Why to hire a Doula? - Birth Doula services - Postnatal Doula services

Role of Doula

The word “Doula” originates from ancient Greece, meaning “female caregiver” or “hand maiden”. A Doula these days is a woman experienced and trained in offering emotional and practical support to a woman (or couple), before, during and after childbirth.

In many cultures around the world, the women in the community gather together around the time of child birth to look after and support the new mum in pregnancy and through to the first weeks and months. The mum is likely to need this time to recover from both the pregnancy and the birth. Sadly, this is lacking in our western society, and mothers are very often left to cope alone, particularly when their families are distant or unable to give their time.

This is such a special period in the life of both the mother and her newborn – they really should be given every opportunity to enjoy and relax together. Support at this crucial time has been shown to reduce the incidence of post natal depression.

In helping the mother, this in turn helps the father – he will feel good if the mum is feeling good. Sometimes the expectations of fathers, especially new dads is unrealistic and can be overwhelming. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and failure. A father is a father, he cannot possibly assume the role of a mother figure, this is where a Doula is invaluable.

Birth Doula provides flexible and continuous support before, during and after the child is born. Doula may help with other children, encourage a partner with support while the child is being born, nurture and support the mother, and give support to help establish breastfeeding.

 A Doula is complementing your relationship with your Midwife, a Doula is your safety female companion providing continuity of non-medical care by creating and holding a safe space during the birth - providing comfortable, warm and calm environment with privacy for the mother and supporting the father and other family members emotionally, practically and by providing information.

According a survey of Doula-supported births having a Doula present at your birth:

  • shortens first-time labor by an average of two hours,
  • decreases the chance of caesarean section by 50%,
  • decreases the need for pain medication
  • decreases the need of medical intervention
  • increases breastfeeding success and its lengths (if wished for).

Having a Doula present helps other birth partners participate with confidence, helps mother to be more relaxed and confident herself.

Consistent, unconditional, experienced, calm and nurturing support helps create an environment which more-often enables a woman to give birth without intervention and breastfeed her baby for as long as she wants.

 

Birth Doula Service

(available either with or without the postnatal Doula service)

As a birth Doula I offer physical and emotional support and I am able to accompany you and your partner through the process of preparing for birth and support you during labor, birth and bonding. I also can support you in the first weeks after birth and will visit at least once. I do not give medical advice nor do I undertake examinations or perform any other clinical task. I cannot make decisions for you. I can only act as a spokesperson for you (if this has been clearly stated in your birth plan). I am independent and self-employed. I am working for you, not your caregiver or hospital. I am offering continuous, reassuring, calm and unconditional presence of caring, compassion and acceptance, and always promoting feelings of trust and security during the pregnancy and birth. By listening and providing information when asked, I can help guide you through your own unique pregnancy and birth journey and into parenthood. If the need arises I can help you communicate with your midwife and medical care takers to ensure that you have all the information you need to make informed decisions during pregnancy, labor, bonding and early parenting.

I would visit you on at least two occasions during your pregnancy firstly to discuss your needs and plans for the labor and birth, and secondly for us to get to know each other.

As your Birth Doula I would be available on call 24/7 for 4 weeks, 2 before and 2 after your expected due date. I would be present with you at your labor and birth from the time you call me to a few hours after your baby arrives, when you are happy for me to leave.

I would also visit you postnatally.

I am currently classed as a Mentored Birth Doula with Doula UK, having passed the training and being in a recognition process. Details of this process can be found at www.doula.org.uk.

 

Postnatal Doula Service

(available either with or without the birth Doula service)

As a postnatal Doula I support you at home after the child is born – ‘mothering the mother’ – to help you as you start life with your new baby.

I am there to offer support, encouragement and practical help to aid the smooth running of the household and help the family adjust to the birth of a new baby.

I will be there to provide the mother with some time to herself, keeping an eye on on the baby and/or other siblings whilst she takes a bath, catch up on sleep or pops out for some fresh air. I will be there providing companionship, being the listening ear and shoulder to cry. I will give the mother space to discuss any concerns and issues and offer a source of information. I will give support with feeding choices / issues. I can prepare food, do laundry and light housework, shopping, walking the dog, and help to maintain order within the home.

My role is to assist the mother in her transition to motherhood and help her to find her own way in her new role. Whilst supporting and empowering the mother, the father is not excluded in this process and he might appreciate smoother and calmer home life and his own transition to fatherhood.

This service is available either hourly (minimum 2 hours per visit) or short time live-in and can be booked to run straight after your birth, allowing continuity of care and a sense of support in those early days/weeks.

I am currently classed as a Mentored Postnatal Doula with Doula UK, having passed the training and being in a recognition process. Details of this process can be found at www.doula.org.uk.

I have an enhanced disclosure Criminal Records Bureau certificate dated July 2013.

Remember that Doula UK also has a voucher scheme, so friends and family can buy you doula support and if you are in receipt of state benefits, Doula UK also has an Access Fund.