Birth Through My Eyes as a Doula

By Michelle MacLean


I am not like every doula.


But I hope I share the same views on birth as others.


I have attended all types of births. Home, water, hospital, cesareans,

hands off and highly medicalized, and the unintentional homebirth. Over

800 births and all of them different and so unique yet they all hold the

fuel that keeps me working as a doula. Hold that thought.


Side note. With no doubt, we as doulas only want birth to go as smooth

and gentle as possible. Babies being born with as little interruption is

always the dream. Birth that doesnʼt need intervention, rather left to

unfold as it will and all will be as they say “perfect”. However, birth is not

predictable, itʼs untamable. Not always does birth unfold as wanted or

dreamed of. Oh and lets not forget the key players, the one giving birth,

and the one being born. Some people birthing may choose to birth in a

more medicalized manner which is their choice and whatʼs best for them.

High Five. Its their birth. Then there are those babies, babies that may

need assistance in their birth.   So they are born, with helping hands.

Birth is an unknown.


Come back to that part about fuel.

The fuel that feeds a doulas heart and soul is the act of falling in love.

You meet over tea. Its like a first date. Introductions and bonding. Over

time you get the joy of getting to know one another and learning about

what their wishes are around the birth of their child. You ease anxiety,

fears, you encourage and excite dreams. Trust is slowly being built.

Then the call for the birth happens. Upon entering their birth space, the

first glance from their eyes busts through you and your heart expands.

The relief that you are there with them, your presence needed, wanted.

Hands held, eyes locked, breathing in unison. Back rubbing, throw up

catching, tear wiping. Partners working seamless with you, eyes smiling

or crying without words just complete understanding. Add the twists and

turns the unexpected and not wanted into the birth and watch them

choose the best option for them and baby. The hurdles that they jump

over, some with ease some with so much help. The look on their faces

and the power and confidence they exude, so much growth. They are in

a vulnerable yet closed, protected and safe. Letting down guards,

allowing another to help them, lift them and care for them.


As their baby is resting on their chest, there is that moment where your

eyes catch, no words are spoken but you both feel it. You are so so

proud of them, they transformed before you. Allowing you on their

journey. You witnessed their family be born. No greater gift.


At that same time you are in awe with them, they are staring right back

at you with those eyes that say “thank you”.


That is how I view birth. It’s a love thing.

Michelle MacLean has been a doula since 2005. Doula trainer for the
Holistic Doula Certificate program at Pacific Rim College. She volunteers
at South Community Birth program, and is a mentor doula. Most of all
Michelle is the proud mother of two beautiful girls. Find Michelle at or

One Response to Birth Through My Eyes as a Doula

  1. Hello Michelle
    I heard that you are an amazing doula from my sister Kristi Johanson, and I am 6 wks pregnant and I would like to maybe talk to you about what happens when your a doula for someone. Also if you have any information about your rates or if it can be covered by extended medical.
    I know I am not far along so if you would rather wait till I am past the 3 month mark I get it.
    Just let me know if or when I might be able to talk to you about it. Also I tried sending a Facebook message to you, but i don’t think that you got it…
    Thanks so much for your time.

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