North East Doula Services
Each and every birth is different and special. As a birthing mother, you deserve to be loved and cared for, given full support and empowered to birth your baby in the way you wish.
What is a doula?
A Doula is an experienced woman who helps other women, and their partners, during their pregnancy, labour and birth and for the first few months of parenthood. She provides physical, emotional, and informational support.
Traditionally, the role of a doula would have been filled by the birthing woman’s mother, grandmother, sister, aunt etc. But in this modern age where we often live far away from our immediate family, this role has been lost. Women will often rely on the father of the child or a partner, who have little or no experience of birth, for this support. In asking fathers / partners to be the main support, our society may have created a very difficult expectation for them to meet. (it’s a bit like asking the father to play in a professional football game after attending a few lectures but without any real training or practice games!)
The doula role is designed to provide a nurturing, helpful, and objective female supporter so that the family member or birth partner chosen to be present does not have sole responsibility for the supporting the birthing mother. A doula is there to provide support not only to the birthing woman but also to support the father / partner, freeing them up to give the mother the loving care and attention that both she and the baby needs. The doula is there to encourage the father / partners to fully participate, not to usurp or interfere.
A doula provides continuity of care. Within the current NHS maternity system you will receive the care of many different midwives throughout your pregnancy and birth, and could find yourself being offered conflicting advice and labouring for long periods of time without support. This can be very unsettling, particularly for labouring women and as a consequence she could have a longer labour, need pain relieving drugs or other medical interventions. A doula is:
- there to be a sounding board for you in times of decision making.
- she is a source of information and can also signpost you to reliable information sources so you can make informed choices that are right for you.
- there for you during your birth, helping to fulfil your birth guide wishes, and providing you with a safe space for you to focus on your birth.
When a woman is calm, relaxed, and well supported during her birth, her body will release its own natural pain killers in the form of endorphins and oxytocin (the love hormone essential for effective contractions), allowing her body to do the job it was designed to do, and birth the baby. However, when a woman is interrupted (excessive monitoring, different people coming and going in the birthing room) or if she and/or her partner are fearful or anxious, her body then releases adrenaline, which will take blood away from where it is needed in the uterus, and send it to the arms and legs (fight or flight mode). This is natures way of keeping a birthing mother and her infant safe, we see it in the animal kingdom all the time, for example, the pet cat that finds the darkest corner of the airing cupboard to give birth in, but then moves to another equally dark and private place if she is disturbed. When a muscle is deprived of blood it starts to cramp. A high adrenaline / low oxytocin birth is more painful and labour is slower. A doula will be able to help maintain her oxytocin levels with her reassuring presence, and reduce the amount of adrenaline inducing situations by having clear and open communication with the care staff.
A doula is a reassuring and constant presence for both the mother and her partner.
Am I the doula for you?
With 20 years experience of supporting women in their childbearing year, I have observed the best births are those where the mother is left to birth in a way that feels right and natural to her. Birth is a private affair, the hormone oxytocin, essential for good labour, is a shy hormone, it doesn’t like to be disturbed, it likes peace and quiet, and most importantly, it likes to feel safe. I work as a “freebirth” doula, sometimes referred to as a “Spiritual Midwife”. This means that I support families who are looking to birth outside of NHS provision. I have made the choice to work in this way after witnessing too many births go down an unnecessary medical path. Birthing women and their partners relying too heavily on advice, often contradictory advice, given to them from the medical team, rather than make informed choices based on their wishes. Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time, it is your birthright to do this your way.
As your doula, we will spend time learning to connect deeply with your intuition, so that you feel guided and safe in your decisions. I firmly believe that when a woman is supported to listen deeply to her inner knowing, she will always make the right choice. During your pregnancy, we spend time together learning breathing techniques to keep you grounded and balanced, focused in the present, trusting in the process. Birth is a journey, a rite of passage into motherhood, and when supported and held in love, an empowering experience.
I have many techniques that I share with you and your partner to help grow in your confidence, enhance your connection to yourself, each other and your baby, and nurture physical well being.
The best way to know if I am the right doula for you is to meet with me. It is essential that we all feel comfortable with each other and that the chemistry is right. Let’s start with a phone call, and take it from there!
What my clients say
Birth Doula Package
- Holistic birth doula service, where you will be guided and supported on your journey into motherhood.
- We will meet up regularly during your pregnancy, to develop a trusting relationship, practice breathing techniques and discuss your feelings and concerns in a way that connects you with your intuition.
- Mizan Therapeutic massages during your pregnancy and post natal period. Along side this, I will teach you a self care massage for you and/ or your partner to do so you may continue to receive the benefits of the Mizan and deepen your connection with your baby.
- 4 week on-call period from week 38 of your pregnancy.
- Continuity of care and support throughout your labour, birth and the first few precious hours of parenthood.
- Breastfeeding support during those essential first few days and weeks.
- Placenta care – I can advice on and make a full range of remedies for your postnatal health and well being from your placenta, or support your lotus birth.
- Birth reflections, time to reflect on your birth and how it was for you and your partner.
Post Natal Services
- Breastfeeding support
- Mother Warming, including preparing nourishing food and drinks, Belly binding, Yoni-steaming, and nurturing touch massage.
- Mizan Therapy massage to help guide your uterus and internal abdominal organs back into balance.
- Closing the bones ceremony
- Practical, emotional and spiritual support.