A doula is a non-medical birth companion who is employed to assist an expectant woman and her partner before, during and after birth. As a woman experienced in birthing, she offers emotional, practical and spiritual support as this precious time, a kind of ‘big sister’ role.
Having a doula present for the birth of my first child gave me the confidence to birth my baby at home in a calm and relaxed way, feeling empowered and present in the process. Today birth has become extremely medicalised, and is often shrouded in mystery and fear, with the media, health care professionals and associates constantly relaying negative stories about the horrors of birth, and how it cannot be done without a cocktail of drugs and a host of medical interventions. My personal experience and my work as a doula has shown me that there is another way: birth can be the most empowering experience of a woman’s life. When well informed and supported, a birthing woman can find her innate feminine power and blossom into her natural beauty, finding the resilience and strength to birth calmly, comfortably and without drama, whatever form the birth takes.
My promise as your doula
As your doula, I am available to offer you as much support as you need in the run up to your birth and when the big day arrives. I will help you to feel prepared by sharing information and resources from my extensive library. You will have access to my Facebook group, where you can connect with other expectant parents and share information or queries. We will meet before the birth to ensure I am totally familiar with your wishes for the birth, and to help you create your birth preferences. This will act as my guide for supporting you during birth, and for your health care professionals to work within to ensure your needs are respected and met.
When the day of your birth arrives, I will be with you as soon as you ask me to come, even if you are not yet in established labour. My job is to help you to feel relaxed and calm, so labour can progress efficiently. I will also offer practical and emotional support to your birth partner to ensure they are an active participant in the unfolding miracle.
I will remain with you for the duration of your labour, and will be by your side offering you encouragement, refreshment, comfort and reassurance as you birth your baby. I will stay with you until your baby has fed and you feel ready to be left alone to bond with your new arrival. Following the birth, I will visit you and again offer practical and emotional support in whatever form you need, from folding your laundry to bringing you a hot meal.
Every woman I have supported has become a friend for life, and the bond a doula and mother share is beyond measure.
What’s included in the fee?
Once I commit to working with you as your doula, I will make myself available to you from 2 weeks before your due date until 2 weeks after. This means that for a period of at least 4 weeks, I will stay within easy reach of your birthing place, will refrain from committing to any other engagements, including family commitments, holidays, day trips, work appointments etc. so I can be available to come as soon as you need me. You will have access to my extensive birth library, and the loan of my birth pool if needed. I will offer you a place in my pregnancy yoga classes during your pregnancy, and hope you will attend my post-natal classes once your baby has arrived. You and your birth partner will also be offered the chance to attend a birth preparation workshop with me, where we will look in detail at comfort measures for labour, relaxation techniques including birth hypnosis, active birth positions and positive affirmations.
I will visit you before the birth to discuss and clarify your birth preferences with you and your partner, will be with you for the duration of your birth, and will visit you after your baby is born.
“The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination.” Maya Angelou