The Doula

You can find my public doula profile on DoulaUK here. 


PLEASE NOTE: 
AS I HAVE HAD MY OWN BABY THIS SEPTEMBER (2017) I WILL NOT BE TAKING POSTNATAL CLIENTS UNTIL 2018.



This is a general FAQ – more to be added as and when it's needed.

What is a Doula?
In basic terms, a doula is a woman (more often than not) who will support a woman, and her partner if she has one, through pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. Women have supported other women in birth for hundreds of years. We are helpers, supporters and teachers for the new mother in a time and place where information is abundant and difficult to navigate.


What does a Doula do?
A doula can do a wide range of things, it really just depends on your needs. Mostly we will provide you with information and emotional support. Antenatally, we can help you understand what your options are when making preferences for your birth, we can join you on appointments if you have nobody else to go with and help you get your voice heard, we can be at the end of the phone, or an e-mail. During birth, we can help with a strong and grounding presence, with reassurance and validation – some studies say that the presence of a doula can shorten a first time labour by two hours, and decrease the risk of pain medication and caesareans (by 50%!), as well as helping fathers feel more a part of the process. And postnatally we can help with other children, with breastfeeding support, with all of those "is this normal" questions. In actuality, many find that the mere presence of a doula is more important that what she actually does, the presence of a doula can help towards the labouring woman's state of relaxation. If your mind is occupied by if you've turned the oven off or not you won't be in the moment with your birth and it can really hinder your progress.


Why do I need one?
I can't really tell you that. That's for you to decide. As I said, we can give you support and information that you may otherwise not feel like you've got. Many people will have their partners involved in pregnancies, but they often don't feel as connected or supported as they'd like. Many people will have their mothers involved and, again, it can feel as if they're not supported enough, it may be awkward to talk about certain physical changes. We can be there for you when you're feeling teary, or when you have a question that you think is silly. We keep up to date on guidelines and information surrounding the whole process.


What can you offer me as a doula that others cant?
It is definitely not a case that this is something that others can't offer you, but my experience lies in the emotional side of support concerning previous loss because I have been there. If you have had a previous miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal loss of any kind, I can understand that on a personal level. I've had the same. I can understand the intricacies of the things you may be thinking and the guilt that may be associated with it, I can understand the anxieties and help you to feel like you're not going crazy. I will be able to hold your hand through the pregnancy, and to be a presence when you feel nervous about going into hospital with a worry. I can help you to distract yourself in your final weeks, or help you find a way to ground yourself. I can listen to things that you think other people might judge you for saying, and feeling. I have looked into, and am more than willing to share with you, the information needed that might make you feel better when baby is born, in terms of safe sleep, feeding, signs to watch out for, and other people to contact.


I am there for you, whether that is helping you through an uncomplicated and unmedicated birth at home, or through a high-risk caesarean delivery. Whatever you want for your birth I will support you, I will make sure you have all the information to make those informed decisions, and we'll go with it.

I will always suggest that you talk to other doulas, though. After all, you need to find the right person, the right fit, for you.


Why did you decide to be a doula?
As I've written on my public doula profile: my first pregnancy was uncomplicated and quite lonely, which was why I decided a doula would be a good idea – it was either that or go through the birth alone and I am beyond grateful to DoulaUK and the Access Fund for allowing me that opportunity – also why I am an Access Fund volunteer, and will work with you to arrange something suitable.


In general, I’m just passionate about women, about conceiving, pregnancy, birth, and am using the work as a doula to build up a deeper knowledge and understanding. This means that I quite enjoy the more medical and scientific side of things, too. I want to help you feel like you have made the decisions, and you have been in control of your experiences.

Personal experience of pregnancy and infant loss pushed me to deciding that I wanted to give others the support I was not given. I want be there for other people at every point in pregnancy and parenting, including termination, adoption, surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss. I believe that having somebody by your side with the intimate understanding of these things can make you feel much more relaxed, and really that's the goal!