Everyone deserves support before, during and after childbirth and I believe that having a doula can give you the experience you hope for.
A Doula \DOO-luh\ is an experienced person who offers emotional and practical support to an individual (or couple) before, during and after childbirth. A doula believes in “parenting the parents” – enabling someone to have the most satisfying and empowered time they can during pregnancy, birth and the early days as a new parent. This type of support also helps the whole family to relax and enjoy the experience.
Birth can be a positive, satisfying and empowering experience for people and their partners. Having a baby is the most precious, life-changing time and all too often parents come away from it feeling traumatised and disappointed by their experience. I think that everyone deserves emotional and practical support before, during and after childbirth and believe that having doula support can give you the experience you hope for. I was honoured to be chosen as Doula of the Year at the MaMa Conference, 2017.
In preparation for the birth I offer at least three antenatal appointments to talk through any previous births (if applicable), your hopes, fears and expectations of the labour ahead. Together we will put together some birth preferences, allowing for the unpredictability of labour, but ensuring that your desires/needs are met and realised. We will spend time looking at the options available to you and your partner (if appropriate), and consider what needs to be put in place postnatally. Clients have full access to my large library of books, articles and DVDs, as well as options to use my birth pool (Birth Pool in a Box), birth balls and slings/wraps/carriers. I will be on call 24 hours a day once you reach 38 weeks pregnancy (or as appropriate).
Once in labour I will be in constant attendance to give you confidence, help you make informed decisions, facilitate communication between you and the medical staff, remind you of your wishes and to support both you and your partner. I will stay with you after the birth until everyone is settled. I am particularly keen on supporting the first few hours of the baby’s life, with a focus on initiating feeding.
Far less formal than a maternity nurse, I can come in and support with whatever helps make the transition into parenthood smoother. My focus is on supporting people to become confident in their ability to parent, to trust their own instincts and find their feet. If there is practical help needed in the house we can create a postnatal plan so that the chores get done. If you need temporary help with food preparation I am more than comfortable in a kitchen, having done a training with Leith’s School of Food and Wine. Together we can work out what is going to make your life easier, from enabling extra sleep or rest, signposting evidence-based information around your baby’s needs and talking through any of your concerns and fears. I will happily support you in your feeding choices, am a qualified breastfeeding supporter, and am able to show you some basic massage techniques to help you bond and connect with your little one. All in all I hope to be able to offer relevant support so that you are able to rest and enjoy your new family.
Sophie made what was a special experience truly magical, her support and experience enabled us both to relax and follow our instincts much easier than we could ever have done should she not have been there. She was great with the midwife, showing her respect but still ensuring our wishes were heard. Our midwife since commented that she thought Sophie was amazing and one of the easiest doulas she had ever worked with. We owe Sophie so much for being an essential part of our amazing birth experience and bringing our beautiful son into the world in such a positive way. We can’t imagine what it would have been like without her.”
— Clare Orridge, mother of Thomas