What I am 'do-ulaing' right now
People often ask, "What does a doula do?" So here are just some of the things I am currently doing in my role as a doula.
Updated November 2021
Here are some of the amazing clients I am currently working with...
It is so good to be back in the birth room and supporting parents to bring their babies into the world. It never fails to amaze me just how strong and capable women and birthing people are and how much a
Supporting a new family of 5 as they navigate the new dynamics of life with 3 children; a school goer, a pre-schooler and a newborn. The highs and lows of postpartum recovery whilst also nurturing 2 breastfed babes and having a small network of family and friend support
First time parents thriving during their postpartum period and continuing to use their instincts to make decisions about the care of their baby and what feels right for them.
A solo mum to be on her preparations for her birth and postnatal period. I will be supporting her in person once her baby is born and throughout her 4th trimester.
Always learning and unlearning
Education and Experience
With every client I support, I learn so many new things and I am building a library of resources that will help to support future clients. I am also always seeking education that will support my work as a doula. In particular, understanding cultural practices that support pregnancy, birth and postpartum care and supporting diversity in birth too.
I am now a certified Birth Becomes You birth photographer. It's been a long time coming but I am so glad to have completed this course. It has really helped me to step out of my comfort zone and find my creativity when it comes to photography but also to see it as much more than taking a picture. The images I capture are a snap shot into people's lives at a beautiful but vulnerable time and with that comes privilege and a huge amount of respect for allowing me into their space. I cannot wait to get back to doing what I love.
I have witnessed a lot of challenges around support for breastfeeding at the moment so I am considering increasing my knowledge by taking a further breast/chest/body feeding course.
Last month I learnt more about the physiology and biomechanics of birth through the Optimal Birthing Birth workers course. The insights offered are especially powerful in cases of obstructed labour but are also highly effective in helping most labouring women and people have a more comfortable and easier birth.
Working to make positive change in the pregnancy, birth and early parenting world.
Birth World Work
Sharing the voices and experiences of other people is a privilege and I am so grateful to the clients that allow me to do this. A mum I recently supported on her solo journey has shared her experience via my blog 'Mama Musings' and highlights how doula support helped her during her pregnancy, birth and postnatal period.
My work with Birthrights is on going and this month we heard from NICE on their proposed guidelines for induction. If you are not aware of the proposal, here is a link to more information about why the recommendations were hugely problematic and racist in their approach.
I shared my voice and personal experiences on racial disparities in the maternity care system with The Guardian newspaper who are doing lots of work to spread the word of the inquiry.
Looking after my physical and mental health
Being a doula has an impact on my physical and mental health. In order to support others, I need to look after myself.
After taking the month of September off to be self-ish, I feel ready to take the step into a new season in my life. So much has changed in this period of time including becoming a co-parenting mama! This transition from being in a couple to being single has been happening for a while but this month saw this becoming a reality. We are still working through what this looks like as co parents but I am so grateful to have had the time to be able to sit with my feelings and support my daughter through hers. The next chapter is very exciting for us all.
Life as a working mama
Although transitioning into school and a new family dynamic has been tough and very challenging at times, my little legs has done so well at being in and explaining how she is feeling. It has been hard to see her less herself. Seeing our normally confident and expressive girl become shy and withdrawn was hard but I am so glad she is finding her way again. Transitions are hard but she is the perfect example of the growth that comes with change.