DOULA – Questions and Answers
Hi everyone … welcome to my Doula Questions and Answer Page. I offer Packages for the Antenatal Mama, Labouring Mama and Postnatal Mama. I aim to support you physically and emotionally and help you to feel cherished and cared for during the life-changing experience of bringing your baby into this world.
So what do you offer as a Doula and what is a Doula exactly ?
So the word ‘Doula’ comes from the Greek meaning Slave, female servant or Carer. Today a Doula is someone who offers physical and emotional support.
A Doula is a Birth Companion who “Mothers the Mother” … someone who empowers the mother to have the birth experience and nurturing that she hopes for …
This support can be offered to the mother and her family throughout her pregnancy, during her birth experience and postnatal. In some ways, she is seen as a form of replacement for the traditional mother, grandmother , aunt, older sister or wise woman in the community.
So what can I offer you as a Doula…. I can offer some Birth Preparation in the form of Hypnobirthing classes, I can loan you some books that will help you to understand your rights with regards to Induction, vaginal examinations and lots of other things. My books are primarily from AIMS – they campaign for better births for all women, protect human rights in childbirth, raise awareness of research and offer independent information about pregnancy. There are many articles for you to read.
We usually meet up at least twice after the initial interview before you go into labour but I can be available to meet up with you several more times before labour for a coffee and chat in Aberdeen to see how things are. It’s important that you feel comfortable and relaxed with me. I am also available via e-mail, Viber, Whatsapp, text and by phone if easier than meet-ups. We would discuss your preferences at the interview and when we sign a contract.
I can offer Pregnancy massage, Reflexology, Reiki and Hypnotherapy / Traumatic Birth Recovery with the 3 Step Rewind Technique working with any particular fears and anxieties you may have about this birth or past birth experiences. I can help ease your labour with the use of my TENS machine, Essential oil blends from my own ‘Smells So Good’ natural product range personally made by myself, Rescue Remedy, Homeopathic remedies and the use of my Rebozo and Birth Ball. I am also a fully qualified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist so I can provide Remedies for you too. I also offer Belly Casts and other casting options.
I can assist with caring for other children while you have bonding time with your new baby, time with Dad or your Partner, make cups of tea and toast post birth and do a wee tidy up of your home …. help you to shower and get into bed …. or just take over for a bit if you need to sleep.
In a nutshell, I am there to increase the ‘Oxytocin levels’ in the room .. to create as calm an environment as possible whether you are having a Hospital birth or a Home Birth and help you to feel relaxed and in control.
I am there for your comfort whether that be before giving birth, during birthing or afterwards. I am also there as part of your Birth Team supporting you and Dad or Partner helping you to achieve your ‘Birth Proposals / Birth Wishes’ as much as is possible …. to perhaps buy you some time to discuss an issue and make your decision … or to try different positions for a while before going down the medicalised route if that is what you desire.
However, Doulas do not take a clinical role and work alongside the Midwives and Doctors. We do not advise but can support you to help you find balanced information to make informed decisions about your Maternity Care.
Will you be with me for the whole of my labour ?
Yes if you are having a Home Birth then I will come to your home and if you end up going to hospital then I will attend to you there too be it before you go into Theatre for a C-section or post delivery.
If you are birthing at Aberdeen Maternity then I will be with you all the way from when you are admitted / active labour through to delivery as well as help you to shower and get into bed if required. I will stay with you as long as you need me.
If you need a cup of tea and toast and a bit of home clean up after the delivery then I’d be happy to do that with a Home Birth. If you choose to have a Placenta Smoothie after delivery then I will provide that too. If you feel like a relaxing foot massage while you are cuddled with baby then I’m there for you too. A Doula is a ” Mother’s Helper” which is exactly what I will be for you …and as a Postnatal Doula, I’m there for you after the birth.
Will you accept a payment plan ?
