How does it work?
Your doula will meet with you several times during your pregnancy to provide support and help you prepare for the birth. She will help you to write a birth plan and make important choices about issues such as pain relief and breast feeding. As your due date nears, your doula will be on 24 hour call – good news if your bundle of joy decides to arrive a little early.
During labour your doula will help to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible, in addition to liaising with hospital staff to make sure your needs and wishes are met. The doula will offer guidance on different positions, as well as using massage and relaxation techniques to keep you (and your partner!) as calm as possible. Time to breathe...
After the birth your doula will help you to start bonding with your newborn straight away so that you can really enjoy those precious first moments you’ve been looking forward to.
Is it for me?
A doula can provide support to anyone during birth, although they may be particularly helpful if you are a first time mum or if you tend to be quite anxious.
There’s no need to worry that a doula may spoil the intimacy of the birth – they are well practised at knowing when to assist and when to step back and give you and your partner some time alone.
Good to know
Many doulas will also offer a post-natal visit to help ease you in to your new life as a mother and offer some important emotional and practical support.
Doulas are not medically trained professionals and cannot perform physical examinations or offer medical advice.