BIRTH DOULA SERVICES

What is a birth doula?
 

 

A birth doula, also known as a birth companion, birth coach or post-birth supporter, is a non-medical person who stays with and assists a person before, during, or after childbirth, to provide emotional support and physical help if needed.

Historically birth doulas would come in the form of a mother, aunt, neighbour, grandmother and elders in the community. They were the ones who coached you, held your hand, nourished you, mopped your brow, fed you and made sure your pregnant and postpartum body was warm and cared for. 

In modern day western society however, doulas are much more than just an extension of your village. A birth doula is someone whose goal is for the labouring person to feel safe, informed and comfortable. Doulas are have transitioned from being village community to being advocates, activists, philanthropists, educators and so much more.  Many birth doulas had previous careers and were drawn to the mystical world of birthwork.

Birth Doulas exist to complement the role of midwives and doctors.

Do I think birth doulas are an essential? YES. Keep reading to find out why.

This is a picture of an african woman carrying her baby in a field and walking through a field or farmyard. This is on The Egyptian Doula's page on Birth Doulas and Birth Doula Packages. On the picture are The Egyptian Doulas (Yasmin Aly) listed vision of her vision of a good birth.

My vision of good a good birth

A birth without fear.

A birth where you felt you were involved and consenting in every decision.

A birth where you felt your space was protected.

A birth where you were able to disconnect from the rest of the world and its worries.

A birth that brings back good memories years down the line.

A birth that is beautiful, soul changing and restorative.

What I do: I am your guide
I dont mother the mother.

Here are the kinds of things I can do for you as your birth doula. I can...

Help you understand what it's like being a parent, physically, mentally and emotionally. Help you work out what kind of parent you would like to be. Go through your own childhood to help you choose which bits you would like to stay in your parenting life and which bits don't serve you. Support you throughout pregnancy with knowledge, research and evidence. Help you figure out your birth plan. Support you through labour by helping you to get comfortable whether that be through chatting (or silence), massages, hot water bottles, cold flannels, back acupressure,  showers, dimming the lights, dancing, hugs, snacks etc. Supporting you with every concern, fear, choice, decision or worry along the way. I help you work through your feelings on previous births, especially if they were traumatic.

 

Most importantly, I use my legal skills to advocate for you and make sure you are heard.

Doula Packages
Hospital birth, birth centre, homebirth, elective c-section, freebirth, antenatal/postnatal.

 

Antenatal Support Only


Antenatal Sessions: Either in person or via Zoom depending on your preference This is perfect if all you need is pregnancy and birth preparation support. I offer a short, practical and hands-on birth preparation course which you can read more about here. Ideal for:

  • First time parents
  • Second, third or more time parents
  • Experienced parents who want to refresh their knowledge
I also offer dads/ partners only birth prep sessions. You can read more about that here. If you would like to book this package then please get in touch here.
​​​​​​​I operate a sliding scale in order to be able to accomodate clients from many different backgrounds. If you are struggling financially and would like a doula, do not let fees put you off, get in touch and I will be happy to work something out. I also offer a discounted price for women and birthing people of colour given that black and brown women are more likely to die during childbirth (for information/ evidence on this please click here). Payment plans are also available. COVID guidelines: All COVID packages will involve being as safe as possibe. I will be wearing PPE and will be adhering to the guidelines relating to handwashing and distance where possible. Of course as a birth doula it's inevitable for us to come into very close contact so I will be wearing a mask and minimising my other bookings so as to leave space between seeing/ visiting clients. I will be monitoring myself for any symptoms and expect you to do the same also. You and everyone in your household (immediate bubble) do not need to wear a mask however if there is anyone from outside of your immediate bubble present during any of our sessions or during labour whilst at home, they will need to wear a mask and maintain distance also. There are many reasons why people choose to have only antenatal or postnatal support. I am not here to judge. If however, you really want birth support but you cannot book due to financial reasons then please get in touch anyway - I believe every person who needs a doula should have one, so I am sure we can work something out.




