What Is A Doula?

Since the news broke that Meghan Markle has hired a doula there seems a to a renewed interest in our profession, particularly from the media! A doula is so much more than a “professional hand holder”. We are carers, nurturers, teachers, friends. We are a voice when you cannot speak, and a guide when you’ve lost the way. We are a companion for your family, mothering the mother and leaving everything a little bit brighter than we found it, whether that’s your kitchen sink or your inner confidence. A mother is born when a baby is born, and they both deserve the same reverence.

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Whether it’s your first baby or your fifth, I am here to provide continuous practical and emotional support for the whole family throughout pregnancy, birth and the early days of parenthood. I am there to listen, give you confidence and not judge your choices.  A doula is not a medical professional, and although I am a qualified midwife, with four years experience within the NHS I will not provide medical care or advice. My role is to support you and your partner, giving you the tools you need to empower yourself during this amazing and challenging period of your lives, including giving you the evidence based information to make your own decisions about your own body.

 

Having a supportive person who knows you and yours wishes has been shown to:

  • Reduce the risk of Caesarean birth † *.
  • Reduce the risk of instrumental birth † *.
  • Reduce the need for an epidural † *.
  • Shorter your labour †.
  • Increase satisfaction with the birth experience. †
  • Increase likelihood of initiating breastfeeding *.
  • Increase likelihood of successfully establishing breastfeeding & breastfeeding at 6 weeks *.
  • Lower incidence of postnatal depression †.

 

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me, or use the menu above to find out more information. 

 

 

 

 

 

* Brigstocke S. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest, vol 24, no 2, 2014, pp 157-160

† Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr G, Sakala C. Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD003766. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub5 and Bohren MA, Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C, Fukuzawa RK, Cuthbert A. Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD003766. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub6.