As your birth doula I would be available to you throughout your labour on a one to one basis to encourage, reassure and comfort you, convey information about what is happening to you and facilitate communication between you, the midwife and other medical staff. I would share with you the knowledge and experience I have gained from supporting other women during labour and, having given birth myself, would be able to empathise with you in a caring, attentive and compassionate way.
As a mother, you carry your birthing memories with you through your life's journey and often remember how your child entered this world. I believe that having a doula enables you to achieve a more positive and happy birth experience which in turn, has profound effects on the well-being of both mother and child as they begin their lives together.
My birth services include:
Being on call for you 24/7 between weeks 38 and 42 of your pregnancy (these dates are flexible and I would still be available for you and reachable in an emergency outside these dates).
Text/phone/email contact for the duration of your pregnancy right up until 8 weeks after your birth. The idea is to build a relationship of trust where you are able to ask me questions about your pregnancy and birth in confidence, express your fears and concerns and I am there to share your excitement too.
Three visits of approximately 1.5 hours. This is usually split into two antenatal sessions and one postnatal visit. During the antenatal sessions my role is to prepare you for your birth. We discuss any fears, anxieties, hopes and aspirations you may have surrounding your birth, the importance of hormones during labour and I am happy to offer suggestions towards your birth plan. We also cover optimal fetal positioning, helpful positions to adopt during labour, pain relief options, breathing and visualisation techniques and feeding your baby after delivery. During the postnatal visit I offer feeding support, debrief your birth and I am happy to answer any questions you may have. Additional postnatal visits can be arranged.
I can provide you with information and research enabling you to make an informed choice. I have had experience dealing with the NHS maternity services so I understand how the system works. I am therefore able to provide alternatives supported by this information, enabling you to make your own decision.
Being present for the duration of your birth and remaining with you post birth to ensure feeding is established and mother and baby are settled. I work with your partner in supporting you and together we will protect your birth space and ensure that you feel safe and relaxed throughout your labour. I will not leave your side unless requested to do so. I am happy to advocate your wishes and communicate with health professionals if necessary. I provide comfort, encouragement, relaxation and breathing techniques and offer suggestions in adopting various positions that might be helpful to you during labour.
Birth is not a pass or a fail and I do not judge nor have my own agenda. My role is to support your wishes whether it be an elective caesarean section, medicated or unmedicated birth enabling you to achieve a positive and satisfying birth experience for you, your partner and your baby – the happy memories of which you can carry with you throughout your life.
Price available on request
Far less formal and rigid than a maternity nurse, a postnatal doula supports the entire family. Rather than being solely focussed on the baby, she promotes independence and helps parents adjust to the inclusion of the new baby within the family unit. She also shares information with the parents relating to caring for their baby. As the parents’ knowledge and self-confidence grows, their need for professional support should diminish.
My ultimate aim is to leave you rested and confident in your new parenting role having enjoyed those precious early weeks bonding with your baby. This is accomplished through praise, reassurance and a non-judgemental approach encouraging you to develop your own mothering skills and follow your instincts. In “mothering the mother”, I ensure that you are well looked after as you recover from the birth relieving some of the pressures to enable a smooth transition to parenthood. I am there to listen, to provide companionship, share your joy at what you have just achieved, provide information and offer guidance at this exciting but sometimes challenging and overwhelming time.
Previous clients have found the following helpful:
Feeding support – breast/formula (sharing useful research/information on feeding patterns, expressing, co-sleeping, growth spurts)
Newborn care – guidance on bathing, nappy changing, winding and settling techniques
Light housework – emptying dishwasher, laundry, preparing meals, arranging flowers, tidying nursery and kitchen
Running errands (post office, bank, drycleaners, groceries)
Accompanying mother and baby to hospital, doctors, well baby clinic appointments
Entertaining older siblings
Looking after your baby whilst you rest, have a relaxing bath or catch up on paperwork and emails
I enjoy keeping a tidy, clean, happy and loved home so I would ensure that your home is well looked after. I believe honesty is the best policy so it is important that you let me know how you like things done your way!
£25 per hour
I have enrolled on the Katharine Graves’ Hypnobirthing Practitioners Course which is taking place in April 2012 at the Belgravia Light Centre, London SW1.
On successful completion of the course I will receive my diploma entitling me to become a member of the Hypnobirthing Association and a Registered Hypnobirthing Practitioner. Effective from May 2012, I therefore hope to be able to offer this powerful birth relaxation technique to clients in conjunction with my current doula services.
I cover the following London hospitals for birth:
Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, SW10
St George’s Hospital, SW17
St Thomas' Hospital, SE1
Kingston Hospital, KT2
Queen Charlotte’s Hospital, W12
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing, UCLH, NW1
The Portland, W1
Royal Free Hospital, NW3
St Mary's Hospital, W2
King's College Hospital, SE5
I cover the following London areas for postnatal:
© Doula in London (Nike Bielby)