COVID 19 Hospital/ Birth Centre Doula Support


Antenatal/ Postnatal Sessions: Either in person or via Zoom depending on your preference. Birth Support/ Labour Support: Either in person or via Zoom depending on Trust policy.
Now that we are back in lockdown again, many trusts have a closed door policy on birth partners and visitors making birth support that bit more challenging. It may be the case that you have to birth your baby without the support of a birth partner if you birth within a hospital or birth centre. In order to minimise the risk of birth trauma to you, your baby and your partner as much as possible, I have designed a bespoke package specifically for support during this crisis. There will be more emphasis with this package on prepping you antenatally in order to ensure that if your partner or myself aren't able to be there to advocate for you, you will be able to advocate for yourself. This package includes: Antental: Up to 10 2hr antental preparation sessions where we discuss your pregnancy, history, health, nutrition, preparing your body for optimal labouring, stages of labour, bodily biomechanics, pain management and side effects, alternative forms of pain relief, hypnobirthing & affirmations, your legal rights, your birth plan, what to pack in your hospital bag, what to expect with the COVID situation, what your specific trust advises, how to get around obstacles where possible, what you can do & say in certain situations, what to do in case you/ your baby get separated, breastfeeding/ feeding, taking care of your immediate postnatal body during your hospital stay, ways to make caring for your baby easier if you don't have the support required in hospital during the pandemic. On call from 38-42 weeks. This means I am available 24/7 if you go into labour at any time. I am happy to support you for the initial stages of labour in person however may not be able to then come with you to the hospital or birth centre.
Birth: On birth-day, once you are on the way to the hospital/ birth centre I will set up 3 way video call with myself, you and your partner. Your partner will be automatically added to the call. We can do this via Zoom or Whatsapp. I will remain on the call with you and your partner for however long it takes. I will help you with answering any questions, giving you guidance on optimal positioning, guide you through affirmations and pain relief, speak with any healthcare professional on your behalf for you where necessary.
Postnatal: 5 3hr postnatal sessions (1-2 sessions per week) where I come and see you/ your baby in person to debrief your birth, support you with feeding and sleep, massage and acupressure, cooking and troubleshooting. I am there to love you both, keep you company, make you laugh & admire you and your baby. Locations: I am based in North London and I support births all over London. I also serve St Albans and Watford. If you are outside of these areas please get in touch as I may be able to support you given that some of my services have moved online or recommend someone who can/ might be a better fit for you. Fees: £1917.50 (including VAT).
I operate a sliding scale in order to be able to accomodate clients from many different backgrounds. If you are struggling financially and would like a doula, do not let fees put you off, get in touch and I will be happy to work something out. I also offer a discounted price for women and birthing people of colour given that black and brown women are more likely to die during childbirth (for information/ evidence on this please click here). Payment plans are also available. Payment plans: Intitial non refundable payment of £500 and 5 payments of £283.50 (all VAT inclusive so there are no hidden charges). No terms apply other than your final payment must have been made by your 36th week of pregnancy. Every person who needs a doula should have one. If you would like to book this package then please get in touch here. Alternatively, many women and birthing people at the moment are choosing to birth at home. For more information on homebirth support click here. If you are wondering whether or not a doula is for you, or if you might need one, check out my FAQ section on labour and birth here. COVID guildeines: All COVID packages will involve being as safe as possibe. I will be wearing PPE and will be adhering to the guidelines relating to handwashing and distance where possible. Of course as a birth doula it's inevitable for us to come into very close contact so I will be wearing a mask and minimising my other bookings so as to leave space between seeing/ visiting clients. I will be monitoring myself for any symptoms and expect you to do the same also. You and everyone in your household (immediate bubble) do not need to wear a mask however if there is anyone from outside of your immediate bubble present during any of our sessions or during labour whilst at home, they will need to wear a mask and maintain distance also.

*Whilst I am happy to help support you during a freebirth, I do not replace the role of a Healthcare Professional or midwife and do not act in a clinical manner.




