Doula Questions and Answers Page
Congratulations on your Pregnancy or the Birth of your new baby. Please have a look at Mother and Bump Doula Service pages and if you would like a informal chat please give me a call.
What is a Birth Doula
A Doula is a trained Birthing and Postnatal Companion that provides you and your partner with practical and emotional support in the final weeks of your pregnancy, during labour and birth and in the early postnatal period.
We can help you to make informed choices, as well as support where you wish to have your baby such as a birthing centre, at home or in a hospital.
Doulas' believe in 'Mothering' the mother by focussing on you and your individual needs and giving you a continuity of care, which in turn supports the partner. This enables the Mother and the family to feel relaxed and supported during their journey to parenthood.
Are Doulas midwifes?
Although Doulas have knowledge of the birthing process, we are not medically trained and do not replace midwifes. We are not there to undermine midwives, but to strengthen the support you are receiving from your midwifery team and to ultimately complement it.
What is the advantage of hiring a Birthing Doula?
At the present time within the NHS setting, there is a huge shortage of Midwifes; 5000 across England to be precise and only 800 in London. Our Maternity system is under huge strain as Midwifes are no longer able to offer one to one care. Expectant mothers normally have a team of Midwifes and are very lucky if they manage to have the same Midwife for labour and birth, and even if they are, Midwifes are assigned to a number of labouring women at the same time. Therefore, it is physically impossible for the midwife to offer sole clinical and emotional support. Doulas complement Midwifes as we solely look after the mother’s emotional and practical needs, and are a constant throughout the labour, birth and early postnatal hours. This helps the mother to remain as calm and relaxed as possible as well as her Birthing Partners.
The Benefits of Hiring a Birthing Doula
A recent report in the United States (Mothering the Mother by Kennel, Klaus and Kennel), showed that caesarean births could be cut by half, labour duration could be reduced by 25% and the odds of forceps delivery reduced by 40% if women have the support of a doula during labour. Below are the some more of the benefits.
- ·30% reduction in requests of pain relief
- ·25% reduction in the length of labour
- · 60% reduction in epidurals
- ·50% fewer caesarean sections
Are Doulas only hired to support the Mother?
A Doula is essentially there to help the mother, but as is common, an expectant or new father have their own fears and anxieties, which are often overlooked. A Doula would offer emotional support to help reassure the father and talk through any questions or feelings they have. This simple exercise can help the father be a more productive and supportive birth/postnatal partner, which can only be a benefit to a new or expectant mother. Postnatal Doulas are also hired to help with tasks such as house cleaning, shopping or general errands. This can be shared or taken away from the father, giving him time to adjust and bond with the baby or to further support his partner.
What is a Postnatal Doula's role?
A Postnatal Doula is hired in the first few weeks or months after birth. A Postnatal Doula will provide you with emotional support, as well as practical support such as helping you with the care of your baby, looking after your baby while you have a nap to catch up on sleep, as well as cooking and cleaning and running the house if need be. Overall the Postnatal Doula is there to support you and therefore enable you to get on with bonding with your baby.
Research has shown that having the support of a Postnatal Doula can ease mothers into motherhood by taking the strain off of you and your partner. This will create less pressure, allowing both parents to rest easier and adjust to the new sleeping patterns.
A Postnatal Doula can be hired to work full time or for just a few hours per week. This is dependent on the mother’s needs and the Doula’s availability.
Can you hire a Birth Doula and follow on with Postnatal Doula Care?
You may also decide to hire your Birth Doula for Postnatal Care as well. This will need to be discussed at your first meeting. At your first meeting, we will discuss your requirements and also if there is availability to provide this service to you.
Which Areas are covered?
South East London
What Hospitals will you attend?
St Thomas Hospital (London)
Kings College Hospital
Darent Valley Hospital
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
The Princess Royal University Hospital
Do you attend Home Births and Birthing Centres?
Yes I am happy to support you wherever you wish to labour and birth your baby.
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