The word ‘doula’ is a Greek word meaning ‘woman servant or caregiver’ but is better defined as “a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth”
A doula (also known as a birth attendant) believes in ‘mothering the mother’. She enables a woman and her partner to have the most satisfying birth experience possible.
Doulas are trained in the art of antenatal, labour, birth and postnatal support, and have a keen eye and intuition into what a mother needs – all the little details which a hospital midwife unfortunately does not always have time for (as much as they may want to). And, the things your partner may not pick up on, or situations they may not know how to deal with.
A doula does not offer medical advice, that is the job of the midwife or doctor.
Should a birth become complicated and require medical intervention, a doula will still remain by your side and help in any way she can. She will not make decisions for those she supports, but she will assist them through the decision making process. A doula provides balanced information so the couple can make their own choices.
Every Doula is different and it is important that you find one who is the right fit for you.
I am able to help you if:
- You are planning a natural birth
- You are planning a caesarean birth
- You are planning a VBAC
- You are unsure about your birth options
- You are having your first baby
- You are having your second, third, fourth etc baby
- You are a single mum
- You are nervous about birth
- Your partner is nervous about birth
- You have a loving, supportive partner
- Your previous birth experience wasn't so positive
- Your previous birth was great but you are interested in looking at your options
- You are a new mum who feels unsatisfied by her recent birth
- You are a new mum who would like some support or information on breastfeeding, sleeping, settling or other aspects of adjusting to life with a newborn
As you can see, a Doula is able to help you no matter what your circumstances are.
Please have a look over the "Services" page for more information, or contact me to discuss how I can be of assistance to you.
The use of a Doula is actually recommended by the World Health Organisation who advise that the use of a Doula lowers a mothers chances of intervention by 70%
A review of studies from around the world has concluded that a doula is THE most effective support person that you can have (even more so than hospital staff, partners, friends or family).
Proven benefits of using a Doula include:
- fewer caesarean sections
- reduction in the use of forceps and vacuum
- fewer requests for epidurals
- less likely to experience 'pain' during birth
- more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births (less inductions or augmentations of labour)
- reduction in the use of pain medication
- reduction in labour length
- better APGAR scores for baby at birth
- greater birth satisfaction postpartum
- increased rates of breastfeeding (and continued breastfeeding)
- decreased rates of postnatal stress, anxiety and depression
- greater birth experiences for the dad/partner