First of all, mothers are there. For the first nine months of our lives they're the only one there. After that, they're a huge part of our lives. We could always go to our mothers. People were not made to be alone, and most of us want someone with us while we are going through something as life-changing as laboring and birthing. Doulas are going to be that person who stays with you the whole time. Another woman playing the role of your always there mother.
One of the best things about mothers is how they support us. They're there cheering us on in our productive endevers. Even when they may not agree with all our choices they support us as individuals doing what we feel is right. I remember a call I made to my mom nine years ago on the way home from the hospital with my five-month-old baby. I had left a.m.a. (against medical advice) and had decided it would be best for my family to return the next day. I told my mom to, "Tell me I did the right thing." She did, and in that moment she was my doula, validating my choice. In labor, a doula may hold your hand, rub your back, speak kind words to you, or just silently pass time with you. Whatever you need her to do she'll do.
Another quality of a great mother is her ability to help us while not doing it for us. She won't do your algebra, wash your dog, or punch out a bully for you. She will, however, hold you, advise you, and remind you how much stronger you're becoming. Labor, like all hard and worthwhile things in life, is something we need to be supported in, but not rescued from. The more we intervene in a normal labor the more we see intervention being necessary. The safest and most fulfilling labor for baby and mom is one where she feels loved enough to do hard work. When a woman taps into herself without fear she'll know what she can truly handle and when she needs to ask for more help. That kind of birth brings confidence and pride in yourself.
Now you may be asking, "Why can't my mom be my labor support? Why would I need a doula?" After all, we've established that moms are pretty awesome. If you want your mom, husband, and whoever else present at your labor, that's great. They can be there to love you, but they're just not experts at supporting a woman in labor. Your mom probably hasn't given birth recently or studied the ways to help a laboring woman. Just as your mom is an expert at her job, a doula is an expert at hers.
Have a wonderful Mother's Day!