Yes of course. It can be a lot of money to pay out in one go particularly if you choose a Package with different Services so we would sign a contract with an agreed amount to be paid at specific times that suit you with the final payment being by 37 weeks just in case you go into labour early or are induced.
I don’t like the idea of having to chase people up for outstanding fees, I have my own expenses to cover, and you really will have enough on your plate with a new baby without having to worry about money. There may also be a case of the ‘Baby Brain’ going on afterwards too ……
Will my Husband or Partner feel left out ?
You may be concerned that as a Doula I will take over and subtract from Dad or your Partner’s involvement leaving them sitting away in a corner not participating in any way. Nothing could be further from the truth … if anything Doulas show Dads and Partners how to get involved, how to be more hands on and how to make you feel loved and nurtured.
I will be taking the fear out of birthing by encouraging your Husband or Partner by instructing them on what to do and where it should be done. I will be showing how to do the massage, where and how firm.
My role is to act as a Facilitator but there may be times when Dad or your Partner is tired or unable to provide a certain kind of care … a certain touch that a Doula can provide and that is the point when I would take over.
This can be very helpful if he/she need to go home to see to other children or even the pets. Sometimes Dads or Birth Partners can be a bit stressed which affects the Oxytocin levels in the room so I’d step in at that moment and do whatever is needed to bring a bit of calm and support.
During a long labour, Dads or Partners may need a snooze in order to be of more support when the baby finally arrives … may need a bit of fresh air … to make a few phone calls… Mums feel more relaxed and can concentrate more on labour.
Will you work with Same sex parents or Solo Parents ?
For sure … I have no problem working with Same sex couples and Solo Parents. I work in the same way as any other couple by making sure that your Partner feels welcome to be as involved as they want to be. If you are a Solo Parent and have no one for support then don’t worry as I will be with you from the beginning to the end helping you to feel supported and nurtured.
What about if I end up having a C-section after a long Labour or Induction ?
I will be with you while you are in active labour and if you end up having a C-section then I can wait by the hospital to give you some support when you come out of Theatre if you would like me to do so as you will have your Husband or Partner with you .If you are eventually Induced then I will still be with you for as long as you need me. If you are booked in for an Induction and choose to go down that route then I can offer some Reflexology and Reiki to help you to relax … and come down to the hospital as soon as you are admitted.
What if I have to book a C-section instead of going into Labour on my due date ?
If you are booked for a C-section then I can provide relaxation while you wait in the form of some Reflexology, Reiki, Massage as well as preparing you with the Hypnobirthing scripts. I can be there waiting for you for when you come out of Theatre. We could discuss all the different scenarios and what your expectations and wishes would be when we meet up.
What other Services do you offer and can I book these ?
I offer Hypnobirthing classes which can be part of a class that is running at the time over 2 full days or if you have birthed before and would prefer to either have a private class perhaps working on some fears and anxieties from previous deliveries , we can do this as a 2 day Birth Preparation and Hypnobirthing class.
Or if you have birthed before and time is a problem with arranging dates perhaps due to Childcare problems or work, then we can do a full day Intensive. The Intensive is purely practical focusing on the use of the Rebozo, Birth Ball and Labouring / Birth positions with the home study aspect of reading your KG Hypnobirthing book and watching / looking at some links that I will send you. These classes are usually held at the Rosemount Centre in Aberdeen.
If you decide that you’d like me to be your Doula as well as doing the Hypnobirthing then you would go for the Doula Package that covers both at a reduced fee.
Reflexology, Pregnancy Massage, Reiki
You can have any of these treatments as and when you wish from the beginning of your pregnancy through to Postnatally on their own or as part of a Package with the reduced fee.
There are a variety of Placenta Remedies and Keepsakes which are all on my page- click on this link for more info – Placenta Remedies
Professional Plaster Casting
I can also do framed Placenta Casts and add in your baby’s hands and feet later.
Baby Pods which are a cast of your tummy that baby will lie in for photo shoots, family hands as well baby’s hands and feet.
I am always adding new images to my gallery …