Every woman deserves support before, during and after childbirth and I believe that having a doula can give you the experience you hope for.
A Doula \DOO-luh\ is an experienced woman who offers emotional and practical support to a woman (or couple) before, during and after childbirth. A doula believes in “mothering the mother” – enabling a woman to have the most satisfying and empowered time that she can during pregnancy, birth and the early days as a new mum. This type of support also helps the whole family to relax and enjoy the experience.
Birth can be a positive, satisfying and empowering experience for women and their partners. Having a baby is the most precious, life-changing time and all too often parents come away from it feeling traumatised and disappointed by their experience. I think that every woman deserves emotional and practical support before, during and after childbirth and believe that having doula support can give you the experience you hope for. I was honoured to be chosen as Doula of the Year at the MaMa Conference, 2017.
In preparation for the birth I offer at least three antenatal appointments to talk through any previous births (if applicable), your hopes, fears and expectations of the labour ahead. Together we will put together some birth preferences, allowing for the unpredictability of labour, but ensuring that your desires/needs are met and realised. We will spend time looking at the options available to you and your partner, and consider what needs to be put in place postnatally. Clients have full access to my large library of books, articles and DVDs, as well as options to use my birth pool (Birth Pool in a Box), birth balls and slings/wraps/carriers. I will be on call 24 hours a day once you reach 38 weeks pregnancy (or as appropriate).
Once in labour I will be in constant attendance to give you confidence, help you make informed decisions, facilitate communication between you and the medical staff, remind you of your wishes and to support both you and your partner. I will stay with you after the birth until mother and baby are settled. I am particularly keen on supporting the first few hours of the baby’s life, with a focus on initiating feeding.
Far less formal than a maternity nurse, I can come in and help with whatever needs doing in the house from making sure that there is clean laundry, to running a hoover round, to preparing food (I did a basic training with Leiths School of Food and Wine). I can collect older children from school, walk the dog, pick up groceries or just sit with you and talk through any of your concerns and fears. I will happily support you breast feeding and will be able to show you some techniques to help relieve a baby’s discomfort from colic, reflux, wind, constipation etc. All in all I hope to be able to offer relevant support so that you are able to rest and enjoy your new baby/babies.
Sophie made what was a special experience truly magical, her support and experience enabled us both to relax and follow our instincts much easier than we could ever have done should she not have been there. She was great with the midwife, showing her respect but still ensuring our wishes were heard. Our midwife since commented that she thought Sophie was amazing and one of the easiest doulas she had ever worked with. We owe Sophie so much for being an essential part of our amazing birth experience and bringing our beautiful son into the world in such a positive way. We can’t imagine what it would have been like without her.”
— Clare Orridge, mother of Thomas