“If I don’t know my options, I don’t have any” ~ Diana Korte
I wholeheartedly believe that every woman has the right to give birth exactly as she chooses, in an environment that promotes a calm and unhurried atmosphere. I’m passionate about birth and the importance of woman-to-woman support. My goal is to build deep trust and understanding with every client so she feels able to let go and tune into her primal instincts.
My support extends to the husband or partner, in that I do all I can to enable them to be the best birth and parental companion they can be. I set out to create a confident and peaceful backdrop for what is an incredible and life-changing event.
“This person (your birth partner) must be someone you can trust absolutely, who understands your priorities, can communicate well, and with whom you can relax and feel free to reveal yourself” ~ The New Experience of Childbirth, Sheila Kitzinger
The first step
If you would like to meet me to find out if I’m the right doula for you, an initial meeting is free and with no obligation. It’s a chance to explore how a doula might best support you and your family, address any questions you have and for us to learn a little more about one another. Chemistry is an extremely important part of the doula-client relationship, so this meeting is an ideal opportunity to see whether we might be a good fit. Doula UK has a list of prospective questions, which may help you to think about what you’d like to discuss with me.
A doula at your birth
The range of support provided by a doula during childbirth may include:
- physical assistance and comfort, including massage, help with good posture and positioning, breathing and relaxation techniques;
- looking after the mother-to-be to ensure she is eating, drinking and resting where possible;
- emotional support, providing constant, loving company, encouragement or simply talking in a soothing manner;
- recapping information that will have been discussed during the antenatal sessions in order to prepare prospective parents as much as possible for all the stages of labour and childbirth;
- acting as an advocate for the mother by suggesting options and supporting her birth choices in a sensitive, empathetic way; and
- finally, a doula is always available by telephone at any stage during the relationship.
The Doulabud birth package
What you receive:
- Two personalised, in-depth antenatal sessions where we cover all aspects of birth options, the birth process and de-brief previous experiences if applicable. Tea and homemade cake will often be part of the sessions!
- I’m happy to accompany you to appointments and facilitate a meeting with your maternity care providers if necessary.
- I’ll fully support the birth choices you make and help you create your birth preferences.
- I’m available by phone, email or Skype, whenever you need me from the moment our doula-client relationship starts.
- Towards the end of pregnancy I will come to your home for two massage and relaxation sessions. It is a great opportunity for us to catch up and ensure you are feeling as prepared as you can be for birth. I then give you a 40 minute back massage followed by a reading of a relaxation script whilst you have a snooze on the sofa. I often leave my clients sleeping and let myself out.
- I love making natural herbal remedies to support postpartum healing – this is something fun and relaxing we can do together or I gift you some once you have given birth.
- I have an extensive library of books and resources for you to borrow including: three birth balls, one peanut ball, three Elle Tens machines. I’m also part of a home birth support group through which three birth pools are available for a donation.
- Overall I want to help you prepare for birth including mental, physical, emotional and informational support, and encourage a positive mindset where you have self-belief and feel empowered. I’ll happily discuss any topic with you without judgement and gladly signpost you to useful resources, groups and solid research-based evidence.
- I’ll be on call from 38 weeks into your pregnancy until labour starts. You can call me 24/7 and I’ll support you by phone until you ask me to join you. I’ll come to your home or hospital and stay with you if you are birthing there or transfer with you to the birthing centre or other location.
- If you go into labour outside of the on call period, I’ll almost certainly be able to support you but I always aim to have a back-up in place.
- I’ll be with you throughout your labour and birth and will be guided by you in terms of the support you might need.
- The mother is my focus and I will ensure that your privacy and space is protected and that your wishes are heard.
- If you’d like, I can take photos for you, to make sure you capture those first moments as a family.
- The Birth of Arlo photographed by Doulabud
- I will stay with you after childbirth and leave when you are happy, settled and feeding is underway.
- One or two postnatal visits to suit your needs. We can discuss your birth in as much or little detail as you feel ready to and I can offer you support with feeding and anything else that comes up or you’d like to explore. If you need further support I’ll still be available by email, phone, text or in person for the first six weeks, plus I can refer you to other birth and postnatal professionals if relevant.
I intend this list to be as all-encompassing as possible, however… I attach enormous importance to building a meaningful relationship with my clients and their partners in the antenatal period. I don’t place a limit on the length of our meetings or the number of times we meet. This stage is as much about us getting to know one another and building a feeling of trust and friendship as it is about the practical side of birth preparation and information sharing.
“Asking your husband to be your sole guide through labor is like asking him to lead the way on a climb of Mt Everest. He may be smart and trustworthy, you may love him, but in the Himalayas you’d both be a lot better off with a Sherpa!” ~ Pam England
My birth experience as a doula
I have supported a wide variety of women who have given birth for the first time, right through to welcoming a fifth child. I’m happy and confident to support vbacs and hvbac+ and women who have suffered previous birth trauma, mental illness and depression. I am trained to support women who have experienced prior birth trauma and use the Rewind Hypnosis technique which has an excellent success rate.
I’ve been present at all manner of positive hospital births including elective caesarean sections, where intervention has been required, including those where induction, epidural, ventouse, forceps and emergency c-section was needed, and wonderful natural births at home and in birthing centres.
As a non-medical or clinical professional, I am happy to say I have always worked harmoniously alongside health professionals in all the hospitals I’m familiar with, a list of which can be found in the FAQs.
Please contact me to discuss how I can help through your birth.