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What is a doula?

The word ‘doula’ comes from a Greek word meaning ‘woman’s servant’

For thousands of years women traditionally gave birth whilst being attended to and supported by other women. As birth has become a medicalised event, this age-old tradition has sadly become less and less common.

A doula is somebody who provides unconditional support and reassurance to a woman and her family through the transitional stages of pregnancy, labour, birth and the postpartum period.  

 

Doulas are not medically trained and do not take on a clinical role, instead we provide continuous emotional, physical, mental and spiritual support as needed, we can also advocate on your behalf and communicate with healthcare providers regarding your wishes.

 

As doulas we cannot give advice however, we can provide informational support to help you make informed decisions about your maternity care.

 

There are many types of doulas and support can be provided through periods such as pre-conception, fertility treatment, through a termination, miscarriage or stillbirth, antenatally, birth, postnatally, post-partum, parenting years and end of life.

Doula care is so individualised and can mean so many different things to different people which is why creating a good, trusting relationship with your doula can help us to tailor our service to exactly what you need.

 

Doulas are not only there for the happy joyful times which are wonderful but we are here to support you through times of trauma, loss and sadness.

What is a postnatal doula?

Postnatal doula support is for after your baby has been born and can be booked by the hour separately to birth doula services.

This flexible support is tailored to your own needs and wishes. You may need practical support within the home, emotional support, a listening ear or even support with accessing any services you need. 

Each person’s and family’s needs differ and this is where postnatal doula support can be so helpful and sometimes a lifeline in the first few weeks post birth.

 

A postnatal doula can

  • Offer family support

  • Help you to access services such as breastfeeding or physio

  • Provide overnight support, maternity support or help with new-born care

  • Give you emotional support

  • Care for your baby whilst you sleep, shower, go for a walk or have some time out

  • Debrief you and help you to process your birth experience

  • Provide infant feeding support

  • Provide breastfeeding support

  • Support partner/siblings/family members

  • Go food shopping

  • Provide an extra pair of hands for siblings

 

Postnatal doula hours are charged at £23 per hour 9am-7pm to be booked for a minimum of 2 hours & £23 per hour 7pm-9am, to be booked for a minimum of 4 hours.

These can be given to someone on a gift voucher as the perfect present for someone having a baby.

Postnatal doula hours can be incorporated in to any doula support package

Image by Rebekah Vos

What we as doulas can do..

  • Be an unconditional ally and support system throughout

  • Signpost you to evidence based information to help you make informed choices

  • Provide emotional support & be a listening ear

  • Help with relaxation techniques breathing, movement, positioning, birth pool etc.

  • Create a calm birth environment

  • Provide soothing touch with massage or acupressure

  • Provide aromatherapy

  • Hold space for you

  • Advocate on your behalf 

  • Small tasks around the house

  • Supporting dad/birthing partner in their new role as parent

  • Provide continuous support and care in to the postpartum period

What we as doulas cannot do...

  • Tell you what to do or decide

  • Clinical tasks such as vaginal examinations or fetal heart rate monitoring

  • Give medical advice or diagnoses

  • Make decisions on your behalf

  • Catch the baby

  • Give our own opinion or views

  • Change shift or leave earlier than arranged

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