The dictionary definition of a doula is: A woman, typically without formal obstetric training, who is employed to provide guidance and support to a pregnant woman during labour or after birth.
Though I feel this underplays the role enormously. I like the idea of looking at a doula as a replacement for the lady in the village that knew everything, or for some it’s like having a sister or mother with you. We know so many tips and tricks and can do anything from rub your back, to making sure you are eating and drinking, helping you into positions, timing contractions, calling the midwife to driving you to hospital. But most of all to be honest just having someone next to you and supporting you, is so wonderfully reassuring and sadly in many circumstances a midwife isn’t able to do this and be with you throughout your whole labour via the NHS.
WHAT IS A DOULA
For postnatal support I typically offer visits of 3 or 4 hours in length, which can be once a week or up to five times a week depending on what you require. This is all about nurturing the mother and the new family: helping you adjust to your new lives as parents, giving you a chance to re-charge, offering guidance on newborn cues, supporting you on your feeding journey either breastfeeding or bottle, helping with baby soothing, bathing, changing and bonding. My main aim is to ensure these first few weeks and your 4th trimester are as smooth as can be.
As a postnatal doula I am there to support you as you need, my job is to be your reassurance, provide you with information and be your supporting arm.
Postnatal Doula - What is included?
I’m happy supporting all kinds of births – whether you are giving birth in a hospital, birthing centre, or at home, and whether you are high risk, low risk, planning a vaginal birth, vbac, caesarean. My goal is for you to have a positive birth experience as you define it.
Another thing you have with a doula is an advocate, we’ll have two meetings before hand to discuss your birth wishes and any worries. I then become someone who not only supports you, but can help to empower your partner to ask questions and push for your wishes to be adhered to - many say we act as the middle (wo)man between medical support and couples. We are not just for home births, or water births or even natural births. In fact I am happy to prepare you for and attend c-sections and many women find it helpful to have a doula for induced births too.
I typically offer 2 x antenatal sessions and my on-call period runs from 38-42 weeks, 24 hours a day until after your baby has been born. We then have a postnatal visit normally a week after the baby has arrived
I offer a number of packages and it's about making this work for you so please do contact me to discuss.
2 x antenatal preparation meetings, birth attendance & 1 x postnatal visit – £950
1 x antenatal preparation meeting, a full hypnobirthing course, birth attendance & 1 x postnatal visit – £1,250
Attendance to antenatal appointments and extra preparations meetings can be added to packages if required
I also work with a small collective of doulas so there will always be a back-up in place in case of an emergency
3hrs - £90
4hrs - £100
I can visit you once a week or five times a week it depends on your needs.
*expenses are not included in fees
Please feel free to contact me and arrange a coffee to meet me and learn more.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Even after our first meeting with Jemma, I just felt more empowered and confident about my baby's birth.