Being a doula

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What does a doula do?

 

Last week I had the honour of being a doula for a couple who were having their first baby at home. It was a beautiful experience and it reinforced in me why birth doulas are needed and worth every penny.

 

  • As usual I was called out before the community midwives to provide some support and reassurance during those early hours of labour. It meant they weren’t on their own and that can make a huge difference at any point during labour

 

  • I was able to help with the TENS machine and to keep track of the contractions as well as ongoing support and reassurance that she was doing great, because she was

 

  • I was able to provide ongoing support to allow dad to sleep and take a break

 

  • I helped maintain the temperature in the birth pool

 

  • When a  transfer into hospital became necessary so packed up and off we went

 

  • The first midwife in the maternity unit was very confident and positive but, at times, not sure my presence was needed. I wasn’t going anywhere and I was able to provide the one to one support that a labouring woman and her partner needs. As brilliant as a midwife is she simply can’t provide all the one to one care that a woman sometimes needs because midwives need to constantly make notes and do their clinical checks. This can sometimes seem never ending.

 

  • I was able to be a voice with the midwives especially when the epidural failed to work

 

  • I was able to sit back and allow the couple to be together

 

  • Even when I was sat back to rest a little I was totally focused on my client so I could respond when her eyes searched for me and some reassurance

 

  • I was able to give her a drink and I was able to apply lip balm

 

  • Due to the length of labour I was able to provide ongoing support throughout all of it – I was with my client for 30 hours

 

  • I was able to help my client to stay calm, reassured and relaxed as possible by using her breathing – especially when she needed to dig deep to keep going

 

  • My client is my priority and my focus

 

I love being a doula and I wish I could do it more often than I do. I provide continuous emotional and practical support, hand holding and reassurance and guiding dads when needed. Doula support is an ideal way to supplement the care provided by midwives and I know it makes a difference. 

 

Janine x

 

About Janine 587 Articles
I am an antenatal teacher, doula, baby massage instructor, postnatal educator, life coach, writer, mum, wife, friend and, sometimes, just me. As an experienced and qualified practitioner, I specialise in pregnancy, birth and early parenting - my aim is to listen, inform, support and reassure when needed. I have worked with parents since 2002 and I set up Birth, Baby & Family in 2011 to provide good information, a different perspective and links to the best products and services for families. I set up the Birth, Baby & Family Centre in 2014 to provide a welcoming, friendly and supportive space for parents across Tyneside.