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Yikes! How can I get her to understand she's overstepping? It's important because she helps moms have babies :(

We are both doulas.

She was my doula for my son's birth. We traded services. She showed up after I called her and let her know I was in labor so she could start heading home from out of town, as she had asked me to. I told her on the phone that I would call her again when I was ready for her to come over. She showed up two hours later, without a second call and with her husband and kids, and asked me if they could come in. I was really bothered by this, but because I had attended her birth 3 months earlier and because we're friends I didn't say anything about it to her.

We also run a pregnancy and birth support group together. We have a mom, R, who has been attending to get information on VBAC. She told us at one meeting when we were discussing doulas that she had no interest in one, since she is already having a lot of other people present and doesn't feel like she needs one.

Then this doula... let's call her L, found out that some of her DONA certifying births (births you attend in order to gain certification) don't count for various reasons. She told me "Maybe R will let me go to her birth."

I cautioned her against asking and reminded her what R had said about not wanting a doula.

I just got an email from her today saying that she had asked R if she could come, and told her she would be doing her a big favor. R agreed to let her go. I just said "I hope you guys click, that was very nice of her."

I'm appalled. Women tend to be too polite and unable to say no, and so as supporters of women, it is our job to know what NOT to ask. You just DON'T ask a woman to attend her birth. Ever. If she wants you there she will invite you. Nor do you ask if your husband and kids can come in to a laboring woman's home... but that's another story.

I'm concerned. She is showing a lack of respect for boundaries. There are other examples, like asking me to reschedule my daughter's birthday party for her, but you get the gist.

I feel like I need to say something to her as a colleague, and even as a friend, but I don't know how to tell her this without hurting her.

She has also recently decided she wants to be a CNM, which is really worrisome to me, since she oversteps her bounds as a doula.

I just... I don't know what to do. Help!?


Asked by Anonymous at 8:53 PM on Jun. 16, 2011 in Relationships

This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • No matter how you say it, you will probably hurt her feelings. Just try to be as gentle as possible and explain how you see things. I agree you need to talk with her especially if you continue to do business with don't want your business reputation to be affected by her behavior.

    Answer by MrsMWF at 9:02 PM on Jun. 16, 2011

  • You can't worry about hurting her. You need to let her know there are issues.

    Answer by gdiamante at 9:03 PM on Jun. 16, 2011

  • Not really sure how to help you. Is there a board that oversees Doula's that you can contact with your concerns?

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 8:58 PM on Jun. 16, 2011

  • Yes and no. She is certifying through DONA (Doulas Of North America), so I could contact them, but it wouldn't necessarily stop her from being a doula. Certification is not required.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:00 PM on Jun. 16, 2011

  • So you guys agree that this is pretty serious stuff here? It's not just in my head?

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:21 PM on Jun. 16, 2011

  • No, it's not just in your head. I would NOT recommend her to anyone if she were to do the things to me that she did to you and R.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 9:44 PM on Jun. 16, 2011