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.
What I do: I am your guide
I dont mother the mother.
I'm sure if you've been on enough birth doula websites or spoken to enough doulas you'll have seen this phrase pretty often: Mothering The Mother.
Here are 3 reasons why I dont Mother The Mother.
1. During birth there are many birthing people who have mothers present and cannot identify with the concept of a doula mothering the mother.
2. There are also many birthing people who don't identify as the binary concept of a female/ woman/ mother.
3. There are many people who have toxic relationships with their mothers, and mothering to those people does not come with positive associations.
How I serve you
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.
8 Reasons to have a birth doula
Some statistics on the benefits of having a birth and postnatal 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
Birth Doula Packages
Due to the overmedicalisation of the birth world and NHS strain, the rights of the birthing person are becoming less heard.
Labour and Birth:
This package is if you need emergency birth doula support.
Your name and relationship to the birthing person
Antenatal or Postnatal Only
Virtual Doula Support
I am happy to offer virtual antental, birth and postnatal doula support due to the current situation with COVID-19. Please email me directly for more information firstname.lastname@example.org