What is a Doula?

So you’ve heard the word mentioned because someone you know hired one, but what the heck is a doula anyway!? In a nutshell, a doula is a professional trained to assist women with all the non-medical dynamics of childbirth. Think of a doula as a birth coach who is focused on helping you to achieve a truly positive birth experience by providing you with support that is appropriate to your needs.

Why does this matter? Birth is an emotionally complex, life-changing experience and a birthing mother may require more than one person to help meet all of her needs. You might expect that your partner or medical team will provide the full spectrum of birth support, but that is not entirely fair on them. Doctors are highly trained professionals but for them it’s not personal like it is for you, and your partner knows you inside and out but probably isn’t prepared for the reality of labour and birth!

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Enter the doula – a professional to bridge that gap and facilitate your best birth. Here’s what we do that’s unique…

We learn what makes you tick… As your doula my job is to support you through one of the most intense experiences you will ever face, so I take the time to find out who you are and where you’re coming from. I’ll sit with you and your partner and discuss at great length how we can achieve the birth that you want.

We help you prepare… I will talk you through everything you need to know and everything you need to get – from perineal massage to maternity pads.

We listen… Birth can be scary and your doula wants to hear your thoughts, hopes and fears – without judgement – so that we can help you to clear the path to your best birth.

We give you options… Knowledge is power! Epidural vs natural pain relief? Home vs hospital? A doula’s job is to make sure you are informed so that you can decide on the best course of action for you and your baby. I will always remind you that it’s your body and your decision.

We answer the embarrassing questions… Don’t google you gross questions – that’s going to end badly – rather get a doula. I am your personal birth encyclopaedia – and if I don’t know the answer you can be sure I’ll know the expert to call!

We manage your expectations… Is this real labour? When do I call the midwife? Is it too early to go to hospital? I’ll be on hand to help you navigate labour so that you know what’s happening to your body.

We support your partner… Birth is hard on your partner too and we are there to support them, not replace them. Research has shown that the doula + partner combination improves birth outcomes.

We provide you with continuous labour support… While the midwife may come and go to check your vitals every hour and the doctor might catch your baby, your doula is at your side through the arduous journey of labour.

We translate… Sometimes the medical team will throw big words around because for them it’s just another day at the office – your doula is also your translator and your mediator.

We help you feel safe… I’m the guardian of your birth space while you focus on the hard work of labour. Using what I‘ve learned about you, I will guard your privacy and gently ensure that those who must come into your space do so respectfully. This allows you the freedom to be vulnerable, to let go and release any inhibitions that might hinder the progress of labour.

We help you transition into motherhood… Your doula supports you beyond the threshold, paying careful attention to infant feeding and post-partum care. You are supported 100% when you hire a doula.

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I know that inviting a stranger into your birth space can feel a little weird so it’s important to get to know each other before making your decision. Meet in person, ask loads of questions and make sure that she feels like the right doula for you.

Oh, did I mention we do massage? Doulas do a LOT of massage… but only if that’s what you want us to do. Click here to browse my Doula packages and pricing…