HOW DOES BIRTH DOULAING WORK?
Typically, a birth doula will meet with a family at least twice during the antenatal period to discuss birth preferences. I would then be on call 24/7 from around the 38th week of your pregnancy, ready to join you when your birthing begins.
During your birth I will offer emotional, informational and practical support. This may include suggestions on; positioning, relaxation, breathing and other things discussed at your antenatal visits.
I will stay with you until after the baby is born and you and your newborn are settled. I will then offer at least one postnatal visit where we will have the opportunity to talk through your birth.
WHAT IS A POST-NATAL DOULA?
A post-natal doula is there to support the new family with whatever is needed to ease the transition to life with a new baby. Typically, this starts within the first few weeks of baby's life, for as long as it is needed.
I can offer tips and information on infant feeding, assist you with baby wearing or even just sit and talk about your baby's poo! Practical tasks such as helping you with older children, cooking a healthy meal and even walking the dog are all tools at my disposal to support you.
I am there to support and enable you to be the parent you want and deserve to be.
IS A DOULA THE SAME AS A MIDWIFE?
Doulas are not medically trained, we do not advise or take a clinical role. A doula will have a good understanding of birth and an awareness of female physiology and may or may not have given birth herself.
A doula will support a woman to make informed decisions about her care and will always strive to form relationships with medical professionals. A woman deserves as many positive and caring figures around her during birth as possible.
Doulas love midwives :-)
CAN I AFFORD A DOULA?
"If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it." John Kennel.
I believe that a doula shouldn't be a luxury, but something that everyone can have access to. I have several set packages I can offer but please do get in contact, regardless of your situation, to talk through your options.
Birth packages from £700
Postnatal and beyond from £18 per hour (minimum 2-hour support)
I HAVE A BIRTH PARTNER, DO I REALLY NEED A DOULA?
As far as I'm concerned there is no such thing as too much support! A doula is not there to take the place of your birth partner but to compliment and nurture you both.There is also evidence to show that having a doula can mean:
Reduced risk of Caesarean birth † *.
Reduced risk of instrumental birth † *.
Reduced need for painkillers or epidural during birth † *.
Reduced rate of induction of labour † *.
Shorter labour †.
Increased parental satisfaction with the birth experience. †
Increased likelihood of initiating breastfeeding *.
Increased likelihood of successfully establishing breastfeeding & breastfeeding at 6 weeks *.
Lower incidence of depressive symptomatology †.
(Information courtesy of Doula UK)
* Brigstocke S. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest, vol 24, no 2, 2014, pp 157-160
† Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr G, Sakala C. Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD003766. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub5 and Bohren MA, Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C, Fukuzawa RK, Cuthbert A. Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD003766. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub6.
ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS
WHAT OTHER SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE?
If you are unsure of how a doula may be able to support you and your partner or perhaps you have seen something on my website that you aren't quite sure of please do get in touch, free of charge, to talk through your options. I tailor all of my packages to your individual needs.
Some families prefer a remote doula for their birth preparation so I am happy to offer Skype consultations at a time to suit your needs. These start from £20 per hour.
I pride myself on working in close connection with other practitioners and have an extensive list of tried and trusted services available locally for during pregnancy and postnatally, so please do ask if you're looking for something in particular. Below are the details of some incredible women who may be able to serve you.
Reflexology and pregnancy massage - www.naturalharmonyuk.co.uk
Sling Consultant – firstname.lastname@example.org
Pregnancy and postnatal yoga –
Closing the bones massage - email@example.com
Medical Herbalist -firstname.lastname@example.org