What is a Doula?

Somebody who supports a family during the childbearing year, from conception until up to 3 months after the baby is born.  I can offer to support you either as a birth doula, or purely as a postnataly.

What does a Doula offer?

As birth doula I will offer you support during your pregnancy.  I can visit you in your home and spend time getting to know you.  We can spend time debriefing your previous birth experiencing, looking at other things that have influenced your feelings about birth.  I can help you with making a birth plan.  I am happy to be with you at your birth regardless of where it happens.  I will also be there to support you in the postnatal period.  I am passionate about helping families at this vulnerable time, in emotional and practical ways.

What are the benefits?

One study showed the following benefits to having a doula in attendance at a birth.  (“Mothering the Mother” by Marshall Klaus, John Kennell & Phyllis Klaus, 1993)

  • 50% reduction in cesarean rate
  • 25% shorter labour
  • 60% reduction in epidural requests
  • 30% reduction in pain medication use
  • 40% reduction in forceps delivery
  • 40% reduction in oxytocin (pitocin) use

What does a Postnatal Doula do?

If you do not wish to have me at your birth, but feel that you would benefit from support afterwards, I can offer you postnatal services.  This is a precious time as you take time to fall in love with your newborn.  Many new parents feel overwhelmed and need help with basic practical things, such as washing up and cooking.  I have also done some training as a breastfeeding peer supporter.  Therefore I can help with breastfeeding, and signpost you to good up to date information and professional help if needed.

What next?

If you feel like you might like a doula I am happy to have a preliminary interview.