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“It just felt like we had our best friend with us in the delivery room” – Birth Doula client
What is a Doula?
A doula, also known as a birth companion, birth coach or post-birth supporter, is a non-medical person who assists a woman before, during and after childbirth, to provide emotional and physical support if needed. They may also provide support to the mother’s partner and family.
This is the wikipedia definition of a doula, although its correct, there’s a lot more to being a doula. Personally I don’t think it can be defined in one way, but hopefully the information below will give you an idea of how I can help.
Why hire a Doula?
- Continuity of support through pregnancy, birth and postnatally
- Support at home during earlier labour
- Support for birth partner
- Lower risk of caesarean births by up to 39%
- Increased likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal delivery by up to 15%
- Lower risk of instrumental birth
- Less need for pain relief and medication by up to 10%
- Lower rate of induction of birth
- Increased chance of a satisfying birth experience by 31%
- Shorter labour by about 41 minutes
- Higher success rate for establishing breastfeeding
- Continuing support at home after the baby is born
- 38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low 5 minute APGAR score
- A doula comes with a wealth of knowledge and will provide evidence-based facts
What I’ll do for you as a birth doula
My aim is to make you feel safe, supported, loved and empowered to achieve your best birth possible.
You will receive my physical, emotional and practical support, along with the knowledge I have learnt over the years. You will have access to my Elle TENS + machine and to the contents of my famous doula bag!
I can support any birth type e.g. hospital, home, birth centre, water, active birth, VBAC, caesarean birth, birth after loss, physiological birth or birth using any pain relief options.
I will support your birth partner and will work alongside your midwife and any doctors. It’s in everyone’s best interests to get along and work together to achieve a positive birth experience.
I will hold your hand, mop your brow, bring you drinks and snacks but I can also advise on optimal foetal positioning, how to sustain energy, active birth positions, breathing techniques for the various stages of birth, I can support you through surges (contractions), offer affirmations, visualisations and explain anything you’re unsure of. I will be there for anything you need and to remind you that you are amazing, strong and a powerful person who can do this!
Birth doula package:
- An informal chat for around 30 minutes.
- I will come to your home for a pre-birth/antenatal visit, lasting around 2 hours.
- Around 4 weeks before your due date I will visit again for around 2 hours, this will be another antenatal session where we will also discuss the logistics and practicalities for the big day.
- I will go on call 2 weeks before your due date, and join you at home at an agreed time once labour commences. I will always be within 90 minutes of reaching you, during the on-call period.
- I provide unlimited phone support, emails, provide signposting and text messages during the on-call period.
- I will be with you throughout your birth, whether that’s for 2 hours, 24 hours or more.
- After the baby is born I will stay with you until you are happy for me to leave.
- Around 1 week after the birth I will visit you at home for a de-brief, to admire your baby and to see if there’s anything I can help with, this visit is normally about an hour in length.
As a birth doula I cover an area of approx. 1 hours drive around my home in Chelmsford, Essex, but other areas will be considered.