Do I need a Doula?
I am a qualified social worker and certified birth and postnatal Doula. Do I believe you can birth without my support? Absolutely! Women have been birthing on their own for centuries. But would you WANT to birth without the ultimate birth support team? The question is less 'do I need a doula?' and more 'how do I want to feel during my transition to motherhood?'. If you want to feel empowered, informed, nourished and loved then a doula may be just what your heart desires.
I like the marathon analogy... Can you run a marathon on your own? Sure! But what if you had a coach? Someone who had run that same marathon before you, marked out where and when to rest or carry on, someone able to support you with words of encouragement or options you may be feeling too vulnerable to consider, someone who knew the signs to look for in an effective running style, could refer you on for any relevant support and then nourished you afterward for a restful recovery? That's a doula (in a nutshell).
A doula cares for you like no other. We are unique in our role and offer an extra special element to your village of support in your transition to motherhood. A Doula is a very personal choice and we are all unique. I always offer a 30 minute obligation free chat to see if we might be a good match.
What is a Doula?
A doula is a trained birth and postnatal support person who offers unbiased informational, educational, physical and emotional support for the woman and her family. A birth doula does not replace the medical professional but rather compliments the service to promote a holistic and woman-centred birth experience. A doula is much like hiring your own personal coach for the most incredibly emotional and physically demanding event of your life; birth and postpartum.
What does a Doula do?
During our prenatal appointments I will get a very real sense of who you are and the birth you desire. I use my existing social work skills to hold space for you and release fear and anxiety surrounding your impending birth and postpartum. I provide you with information relevant to your unique circumstance, offer referrals, provide evidence-based information and support you in aligning your decisions with your birth goals. Together, we create your own unique birth plan.
On the day your baby decides to be born I will come to your home and hold space for you as your birth unfolds. I incorporate various techniques during your labour and birth depending on your preferences which include positions, massage, acupressure and breath work as well as access to tens machine, pure essential oils, books and affirmation cards. I ensure you are well nourished and calm so that you can focus solely on bringing your baby earth-side. Should you have a partner, I support them in their role of loving you and together we work as your support team to build that all-important oxytocin.
I am influenced by my social work background, doula training, the births I have attended and my own two beautiful births. I share my knowledge with you so that your own journey to motherhood can be as smooth, comfortable, and connected as possible. I am particularly invested in supporting first time parents and those who have previously experienced birth trauma.
Entering motherhood as an empowered and connected woman has a positive effect on your mental health, your ability to bond with your baby, your experience with breastfeeding and reading your baby’s cues. I support you in the postnatal period with basic newborn care, including sleep and settle techniques, as well as a birth debrief and self care. Ongoing postnatal support is something I am particularly passionate about and looks different for each Mama. My extended support can include troubleshooting early parenting challenges, a nonjudgmental listening ear, sibling care, nourishment and light household duties.
What are the benefits of a Doula?
The number one benefit of having a Doula in your support team is that their agenda is solely aligned with the birthing person. Not to the medical team, your parents or in-laws, not to anyone other than the Mama. This means that throughout your transition to motherhood, my primary interest as a Doula is aligned only to you. YOU decide how you want to prepare for you birth, how you would like your birth to unfold and how you would like to care for you newborn. My role is to ensure you have all the information and support you need to achieve these outcomes with love and compassion.
There have been several studies conducted researching the positive effects of birth doula support, including the 2017 Bohren et al Cochrane review. Some of the benefits to a mother and baby include:
· Shorter labours
· Reduced likelihood of requesting medical pain relief
· Reduced likelihood of giving birth via caesarean
· Increased rates of breastfeeding
· Increased satisfaction with the birth experience
· Reduced rates of postnatal depression