Birth and Postnatal Doula Services “Mothering the Mother”
What Doulas do
Women supporting women in labour and early mothering is an ancient and widespread practise. The word “doula” has come to mean today “a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth.” Doulas support women and families in all kinds of situations, who have different kinds of births, and make a wide range of parenting choices.
Doulas work alongside midwives and doctors, they do not take a clinical role. Doulas do not provide medical advice or advise but can support a woman to find balanced information, empowered to make informed decisions about her maternity care.
I am a delighted to be a mentored birth and postnatal doula, and member of Doula UK. I completed my doula training with Kicki Hansard, BirthBliss Doula Academy.
The Doula Effect
Many studies have been carried out to evaluate the difference a Doula can make during a woman’s birth and early parenting period.
Statistics have showed that having a Doula with you during the birth may shorten first- time labour by an average of two hours, decrease the chance of a caesarean section by 50%, decrease the need for pain medication, help fathers participate with confidence and increase the success in breastfeeding. Amazing!
Further studies have shown the Doula effect to have the following positive outcomes:More likely to have a spontaneous vaginal delivery
- More likely to have a shorter labour
- More likely to be successful at breastfeeding
- Less likely to give birth by caesarean section
- Less likely to give birth by ventouse of forceps
- Less likely to need analgesia or anaesthesia including epidurals
- Less likely to be dissatisfied with or negatively rate your birth experience.
- Less likely to develop postnatal depression.
In the role of birth Doula, I provide continuous support for women and couples through pregnancy, labour and birth, and the immediate postnatal period. I support women and families who are planning all kinds of births- from home water births to planned gentle C-sections. This emotional, physical, and informational support enables the couple to have a safe, positive, and empowering birthing experience.
Many doula clients will attend my Wise Hippo hypnobirthing classes in St Albans Hertfordshire, either group or private one-to-one sessions as birth preparation, in addition to the doula package. Please see classes.
The birth package includes:
Two antenatal visits
Help with birth preferences/plan
Availability for phone or email support as questions arise
Typically, “on call” from 38 weeks and will then be available 24/7 until your baby arrives
By your side, offering suggestions on comfort measures such as breathing, relaxation, movement and positioning
The doula’s most important role is to provide nurturing, continuous support and reassurance.
The doula will then stay with their client (s) until after the baby is born and the new family are settled and happy.
Postnatal visit to support them as they settle into life with a new baby, help with infant feeding, allow opportunity to talk over the birth.
I am UNICEF breastfeeding trained.
A postnatal doula provides flexible, practical, informational and emotional support postnatally for new mothers and families in their own homes. Doulas help the new parents to simply enjoy their baby, rest more, which promotes healing and smooths the transition to being new parents.
The actual tasks a postnatal doula provides varies enormously.
This can be:
Help around the house
Looking after the baby while mum (and her partner) nap/bath or shower
Helping with older siblings,
Helping overnight so the parents get more sleep
Support with feeding your baby.
If you choose to breastfeed, then a doula can support you with this. Research shows that having a postnatal doula means breastfeeding is more likely to be successfully established.
Unlike a maternity nurse, a doula is not there to take care of your baby for you. Instead, a postnatal doula supports you to be the parent you want to be.
£18 per hour
Minimum 20 hour contract