My 8 year old daughter has been fascinated with all things birth, and begging for a chance to attend a birth as the photographer or "mini-doula." She was present at my 5th and 6th births and thought the entire process was awesome. Afterwards she shared with her entire Sunday School class all about how her mommy pushed a baby out of her vagina and how babies grow in your uterus. (The teachers were laughing so hard when they told me about it afterwards.) We've also talked about momma's scar from my c-section and how sometimes babies come out that way if they need some extra help. Both of the girls in these photos are VBAC babies, the youngest born in the water. I love that my kids are comfortable with & know about birth, in all its varieties!
It will be a few more years before I think she'll be ready, but I've had friends and clients say they would love to have one of my kids help at their birth with caring for younger siblings. I know for my own births that childcare was a huge concern, and having a care taker present who is so comfortable with birth would be a fantastic resource. My oldest daughter and I are already talking about what types of doula packages I could offer clients that would include her services as a babysitter (she's a young teen.) Once they are 16+ and if clients were interested I would love having either of them attend births to help in that role. As a laboring parent, would you be comfortable with a teen sitter caring for siblings at your birth?
The photo is my 8 year old, she told me she's "playing doula" with her younger sister and she packed her doula bag: rice pack, massage tool, essential oils, and her camera (a hand-me-down of mine.) She's apparently been paying a lot of attention to what I do. The little one is our four year old - she stuffed a pillow up her shirt because she said she's the momma having the baby. (She's calling her doula on the pretend cell phone, she said.)
I love it!