What is a Doula?
A doula is there to 'protect the space' of the labouring woman, to keep her birth environment calm and relaxed to allow her to follow her birthing instincts. It is often said that the role of a doula is to 'mother the mother'. A doula is not a medical professional and will not offer medical advice. We are here to provide information to allow you & your birth partner to make an informed choice. However and wherever you plan to give birth, a doula can be invaluable.
Why hire a Doula?
A Cochrane review was published in 2013 which was a review of studies including 23 trials in 16 different countries involving more than 15,000 women with a wide range of circumstances. This showed that continuous support in labour increased the chance of a spontaneous vaginal birth i.e. give birth with neither caesarean nor vacuum nor forceps. In addition, women were less likely to use pain medications, were more likely to be satisfied, and had slightly shorter labours. "We conclude that all women should have continuous support during labour. Continuous support from a person who is present solely to provide support, is not a member of the woman's social network, is experienced in providing labour support, and has at least a modest amount of training, appears to be most beneficial."
Statistical data supporting the use of a doula:
50% reduction in c-section
25% shorter labour
60% reduction in epidural request
30% reduction in use of analgesia
40% reduction in forceps delivery
from ‘Mothering the Mother’, Klaus, Kennel, and Klaus, 1993.
You, Me and Baby Doula Services
I am currently only offering antenatal and postnatal services due to my young children. If you would like a doula present at your birth, contact me for up to date recommendations.
An antenatal appointment can be a discussion about any previous birth experiences you have had, answering questions about homebirth/waterbirth/pain relief methods or to write a birth plan.
Post Natal Services
Support for your whole family. I can offer breastfeeding support, newborn care (bathing, nappies, sleeping, development), Baby Led Weaning, support with slings and cloth nappies. I can also offer general housekeeping assistance such as shopping/cooking/cleaning/washing/ironing/dog walking etc to enable you to just relax and bond with your newborn baby. I am DBS checked and have undertaken a paediatric first aid course.
I have a library of really useful and interesting books which clients are welcome to borrow. I also have birth balls and Tens machine available.