What is a Birth Doula?

“If a Doula was a drug, it would be unethical not to use it”

What is a doula?

The word Doula (pronounced Doola) comes from the Greek word Doulӗ meaning female helper or woman who serves, although Doulas can be of any gender.

I believe a doula should “mother the mother” and become part of her dream team so that she feels empowered and positive about her pregnancy, labour and birth and postnatal period.

Nowadays my role as your birth doula is to provide:

Physical, emotional, practical, and knowledgeable support for the whole family.

Unbiased, non-judgemental evidence-based information.

Comfort measures during your labour and birth: breathing, massage, movement, positions, and relaxation.

Support you in your decisions and help you to advocate for yourself so your voice is heard, enabling you to have a sense of control over your birth.

Nurture and protect your rite of passage into parenthood, protect your sacred birth space, increase oxytocin, and reduce adrenalin.

Support for your partner to encourage them to feel confident in their abilities to support you.

What are the benefits of having a doula?

Benefits of support from a person who is not part of the women’s social network or midwife*:

in caesarean

0 %

in likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth

0 %

in the use of any pain medication including epidural

0 %

in the risk of a low APGAR score at 5 minutes

0 %

in the risk of having negative feelings about the experience

0 %

Reduced the use of induction of labour

Reduced the use of forceps or ventouse

Shortened labour by about 40 minutes

birth trauma

Increased breastfeeding satisfaction.

How does doula support differ from birth partner support?

A birth partner can be anyone from a husband, boy-friend, girlfriend, mum, sister, auntie, friend, or person close to you.

As your doula I do not take the place of a loved one in your birth space, I become inclusive in the team of supporters around you.

Birth partners provide loving support and comfort, but they may have little knowledge of birth, the birthing environment, what happens in hospital or medical procedures. They may have been to antenatal classes with you, but it is a big ask for them to be the sole emotional, physical, and knowledgeable support during labour. It can feel, for them, like being put on a formula one racing circuit after having only 6 driving lessons, pretty scary stuff.

I work alongside birth partners, offering them reassurance and taking over the practical parts of labour allowing them the space and time to support you emotionally and enjoy the birth of your new baby.

We both become your “circle of trust”, your “supportive team” allowing you to experience a truly positive birthing experience.

birth doula support hertfordshire

What is a doula not?

It is also important to understand what a doula is not.

We are not a midwife, who is the expert in birth. We are not a doctor and cannot give medical advice. We are not your partner, they are the expert in loving you and we are not you, the birthing person, who is the expert in giving birth.

We are the expert in continuous support, enabling women to advocate for themselves and grow into the mother they desire to become.

Find out more about the birth doula packages I offer here, or please get in touch if you would like to book a free call.

I am happy to attend the following hospitals: The Lister, Stevenage, Princess Alexandra, The Rosie, Luton and Dunstable, Watford, Barnet, Edgware, The Royal Free, UCLH, Chelsea and Westminster, The Wittington, Homerton Hospital and North Middlesex Hospital. 

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