By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE
Where have I been the past two years? Under a rock? How did I just discover Romper’s The Doula Diaries video series? Somehow, these short (typically less than ten minutes) vignettes profiling a doula as they serve a client family have not come across my radar before. I just learned of them earlier this week!
Each short video introduces the audience to a doula and their clients, typically in the last weeks leading up to the labor and birth. We get to learn a bit about the family and the doula and see the relationship develop. The story continues as labor starts and we see the doula join the family for support. The show also offers us a glimpse of life after the baby, as the doula and family reflect back on the experience.
This show does not shy away from dealing with tough topics, including stillbirth, addiction, VBACs, single parents and more. In the handful of shows I have watched, I see lots of families and doulas of color, which is very important to me. All different types of families can benefit from having a doula at their birth, and for families of color, who face significantly higher rates of maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity, having a doula at their birth can help reduce these concerning outcomes.
These stories present information from both sides of the relationship, which I really enjoy. I like to see and hear how other doulas run their practices and do their work. After all, typically we are doing doula work alone, not in the company of our colleagues
The stories are just short enough that you can watch one here and there in between other things. Of course, you can always binge watch the first two seasons, if you are late to the game like me and are just discovering this program now.
While I am slowly making my way through the two available seasons, I have not found anything that seems out of scope or inappropriate for the doula to be doing or saying. I hope as I continue to watch that this remains true. For families who are considering hiring a doula, it is good that they can see how this specialized professional stays within scope while doing their work. Some of the stories might be a bit difficult for expectant families to watch as they wait for their own labor and birth.
If you have a client family who would like to be highlighted in future shows, they can reach out to Romper casting and indicate their interest. It would be awesome to have lots of DONA International doulas highlighted. I have found one episode that highlights DONA International certified doula Christine Golcher. I suspect there may be more? Just discovering this series makes me wonder what other birth doula type videos are out there that I don’t know about? Please share in the comments below if you have some resources for great videos of doulas in action. Also, if you have seen Romper’s Doula Diaries, how do you feel about the episodes that you have seen?
Note: The doula pictured in the image above is also a DONA International certified doula – Regina Conceicao. Regina serves on our Nominations & Elections Committee and was a major speaker at this past summer DONA International Summit. Watch her episode here.