Doula is a Greek word meaning caregiver.
As a birth doula I am experienced in offering emotional and practical support before, during and after childbirth.
My aim is to support you and your husband/partner in having the sort of birth you choose. I will help you prepare for it physically and emotionally; inform you so you know what to expect at each stage of your labour and delivery; help you determine what pain-relieving measures are right for you, and assist you in writing a clear Birth Plan.
When I attend a mum during labour I always give her massage which is effective for pain and very calming.
Research has shown that a constant supportive presence throughout labour results in:-
- A 50% reduction in Caesarean rates
- 25% shorter labour
- 60% reduction in epidural requests
- 40% reduction in oxytocin use
- 30% reduction inn analgesia use
- 40% reduction in forceps delivery
I will explain interventions that may be suggested (eg a membrane sweep), and how you can remain confident partners in the decision-making process. I am not medically trained, however, so will never interfere with your medical caregivers in any way, perform vaginal exams or offer prescribed medication.
Free initial meeting
After meeting me free of charge, if you decide you would like to engage me as your doula, I will usually provide two antenatal visits in your third trimester, when we will cover, amongst other things:
- Type of birth you are planning eg natural, water, Caesarean, epidural, induction
- Place where birth will take place – hospital, birth centre, home
- Who will be with you
- Pain management during labour and birth
- Atmosphere in the room eg dim lighting, peaceful, quiet, music
- Breathing techniques, visualisations, positions/movements to aid baby’s descent and other coping strategies.
- Measures to bring relief eg warm bath, shower, gentle massage.
I will go on-call for you at 38 weeks, when my phone remains on alert 24-hours a day.
I will stay with you to support you and your partner during labour and delivery and ensure you are attended to properly; help you get breastfeeding started if you wish, and visit you twice postnatally to help in any way I can and check things are going well. Further postnatal visits by arrangement.