Freebirth Doula Support


Lets start off with the law...
Legally you are allowed to freebirth (or birth unassisted by medical/ healthcare professionsals) in the UK. As outlined in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (and protected under the common law of England and Wales) you have the right to make decisions about your body for yourself, known as the principle of autonomy. For more information on this, click here. The reality
The reality is that you will likely recieve pressure from healthcare professionals for healthcare professionals to be present during your birth. You may be told things like "it's not safe", "your baby might die" and as such some healthcare professionals may threaten to involve social services under the presumption that there is a safeguarding/ child protection issue. My view
I am happy to support clients who choose to freebirth and understand that for some women and birthing people, the idea of medical intervention or presence is exactly the opposite of what they might want. I also understand that birth at the moment is becoming more and more of a medicalised event and that we are moving away from natural physiological birth. Because of this, some birthing women and people feel unsafe within a medicalised environment or with medical professionals present, particularly those who have experienced birth trauma. I believe in bodily autonomy and that as long as you are fully informed, you should be free to birth however and wherever you would like. This includes birthing at home without the support or intervention of medical professionals. I am happy to discuss with you the options available for support. It's important to note however that my role as a doula is not clinical. I do not replace a midwife or obstetrician, and if we are a good fit and I choose to support you, that I will only be supporting you in my capacity as a holistic, non clinical, doula. If you are interested in booking this package or talking about freebirth some more, you can get in touch with me here. I operate a sliding scale in order to be able to accomodate clients from many different backgrounds. If you are struggling financially and would like a doula, do not let fees put you off, get in touch and I will be happy to work something out. I also offer a discounted price for women and birthing people of colour given that black and brown women are more likely to die during childbirth (for information/ evidence on this please click here). Payment plans are also available.




COVID 19 Homebirth Doula Support


Antenatal/ Postnatal Sessions: Either in person or via Zoom depending on your preference. Birth Support/ Labour Support: Either in person or via Zoom depending on your preference. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, many trusts have a closed door policy on birth partners and visitors making birth support that bit more challenging. As a result, many women and birthing people are choosing to birth at home. Are home births safe? The short answer is yes. The most recent and up to date evidence on the subject says that in “The risk of perinatal or neonatal mortality was not different when birth was intended at home or in hospital". It has also been said that homebirths are safer for those labelled as "high risk". For more information on this, you can read the lovely Dr Sarah Wickham's page here. This package includes: Antental: Up to 10 2hr antental preparation sessions where we discuss your pregnancy, history, health, nutrition, preparing your body for optimal labouring, stages of labour, bodily biomechanics, pain management and side effects, alternative forms of pain relief, hypnobirthing & affirmations, your legal rights, your birth plan, what happens if you need to transfer, what to pack in your hospital/ birth bag just in case, breastfeeding/ feeding, the fourth trimester, baby sleep guidance. On call from 38-42 weeks. This means I am available 24/7 for you if you go into labour. Additional COVID sessions: Discussion on just in case scenarios (like a transfer) & what to expect with the COVID situation, what your specific trust advises, how to get around obstacles where possible, what you can do & say in certain situations, what to do in case you/ your baby get separated if things don't go to plan, taking care of your immediate postnatal body, ways to make caring for your baby easier if you don't have the support required during a stay hospital. Birth: On birth-day, once you are in established labour, I make my way to your birthing space (no matter what time of day it is). During labour I provide you with physical, spiritual, psychological and emotional support. There are many ways that I can support you, some of those ways include:

  • Protecting your space
  • Talking therapy/ coaching
  • Affirmations/ guidance/ Hypnobirthing
  • Massage
  • Mindful touch
  • Guidance on optimal positioning
  • Rocking/ Swaying/ Getting into trance movement
  • Playing music
  • Dancing/ singing
  • Accupressure
  • Talking (or silence)
  • Making the birth atmosphere calm and peaceful
  • Advocating on your behalf to any midwife/ healthcare professional
  • Supporting your partner in supporting you
  • Making you food snacks
  • Cold/ Hot compresses
  • Helping to clean the birth space afterwards
  • ... and more!
But ultimately, I intuitively follow you. You may want all of these things and more, or you may just want to know I am nearby but would like to remain as undisturbed as possible. Either way, we follow your lead. Postnatal: 5 3hr postnatal sessions (1-2 sessions per week) where I come and see you/ your baby in person to debrief your birth, support you with feeding and sleep, massage and acupressure, cooking and troubleshooting. I am there to love you both, keep you company, make you laugh & admire you and your baby. Locations: I am based in North London and I support births all over London. I also serve St Albans and Watford. If you are outside of these areas please get in touch as I may be able to support you given that some of my services have moved online or recommend someone who can/ might be a better fit for you. Fees: £1917.50 (including VAT).

