No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
In some interviews, a question from naturally minded potential clients comes up: "Will you leave if I choose to get an epidural?"
I get why they think they need to ask this question, as I've encountered other doulas who do say yes. Doulas that do retain judgement about their clients choices and will leave.
No one knows how their labor will go. Even from one pregnancy to the next. You may set out with the goal of avoiding an epidural, but in the moment of labor, when there is this option of pain relief presented to you, you may change your mind. You may need to rest if you've been dealing with labor for days, heck even a few hours. Getting an epidural is perfectly ok! Even when you had initially not wanted one.
You didn't fail yourself.
You didn't fail your baby.
You certainly didn't fail me, because I'm not your grader.
You didn't make the wrong choice. You made the best choice for you, your body, your baby, your labor.
As your birth doula I will not leave you. I still have a role and can add value to your experience. Just as your job is not done, mine is not done.
You should be proud of whatever choice you make. You should be proud if you had a natural birth. You should be proud if you chose an epidural. You should be proud of the incredible strength it takes to go through a cesarean.
If you do experience trauma and regret about what happened, I don't leave you alone for that either. I provide postnatal appointments and continued postpartum support that allow you the opportunity to process the birth as you wish. I also have the resources to recommend additional support if needed..
A doula's job is about Continued Support, through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Judgement free, guilt free, shame free, unbiased support.