’ve learned in two decades of birth work, it is that we All need to ask more questions, listen with an open heart, and make room for new knowledge and perspective if we are to best serve the families we are called to support.

About Sarah Juliusson

Hi there, I’m Sarah Juliusson, The Website Doula. I support your practice growth with creative website design, seasoned business guidance, and plenty of great resources to help you find your way. With 20+ years as a doula and childbirth educator, I believe in the value of your work as much as you do. >> learn more about my work as the website doula


  1. Jen on October 15, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Sarah, you are so right! I’ve been exploring recently, who my ideal client would be and which women I really am drawn to serve and who are drawn to me. I’ve had a few recently who hired me based off of what they had learned behind the scenes- my blog, my website, wherever- and I wondered, who did they meet; who am I speaking to and who do I want to be speaking to. These women, I thought, definitely these women. And I discovered, they weren’t who I thought I was calling but they were perfect. I originally believed, and I still do, that birth is a natural right of passage through with every woman deserves to be honored and nurtured. I still fully believe that but previously, I thought that meant I wanted to serve those women who sought out a nearly undisturbed or at least peaceful home birth; while I love serving those women, I’ve come to realize I truly feel that birth high when I’ve provided a certain element of balance to a woman’s birth. Whether that be balance in a hospital setting by creating a calm and natural feeling in a medical setting, or balance by encouraging her voice and her own empowerment with her health care providers, or balance by providing that extra element of womanly support in her home birth. It’s about the complete picture for me and supporting her birth, however that looks to her, bringing confidence to the family and balance to the birth space.

    Thank you, Sarah, for your doula wisdom!

    • Sarah Juliusson on October 15, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      You got it Jen! That balance is the core element that defines your birth practice – what you bring to your clients, how you frame what you do in the community. I love how our original vision of who we would love to serve is often quite different from the clients we discover we are meant to serve, the ones for whom our skills and approach are a perfect match. The flow in doula care sometimes comes not from working with the clients who exactly match our birth philosophy, but rather those that help us grow in our understanding of our role and skills within the complexity of our modern birth culture. Next step? Take a look through your online and print marketing materials and look for how you can best reflect this spirit of balance. You rock!