I operate a sliding scale in order to be able to accomodate clients from many different backgrounds. If you are struggling financially and would like a doula, do not let fees put you off, get in touch and I will be happy to work something out. I also offer a discounted price for women and birthing people of colour given that black and brown women are more likely to die during childbirth (for information/ evidence on this please click here). Payment plans are also available. Payment plans: Intitial non refundable payment of £500 and 5 payments of £283.50 (all VAT inclusive so there are no hidden charges). No terms apply other than your final payment must have been made by your 36th week of pregnancy. Every person who needs a doula should have one. If you would like to book this package then please get in touch here. If you are wondering whether or not a doula is for you, or if you might need one, check out my FAQ section on labour and birth here. COVID guildeines: All COVID packages will involve being as safe as possibe. I will be wearing PPE and will be adhering to the guidelines relating to handwashing and distance where possible. Of course as a birth doula it's inevitable for us to come into very close contact so I will be wearing a mask and minimising my other bookings so as to leave space between seeing/ visiting clients. I will be monitoring myself for any symptoms and expect you to do the same also. You and everyone in your household (immediate bubble) do not need to wear a mask however if there is anyone from outside of your immediate bubble present during any of our sessions or during labour whilst at home, they will need to wear a mask and maintain distance also.

*Whilst I am happy to help support you during a freebirth, I do not replace the role of a Healthcare Professional or midwife and do not act in a clinical manner.





8 Reasons to have a birth doula

1. More likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth
 

2. Less likely to have a c- section
 

3. Less likely to have any pain medication or epidurals
 

4. Less likely to have an assisted vaginal delivery (with forceps or a ventouse)
 

5. More likely to have a labour shortened by 40 minutes
 

6. More likely to have a baby with a higher Apgar score
 

7. Less likely to suffer from postnatal depression (PND)
 

8. More likely to have positive memories of birth

(Evidence Based Birth)

 
Frequently Asked Questions

1.

Can I have a doula if I am having a c-section?


Yes, doulas support clients having elective and emergency c-sections, See points 6, 7 & 8 on my 8 reasons to have a doula above.

3.

In my birth plan I would like to include pain relief in the form of an epidural, would you still support me?

Having a doula has been shown to reduce the need for pain relief however we are here to support you birth your baby, how YOU want. Birth is challenging. There are no medals for getting through it with no pain relief. We are here to support you birth your baby, however you want to do that.

5.

I am a birth/ medical professional, would I need a doula?

Yes, everyone who needs a doula should have one. As a HCP you will have a special understanding of how overstretched the NHS is, so it helps to have a doula by your side (who isn't rushing to be anywhere) to advocate for you and ensure your wishes are heard. When you are in labour your focus will be on birthing a baby (parent mode!) and not professional mode.

7.

My partner is really supportive, would we still need a doula?

This is a common one. Having a supportive partner is great, however in the moment they too are going through the birthing process. Doulas are there to support and advocate for you both and help you both navigate your way through the birth world. By having your partner, they can get on with supporting you whilst your doula handles other things (including supporting them in supporting you).

2.

I had a doula for my first birth, will I need a doula for my second?


Yes! As birth can be very unpredictable, this may mean your next birth is different to the first, it's better to be prepared and have someone with you to guide you through every step of the way.

4.

Due to COVID do I have to give birth in hospital?

No, you can give birth wherever you like. Some birthing people have chosen to birth at home or in a birth centre during the pandemic. Carefully evaluate all your options. For more info on this, have a look at my packages here.

6.

I am very good at advocating for myself, would I still need a doula?

I would say yes! Many lawyers (who are often excellent advocates) employ, are represented by, and work in teams with other advocates.

Advocacy is also only one part of what a doula does. Doulas are there for you antentally, during labour and postnatally. They guide, inform, educate and research. They analyse, have your back and support your whole family dynamic.

Birthing without a doula in this day and age is the same as going to court without a lawyer. You just wouldn't do it.
 @The Egyptian Doula
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Contact Info

Tel: +447724 217809

Email: yasmin@TheEgyptianDoula.co.uk

Based in North London, covering London, St Albans and Watford.

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© 2021 by The Egyptian Doula Ltd| Registered Company no. 12811874 I All Rights Reserved.

The Egyptian Doula Ltd.
International House,
64 Nile Street,
London,
N1 7SR,
United Kingdom