One of the first things that might spring to mind when you hear the word 'doula' is...
What is a doula?!
Well, a Doula provides support in pregnancy, birth and in the postnatal period by providing information, advocacy, and offering practical and emotional support to the whole family. It is useful to know that not all doulas offer the same services. Many doulas offer a variety of additional areas of expertise alongside birth support, such as pregnancy and postnatal yoga, hypnobirthing, Reiki, massage, breastfeeding support and so much more!
Doulas are qualified to teach full antenatal education to help you and/or the whole family understand the birthing process and empower you to make all the decisions around your birth.
They are experts in supporting physiological births and they openly support different kinds of births and different parenting choices. They do not take a clinical role but work alongside midwives and doctors. What they do is offer non-medical techniques to support you during the progressive stages of labour and birth to help you to feel comfortable, calm and at ease.
There are increasing levels of evidence which indicate that doula support improves the experience and birthing outcomes for both the woman and the baby.
There is evidence to show that having a doula present can mean:
A reduced risk of Caesarean birth/reduced risk of instrumental birth
A reduced need for painkillers or epidural during birth
Reduced rate of induction of labour
Increased satisfaction with the birth experience
Increased likelihood of starting breastfeeding journey and continuing it to at least 6 weeks
I also have a few of my own benefits including; more women experiencing 'The Golden Hour' when a doula is present, more families 'wait for the umbilical cord to go white', women experiencing a more supportive and active labour/birth and birth partners feeling more confident and involved too.
My experience and wisdom as a pregnancy yoga teacher, hypnobirthing practitioner, biomechanics for birth and doula knowledge enable me to propose and teach you the most appropriate movements, tools and techniques that you'll need to strengthen, guide and support you through a calm and gentle physiological birth and ensure that you recover postnatally faster and stronger.
I created this video as a little insight into what I pack in my Doula bag, you might find some items surprising - please let me know in the comments!
Did you know that you can also extend the service beyond birth and into the postnatal phase too? Postnatal Doulas are a wonderful continuation of your investment They shall continue to support you by holding space while you recover immediately post-birth. Once again, different postnatal doulas offer different services so it would be wise to decide what your personal needs and expectations are before shopping around. It will help you to ask the right questions and save valuable time.
Choosing your doula really is a big deal. There needs to be a positive, comfortable connection between you both, which is why I always suggest you meet a few doulas before choosing 'the one'. I highly recommend setting up an initial consultation, as I truly believe it is a vital part of the selection process.
In my opinion, an initial consultation is not only a wonderful opportunity to discover if we are a good fit for each other (its so important that we are comfortable with one another as I will be supporting you in your most sacred and intimate space) but it is also for me to ascertain how much support you need enabling me to create your bespoke package. You will have the opportunity to discuss adding antenatal education (Full or Express course options are available), private pregnancy and postnatal yoga sessions and hypnobirthing to your package. This is your pregnancy and birth after all.
Investing in your pregnancy and birth is very important, as the journey you experience directly impacts your mothering journey moving forward. All the recent evidence and research suggest that hiring a doula can and will positively transform your experience.
If you are interested in hiring me as your Doula, please get in touch to arrange a free consultation. I would be delighted to meet you and answer any questions you may have.