A doula is a person who is experienced in childbirth, who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother, father or partner, before, during and just after childbirth.
A birth doula will understand that birth is a key life experience that the mother will always remember and assist the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their wishes for the birth of their baby. The doula will understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of women in labour and during labour, and will stay by the side of the labouring woman throughout. The doula will provide emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make choices. The doula will facilitate communication between the labouring woman, her partner and medical care providers and perceives her role as one who nurtures the woman’s memory of her birth experience.
A postnatal doula recognises that becoming a mother is a life-changing event and understands that each new mother needs to find and discover her own way of mothering. The doula offers education and non-judgemental physical and emotional support during the first three months or more following the addition of a new baby to a family. The doula assists with newborn care, family adjustment, meal preparation and light household tidying. The doula offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and signposts and makes appropriate referrals when necessary.
Doulas are not medically trained and do not give any kind of advice. They do not carry out midwifery tasks, diagnose conditions, make decisions on behalf of their clients, pressure or try to convince their clients to do what they consider to be the best thing. They do not take over the partner’s role but offer support to them as well. The doula doesn’t usually change shifts or leave after a certain number of hours. They usually don’t plan to catch the baby.
Thanks to Kicki Hansard, BirthBliss.
As your postnatal doula, I can be there on the other side when you bring home a newborn. You may need a gentle guiding hand, or just a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear. Often, it’s just a chance to sleep while I hold the baby. There is so much advice and information out there that it’s easy to feel bamboozled, and when you’re in a state of exhaustion it’s sometimes hard to know what’s right for you and your baby. I’ll support and encourage you to trust your own instincts and find your own parenting style, rather than tell you what to do, and if needed, I’ll help you to find further specialist support.
Together we’ll work out how many hours and days a week you need and we’ll discuss what kind of support would be the best for you. These sessions often include listening to you tell your birth story, infant feeding support, newborn care, using slings, finding ways of adjusting to parenthood and managing lack of sleep, cooking nutritious meals, and minding the baby while you get some much-needed rest. I can even do the dishes, hoover the floors, organise your cupboards or whatever it is that will help you feel able to relax and nest with your baby.
Please call 07980 552232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for prices and availability.
‘In the first few weeks after birth, it was fantastic to have Anna around us. She gave support in a practical manner. But most importantly, she gave fantastic emotional support. We were lucky to have such a skilled, compassionate person to help guide us with our firstborn.’ Abig