Doula with an LGBTQ Couple
Using a Doula as an LGBTQ parent
Let’s face it, most places designed to support a family through birth are used to dealing with a birthing person who is female and the mother, and a male partner who is the father.
Most birth professionals will call the birthing person mom, or mama, just out of habit.
While the world is getting better and more and more trainings are available for medical professionals, the understanding and sensitivity to LGBTQ issues are still largely misunderstood by the medical field, especially in the realm of family building.
Having an advocate to make sure the medical professionals understand and respect the dynamics of your family can allow for you to be more present and engaged during the birth of your child. You should be able to be in the moment of supporting and watching your baby being born, not having to correct the nurse every time she calls your surrogate “Mom,” or remind them you’re the parents of this baby.
A doula can be a both a support and an advocate for you and your family. Doulas understand the ins and outs of birth and the way hospitals support families. They support all families in some amazing ways. As a member of the LGBTQ community a doula can offer some added support.
3 ways a doula can support you as a LGBTQ parent:
Keeping the staff reminded about your family
There will be many different staff members in and out of your room during the process of your baby being born. Your doula can be there to tell all the people who you are. Your surrogate, while also one who can help remind them, is a patient herself and is going to be busy in the birth process. You are going to want to be focused on supporting your surrogate and the emotions of your baby being born.
Having that support person for you to pull every new person aside and inform them on who everyone in the room is will help insure you are called the right thing and included correctly.
Prevent bias and prejudice of getting in the way of how you’re included
People are often unaware of how their bias impacts how they treat others. A doula is in the know of how parents are included. Your doula can make sure your questions are respected and answered as the parents of the baby. Your doula can make sure you get to participate fully as the parents. If you are the one wanting to cut the cord, or the first one to hold your baby, your doula can make sure you are in the right place in the room to ensure you get to participate in those important ways.
Buffer between you and the staff’s over-curiosity
When your family falls outside the typical structure people will frequently ask way too many questions. Since your doula is going to be explaining your situation to the staff, they can also prevent staff from getting too personal. You and your doula will discuss ahead of time what you are comfortable sharing about the way your family is being created. Your doula will then provide that information and have the staff ask them if they have other questions. This way you don’t have to worry about managing other people’s curiosity.