Viewing entries tagged
doula

Incoming Doula

Incoming Doula

IMG_0096-2.jpg

I’m packing my Doula Bag and heading home.

It's my privilege to be a Doula and walk the path of pregnancy and birth by your side. I miss it so much, the connection, the learning, the heart to heart service and the joy, so much mind-altering joy. So. I'm planning two trips home to the UK, one in March and one in UK Summer June until August. I have some personal matters to be there for, but importantly, I feel compelled to offer my Doula services while I am home and have the support of my family to do so.

So I have two potential openings for two mothers-to-be. If you are pregnant and expecting your baby sometime in March OR June/July in the South Bucks, Berkshire or West London area and would like a Doula, or feel you'd like some additional support through your pregnancy and birth but don't really know what a Doula is or how I could help you, please do get in touch because, it all begins, with a cup of chai and a chat! A big long chat.

Depending on your wishes, we will...

  •  'meet' via telephone or Skype sometime that's convenient for you, then we chat about everything and anything you'd like to regarding your knowledge of doulas, pregnancy, birth and how you'd like it all to go for you - importantly how you see me supporting you. 

  •  If we feel mutually that we are a good match for each other, beautiful, I'm yours from that day forth until 4 weeks after your baby is born. That's it. I'm invested and committed to supporting you to have the most positive experience you can. 

  •  Depending on your baby's estimated arrival date, we will do 2 x prenatal sessions via Skype. I help you and your partner to write your birth wishes. You'll ask all your questions and I'll signpost to information you need to make decisions you're happy with. Together we unpick any fears or anxieties about birth and prepare you for a positive and joyful experience. This ranges from logistical, practical, emotional plans and physically planning. It should be a time of serenity, calm excitement and bliss so I'll aim to protect you from any negativity out there surrounding pregnancy and birth and always always guide you in the direction of the evidence. 

  •  You can contact me at any time in between these sessions and anytime at all really throughout your pregnancy. Sometimes navigating contradictory information, all the books and all the advice can feel overwhelming so I am your non-judgemental, unbiased and loving supporter who can guide you through the maze and help you and your partner to make the informed decisions you need to prepare for your birth. Your baby, your way, your birth. 

  •  I'll fly in to go-on call for you from the moment I land until your baby is born. 

  • I’ll stay with you and help you establish your first breastfeed, settle you in and step away to leave you all to it when the moment is right.

 The rest we design together. 

Read more about our time together and a little about me if you want.

It's important that you know I have no agenda or preferences as to how you give birth or your choices during your pregnancy. As your doula I want what you want. It's my role to give you all the information, present your options and empower you to have the experience you want, as far as you can. 

I can't wait to hear from you. I'm filled with gratitude and happiness that soon you'll be welcoming your baby and I hope I can be a positive part of that for you. 

Contact me at lucyleonardyoga@gmail.com

Why I didn't hire a Doula

Why I didn't hire a Doula

This week I've been doing some thinking. Why didn't I find myself a Doula for River's birth? I've come up with the following reasons: 

  1. I didn't want my husband, my birth partner, to feel undermined
  2. To be honest, I didn't know enough about the role of a Doula and didn't realise how significant the presence of a Doula can be on your birth experience
  3. I read a lot about the less people being present at the birth the better
  4. Doulas are expensive! At the time, we couldn't afford this and I didn't like the thought that giving birth could turn out to be really pricey. *p.s. - I plan to make my Doula services available to all women and will be writing about this more in the future.

What I now know: 

1. A Doula never ever replaces your birth partner. They exist to support them to, to compliment them. Often, your husband or partner has never seen a birth before and it can be quite overwhelming for them - having a Doula there, someone they know will be there to help them support their awesome labouring partner, is often incredible peace of mind. Someone to help her birth 'decisions' get realised if their minds go blank from the emotion of the day. A midwife, no matter how brilliant she is at her job, has one primary concern - the health of you and your baby - she/he will not necessarily be attentive to your emotional needs and if you don't have a case-loading midwife, there's also a chance you've never met her before! A Doula is someone to take the pressure away from remembering everything your partner learned in NCT class (!) so they can be a little more free to enjoy the experience and just 'be there' for the mother-to-be. Today, more husbands/partners are an active role in the birth process and Doulas really encourage participation from the partner, offering reassurance if at any time they feel anxious. After all, it's natural to feel some nerves in such a life-changing experience such as labour, but our role, as a team is to keep the mother-to-be as calm and relaxed as possible. 

2. Statistically, the presence of a Doula, dramatically increases the mother's chance of having a less medicalised birth, with less intervention and higher satisfaction. 

A Cochrane review published in 2012 found that in labours with the continuous presence of a Doula, labouring mothers experience:

  • reduced use of pitocin
  • decreased rate of interventions during labor
  • less need for pain medication and less requests for epidural
  • higher satisfaction with birth outcomes
  • much lower c-section rate
  • higher chance of a spontaneous vaginal birth
  • shorter labours.

You can read more about the evidence for Doulas here: http://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/

3. The ONLY thing that matters, is that the mother feels safe, loved and supported. Whether that's "crowdbirthing" or locked alone in the bathroom with just her husband - the midwife, mother and sister banished to the other side of the door, then so be it!

My view is, you can never have enough love and practical help around you, but you'll have a good idea of who will help you to feel calm and who you definitely don't want there. At the end of the day we are mammals and we like to birth in private, warm, dark and quiet spaces so don't be surprised if you instinctively crawl into the corner to give birth away from every one of your audience members when the time comes. 

I read an excellent article on this subject yesterday. Here is is: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/30/birth-crowdbirthing

The Cochrane review I mentioned above also compared Doula support to other types of labour support, including support by hospital staff, support of a friend or relative, or partner support and found that doula supported mothers had the best outcomes. This is not to discount the very important role of family and birth partners, but to show that Doulas can provide additional help to a labouring mother.

4. Well...Doulas are expensive. They give many many hours of support, often sleepless nights away from their own family and are on call for your every desire for much of that time. Most importantly though, if a Doula can so probably improve your experience of childbirth and help you and your partner welcome your baby into the world in a more safe and peaceful way, a way that you'll treasure forever, you can see why millions of women hire Doulas. 

However, it's my strong opinion that this is a service that all women should have access to - not just the well off. This is why I plan to be, The Affordable Doula, whilst still managing to feed my own baby and hungry husband! Watch this space and soon, I'll reveal how. 

I know one thing for sure, I'm searching for my Doula for my second baby already! I can't wait to meet her.