If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical NOT to use it.
- John Kennel
What is a Doula?
Nothing makes me smile quite like the blank expression my job title brings! 'You're a what'la?'. While the doula popularity is growing in Scotland I still explain my work at least once everyday (and I love every minute!). Once the explanation is over the response is always the same no matter who I am talking to 'Wow! I wish I'd had a doula'. My mission is to ensure no woman in Scotland has to utter these words again!
The word ‘doula’ is Greek and means 'woman caregiver'. The role is aincent as women are. Women have been providing emotional, physical and even spiritual support to each other during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period since time began. In todays society a doula is hired to provide emotional, physical and informational assistance throughout pregnancy, birth and the early post-natal period. The reasons for hiring a doula are as unique and individual as the couples who opt for them however a examples I've come across include 'My previous birth was very traumatic and I want to avoid that this time around', 'I am petrified at the idea of birth, I hate pain but I want a natural birth' or even 'My partner is very nervous about the birth and I want someone there to support him while he supports me'.
Q. Why should I consider a doula?
I'll be completely honest with you, having a doula present at your birth not only increases your likelyhood of achieving the birth you dream of but it also reduces the chance of you requiring medical intervention and/or pain relief. This has been researched and proven through a number of studies (details of which you can find in my blog series Reasons why you should hire a doula 1 - 6). Hiring a postnatal doula can increase your likelihood of successful breastfeeding and reduce your risk of postnatal depression.
Q. What is included?
I offer three Goddess Birth Doula Packages, which offer varying levels of support. I am also available for postnatal support.
I always provide a free, no obligation consultation to allow us to meet and discuss your requirements prior to any booking.
Q. Can I still have a doula if my partner is also going to be there?
Yes, absolutely! Often the woman’s birth partner will worry that if the couple hire a doula they will be left out. Nothing could be further from the truth. A truly fantastic doula will work with both parents-to-be to ensure they are both prepared and engaged in the birth process. I pride myself on my mentality that if I can assist a birth partner in supporting their other half with confidence and a calm mentality, then I have done my job perfectly. Most husbands/birth partners sing the loudest praise of their doula post-birth.
Q. Can you attend a hospital birth?
Yes, a doula can attend your birth in whichever setting you choose! I myself have attended births ranging from Homebirth to Elective Caesareans. Normally yourself and your partner will meet with your doula at least twice during your pregnancy to help you write up your birth plan, go over comfort techniques with you, or provide birth preparation - depending on your individual needs.
From 38 weeks on, your doula will be on-call for you and when you go into labour, and she will be there to support you until your baby arrives. After your baby is born there are normally 1-2 postnatal visits offered by your doula, and some women choose to hire a post-partum doula to help them postnatally as well.
Q. Which areas do you cover?
I am very lucky to live centrally, this means I cover all areas contained within a 1.5 - 2hr radius of Stirling.
If you are outwith these areas but would still like support, please contact me and we can discuss the possibility of my travelling or the recommendation of a doula in your area.