So, what on earth is a doula?
A doula is a birth companion who can offer nurture and support during pregnancy, throughout labour and birth, and postnatally. The doula's primary responsibility is the birthing mother. A doula is not a medical professional and as such, does not replace your midwife or your doctor. Similarly, a doula does not replace the support of your partner (if you have one), but equally supports him or her, so they can continue caring for you during this period.
Research suggests that the presence of a doula during pregnancy and birth highly increases the chances of a natural birth without interventions, and can have an overall positive effect on the birth experience. Click here to find out more.
However, having a doula is not a guarantee to having a “perfect birth”. It is about creating a connection with the mother, providing love, knowledge and constant support in order to empower her to embrace her birth experience, however that happens. It is about letting the mother have her space so that she can focus inwards without being afraid, follow her intuition, take informed decisions, be proud of her own strength and unique and amazing ability to grow, nurture, and bring new life to this planet.
Pregnancy and childbirth are unpredictable and things may go differently from what you had in mind, but it is important that during this process you feel in control of your choices, positive and content with whatever goes different. Above all, you should feel loved, respected and supported. The role of the doula is to support the mother so that she can feel comfortable, confident and in control; to support and trust your instinct and your body to help you prepare during pregnancy, birth and the early days of motherhood.
No matter how things go and how different they turn out to be, birth is a truly wonderful experience and the more confident you feel, the better and more beautiful your memories of it will be. As well as your loving partner, having the continuous support of a doula as a birth companion during this wonderful period can bring a truly empowering and positive birthing experience.
What can I offer you?
- I will help you create the birth environment and atmosphere that YOU wish to have have a joyful and positive birth experience.
- I will empower you to trust your instincts and your body, while providing you with evidence-based information and suggesting reading material to facilitate your decisions.
- I am here to assist you without judgement, whether you want to birth at home or in a hospital and regardless of your pregnancy being ‘low risk' or ‘high risk.
- I will help you prepare to adapt to different scenarios if things don't go ‘to plan', and embrace this positively, without anxiety, self-doubt, fear or regret.
- I will meet with you a few times (approx 2-3) during your pregnancy to discuss your preferences, questions or concerns you may have.
- I will make sure that you feel comfortable, loved and cared for. I will hold your hand when you need me to. I will give you space when you ask for it.
- I can help facilitate communication between yourself, your partner and NHS staff.
- I will offer you my continuous assistance and companionship during the birthing process.
- I can assist with practical things! Make a cup of tea, help fill the bathtub or birthing pool, decorate the room to create YOUR birthing space, suggest some pranayama (breathing) exercises, active birthing positions, give a gentle massage, use my wonderful Mexican rebozos to assist you during contraction, take turns with your partner so he or she can have a rest.
- Following birth, I will visit you at your home to assist you and if you wish, discuss and debrief your birth experience. I will listen to you.
- I will support you without interfering in the magical first days that you share with your newborn.
- I will help you settle as a mum and enjoy those first moments and as a new family, no matter if this is your first or your fifth baby.
What will I not do?
- I will never interfere with your choices, or give you any biased advice.
- I will not give medical advice or diagnosis. I will not perform any medical tasks (such as vaginal exams, checking baby's heart rate, delivering the baby) or in any way try to replace your midwife or your doctor.
- I will not pretend to know things I don't know and will never use remedies or treatments that I am not experienced and trained to use. (I could point you in the direction of other professionals if you wish to try more alternative therapies).
- I will not replace the role of your partner.
- I will not under any circumstances take decisions for you and let my personal opinions get in the way of your decisions.
- I will not get involved or solve any family or couple conflicts.
- My role as a doula will not involve antagonising medical staff and midwives, but working together with them and with your partner, so we can all support you to have a beautiful birth experience.
- I will not disturb you while you are in labour, calm and focused preparing for the arrival of your baby.
My aim is to be here for you and for your partner, because I know I wouldn't be the mother I am today without the nurture, love and care that I received during my pregnancy and birth. I will be honoured to accompany you on this journey and to support you throughout your pregnancy, birth and the beginning of the amazing adventure that motherhood is.
I strongly believe that there is a doula for every mother, and I encourage you to meet with various doulas before choosing the right one for you. I offer you a first consultation meeting, free of charge, so you can get to know me and decide whether I am the right birth companion for you. So please don't hesitate to get in touch and let's meet for a chat and a cuppa!
Prenatal, Birth & Postnatal Support
I am based in Edinburgh and currently only work within the city. As your Doula I aim to adapt to your particular circumstances and needs. If you feel that I may be the right Doula for you, please get in touch for pricing information and details of the packages that I offer and to arrange a free consultation.
I offer short-notice exclusively postnatal support to mothers who have had premature babies, as this is a matter very close to my heart. Please do not hesitate to get in touch and I will do my best to be there to support you both physically and emotionally within the first 24-48 hours of your baby's premature birth.