World Doula Week 22nd to 28th March, 2022

World Doula Week 22nd to 28th March, 2022

How a doula can support you throughout your birth journey and how to find the right doula for you.

I wrote this for Juno Magazine a few years ago. It is still relevant when you are thinking about Doula care and how you will know a Doula is right for you. This is an abridged version of the original article. doula doulas (plural noun) ‘a woman who gives support, help, and advice to another woman during pregnancy and during and after the birth’ Pregnancy, labour and birth. Saying, hearing and feeling these words can provoke powerful emotions of absolute joy or total fear. At any one moment in time on the journey to birth and new life it is ok to faulter, to stop, to need and to search for the link that ensures your birth is beautiful and empowering. That link could be your doula. There are so very many questions in pregnancy that could lead to considering doula support, not least the thought of care and companionship for your birth partner. Knowing you could have a knowledgeable, loving, calming doula at your side may be all you need to put any niggling doubts you have that on ‘your day’ choices and plans will go awry, or that you may feel overwhelmed and overruled.

Over the past few years the doula movement in the UK has grown considerably, there is a huge amount of information available on ‘what doulas do’ and how to find one. Therefore, the trick is to find a doula that is perfect for you. What we need now is for doula support to become a part of birth care, meeting with your doula as often as you would with your midwife. We are blessed in the UK as doulas appear to be finally finding their place in the world of birth, support and continuity of care. Our maternity services are more readily seeing doulas as an invaluable assistance to women, and their partners, during labour, birth and beyond. What does a woman in labour needs and how can your doula can provide this? Evidence shows women in labour needs to feel safe, protected, calm and secure. For many women the hospital environment will inhibit these natural feelings, whereas a Midwife Led Unit or home birth environment is naturally enhanced by the presence of a Doula.

Excitingly, at the discretion of the Obstetric team, doulas are more readily being welcomed into theatre with their clients for continued care at caesarean section births. Your doula can help to ensure your birth room is a ‘safe haven’ enabling birthing mothers to relax and respond to their body’s natural instincts. Having found your doula you can spend lots of lovely, positive time getting to know each other, you can openly discuss your personal preferences and work towards building a bespoke birth experience which will give provide you with exclusive birth support. Postnatal doula care can help to ensure you rest and recover from the emotional and physical effort of birth, enabling you to bond with your baby and establish feeding. How can you find the ideal doula for your individual needs? Perhaps start by defining how you categorise friends, colleagues and associates?

At the beginning of a close relationship or friendship a subconscious line is crossed which instinctively floods us with feelings of comfort and security, trust, empathy, wellbeing and enrichment, our inner selves are flooded with the incredible power of oxytocin, these people leap joyously into the circle of friendship. If you meet a doula that makes you feel this way she may well be the doula for you. If you meet a doula who makes you feel guarded, self-conscious or uncomfortable it is likely she will also feel uneasy and you will need to continue your search. All doulas will want a birthing woman to feel completely at ease during her pregnancy and birth journey and should happily introduce you to other local doulas. Lynne and I have been supporting women at their births for many years.

If you are considering doula support please contact us. It would be lovely to speak to you about your plans and how, as doulas, we can help you prepare for your labour and birth email or use the Contact Gabby options on this website.