Ask A Doula: Can I be a doula for my family member?

Q I’m gonna be an auntie! I’m excited because I get to be an auntie for the first time but also because my sister asked me to be her doula! I’m not charging her anything, of course, but I’m also worried I won’t do a good job because I care TOO much, you know? I have a way of getting too involved in my clients already, and I think it’s gonna be a million times worse with my sister. I love her so much and I want to be the best doula ever for her!

A Congratulations! I’ve been able to attend the births of several of my nephews, and it truly is an amazing experience and I feel like I have had a closer connection to those babies as they’re growing up. You’re right, it IS harder to be objective and fill the doula role with family. I recommend you absolutely attend this birth, but as a sister who happens to have a lot of knowledge rather than an official doula. It’s only a change in your mindset but it is one that will free you from feeling like you have to do the doula thing right, and allow you to just freely love on and support your sister. She’ll still get all your love, support, knowledge and help, and you’ll be free from the pressure. Sometimes the best way to be a doula for family is to step out of the doula role!

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