I've had some situations recently that have really made me think and have also caused me to take a step back from some of the different online forums or networks that I've been using. As I've mentioned before, I'm studying to become a doula. I decided to start my doula training not on a whim but because it was something I've been interested in for years, ever since I got pregnant with daughter. I've been involved with various birth-related organizations for years but wanted to take it a step further. I want to help other women to explore their options and to prepare for childbirth. I want to be there for them, support them, and advocate for them, if need be. And getting to cuddle newborn babies isn't so bad either! :)
After starting my training and getting involved in more forums & networks, it saddens me to see women within the birthing community being well...not so nice. I guess I was naive and just assumed all these women who wanted to achieve the same thing would think similarly and get along. (Ha. I know. I'm really naive.) This isn't about any one particular situation just a general reaction to some things I've seen on forums and such.
I don't think people should always get along or be BFFs immediately. But well...let me give an example. I see lots of newbies on a particular forum reaching out for advice on something only to be hit with criticism and judgement. Sure, they'll get a piece or two of advice but then someone will take something the wrong way. Then more people will chime in, More seasoned (or opinionated) doulas start bashing them, telling them they're dumb for thinking that or that they're obviously not confident in themselves yet. Or people start delving into semantics about how they practice. Just like in marriage/motherhood/a gazillion other things, there is no one right way to be a doula. (At least in my opinion.) But there are those online who see otherwise.
Don't get me wrong. I have met some really incredible people on this journey too. The New Beginnings student forum I'm on is great and very helpful. I "met" a fellow doula through IG who I've become quick friends with even though she lives a couple states away and we've not actually met, only chatted online. I took a breastfeeding for birth workers course with a great group of gals. I've also learned more about doulas in my area and the surrounding areas, how they practice, and what is important to them. We're also starting monthly doula meet-ups for the doulas in our particular area to discuss current issues, ideas and questions.
There are many different doula training organizations and even more different thoughts on how to practice. I'm learning about those who are professional, business-like doulas and those who see it more as a hobby or personal calling. Some are more detached and consider clients to be just that, while others consider them friends. It varies by organization and by the woman's own personal beliefs. I am not saying one way is completely right and the other is wrong...it's just interested to see all the differences.
I guess it also kind of makes me wish that there was one universal training program or organization. Then there would be less discussion on whether something is right or wrong all the time - and consequently there would be less back-biting, fighting, and bickering. But then again, I suppose the uniqueness of women makes having different kinds of doulas important. What's right for one person may not work for another and some people's personalities don't always mesh with one particular doula or organization's thinking. Anyway, that's just my thoughts and ramblings on it. :)