It’s World Doula Week
I love being a doula – the one to one support I have been able to provide for expectant and labouring couples is so special and valuable. To witness a woman contracting and labouring and bringing her baby into the world is such a privilege.
I would love to see more couples use the services of a birth doula because it can make such a difference to their experience. The presence of a doula doesn’t remove the possibility of complications but it can help to provide confidence, empowerment and reassurance as well as a belief and the ability to keep going and to do it.
I have been at labours in hospital where women were promised one to one care from a midwife and due to the unit being busy, that level of care changed. The midwives were still wonderful, professional and attentive but their care needed to be divided between different labouring women.
Even when a midwife can provide one to one care, the amount of paperwork she needs to do can sometimes affect just how with-woman she is able to be. My services as a doula have certainly been appreciated for the time I can spend with my clients because I don’t need to do any paperwork, I can’t be called away to care for another labouring woman and I don’t work shifts. During one labour a couple of years ago, my client had 5 different midwives – having a birth doula can beautifully supplement the care provided by your midwife and it can provide continuity and ongoing reassurance.
A birth doula is also there for birth partners – to ease the pressure, to provide support and reassurance, to enable them to take a break. During several of my doula bookings, dads have been able to have a sleep, they have been able to leave the room for a while, to go to the loo and to get some food. They have been able to stay calm and strong for their labouring partners.
I love my doula work, it makes me incredibly proud to see the strength of women.
If you are pregnant, please consider booking a doula for the birth of your baby – it is an affordable option and it will be worth every penny. It doesn’t replace the medical support provided by your midwife but having an extra birth partner enhances the support you have.