A doula's support
The act of informing, assisting, and embracing. The art of listening, supporting, and empowering. All done prenatally, during labour, and after.
A doula will help support your choices but won't make them for you. Instead a doula will help you to make the most informed choice you can and help you to feel empowered in those choices.
When you feel you have no voice or have lost your power, a doula will remind you just why you chose the path you are on and reassure you that how you feel is important.
A doula will protect your space, the space around your family, and the space where you give birth.
"Women should be permitted and encouraged to have a birth partner present with them in their labour and during birth. Having a trusted birth partner present throughout labour is known to make a significant difference to the safety and well-being of women in childbirth. A single, asymptomatic birth partner should be permitted to stay with the woman, at a minimum, through pregnancy and birth, unless the birth occurs under general anaesthetic. Additional restrictions, such as limiting the number of birth partners to one, restricting any visitors to antenatal or postnatal wards, and preventing swapping and postnatal visitors, should follow hospital policy."
The Importance of Continuous Birth Support
Guidelines from The Royal College of Midwives
Did you know...
That having continuous support during labour can have a positive effect on the mother and the outcome of the birth
The continuous support of a doula reduces the risk of having a Caesarean section by 39%
Doula support led to a 15% increase in the likelihood of spontaneous vaginal birth
Continuous support throughout labour can decrease the risk of dissatisfaction in the birth experience by 31%
Doula support also decreased the length of labour by an average of 41 minutes
Evidence taken from Cochrane Review updated and published by Megan A Bohren et al in 2017.
Does a doula replace the father or partner?
No way! Fathers, partners, mothers are sometimes the most important supports that a mama needs, so as a doula we are there to support them too. Whether it's coaching them through what massage techniques are helpful, giving them information or being able to step in if they need to rest or go for a wee, we are an additional support in the room.
Is a doula not just the same as a midwife?
Doulas and midwives have different roles when it comes to pregnancy and birth. Doulas do not provide medical care but we are there to support you emotionally, mentally, and physically throughout your journey. Midwives, with their extensive medical training, have the important job of keeping you and your baby safe.
Can a doula help me if I want a c-section?
Yes and a doula will support any choice you make for your birth, even if your plans suddenly change. A doula may or may not be able to come into the theatre but we will be there for you as soon as you come out. A doula is often a great support to have after a c-section because we can support you when you are less mobile and give you more space and time to recover by helping with baby, any other children, and doing things around the home.
When is the best time to get a doula?
It's great for you and your doula to get to know each other before the birth so planning a couple of catch-ups before you are due is a good idea. However, no matter where you are in your journey, a doula will try to give you the support that you need. If you find yourself having lots of questions from the moment you find out you are pregnant or you suddenly want more support after the baby is born, give a doula a shout.