Birth Doula Support

 

 

 

Having had the privilege to be at many births, I am well aware that every labour is as unique and individual as the babies that are its gift. For many parents it will be approached with optimism and excitement, whilst others may feel anxiety, apprehension or sadly even fear.


My philosophy is simple - regardless of their initial feelings, I hope that each of my clients is able to reflect upon their birthing journey and feel that they had the very best experience possible in whatever circumstance may have presented.

So what can I offer?

Initially, I would offer you a totally relaxed, non-obligatory meeting with yourself and your partner (if you have one) to ensure that we all felt our combined personalities would work well to meet your personal needs and help you both to approach your birth more relaxed and confident. If you felt I was the right Doula for you then I would offer a minimum of two antenatal sessions, at a time in your pregnancy and a place of your choice. These are tailored to your personal needs. Getting to know you and your family during pregnancy I will try to learn what sort of birth you hope for and what may help or hinder the birthing process. Throughout these sessions we will look at how we can all work together to create an optimum birthing environment and how I might best support you. I can help you to compile a birth preference list, should you wish to share one with your midwives. I can also assist you in finding information regarding any aspect or concern about pregnancy or newborn care which you may have, including breastfeeding information to help you prepare in advance should this be your chosen feeding method. 

But it isn't just about meeting to prepare for the birth. You are preparing to become a mother (even if this is not for the first time). Women tell us time and time again how emotionally unsupported they feel by the present system of maternity care. Throughout the remainder of your pregnancy I would encourage you to communicate regularly with me (via phone, email or text) and I will happily meet with you in person as many times as you feel necessary. I would love you to be able to share any concerns you have; to help you access reliable sources for any information you may seek; to help you process any choices or decisions that need to be reached and/or just to chat to express how you are feeling. I am always happy to offer a safe space and a compassionate ear, with these conversations bringing us closer together and building on the familiarity that should serve us well on your baby's birthday, as well as into the postnatal period if you would like my support to continue.

And when the big day finally arrives, I will aim to be with you as soon as you feel you might benefit from my presence. For many this may be in the earlier stages of labour, where the familiar home environment is more conducive to progress. In this scenario, and if you are choosing to birth in the hospital, we can then travel in altogether when the time is right.

During your labour, whilst working in harmonious partnership with the midwifery/medical team, I aim to be your advocate - trying to facilitate a peaceful birthing environment, helping you to make the team aware of your wishes/preferences, and offering continuous emotional and practical support to you and your partner (if present). This could cover anything from verbal encouragement and back massages for you to facilitating brief breaks for exhausted dads to recharge!

Although not widely acknowledged, pregnancy and then labour can certainly be a daunting, emotional and draining time for partners too. Although it is now common for fathers to be encouraged to attend their baby's birth, sadly the present system of maternity provision can often fail to support dads or meet their own individual needs. In my experience this can be vital in helping facilitate a smooth and confident transition to fatherhood. As a Doula, I endeavour to support both parents (or any other birth partner you may choose to have with you). By offering and meeting their need for emotional and physical support, they will be better able to be the best support for mum.

Together we will try to achieve the optimum birthing experience for all in any scenario - be it a drug-free water birth or one which requires medical intervention. I have vast experience in supporting home birth, hospital birth, water birth, vaginal birth after caesarean section and both elective and emergency caesareans. As a result I that am deeply aware that women reflect most positively upon their experiences when they have felt safe, loved, respected, and heard - when they have understood what is happening, why it is happening, and been given control over any decisions which have to be made. I believe that my role as a Doula is to help facilitate and nurture these feelings, empowering women to feel good about themselves and their birthing journey (whatever twists and turns it may happen to have taken) and leaving them emotionally strong and more able to cope with the transition to motherhood.