A doula is someone who supports women and their families during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period after baby is born. Some doulas focus on birth or postnatal work and others (like me!) do both, supporting women and families throughout their journey into parenthood.
Evidence suggests that having a doula can lead to a shorter labour, reduced risk of caesarean and instrumental birth, reduced rate of induction, reduced need for epidurals and analgesia, increased likelihood of successfully establishing breastfeeding and increased parental satisfaction with the birth experience.
A doula can provide continuity of care, giving you informational, practical and emotional support throughout your birth journey. Your constant, supporting your choices, wherever or however you choose to birth.
All kinds of birth! I will support you regardless of the type of birth you want, whether that is a hospital birth with pain relief, a caesarean section or a home water birth. My job is not to judge but to help ensure that you feel respected throughout your pregnancy and birth, supported in the choices you make and that you can look back on your experience positively.
I wouldn't ever want to replace or change the relationship a woman has with her chosen birth partner, whether that is their partner, mother or close friend. A good doula is there to support the whole family, helping to make sure birth partners have the confidence to support a mother and worrying about practicalities so they don't have to. I would hope to get to know your birth partner antenatally so we can work together as a team giving you the very best support, after all a woman can never have too many advocates!
I generally cover areas within 1 hours driving distance from my home in Stretford, Manchester, including areas within Greater Manchester and parts of Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Merseyside. However please do get in touch if you are further away as I may still be able to support you or know of another doula who can.
I like to think that being a doula is more a vocation than a career and if a woman wants a doula there is always a way (although I still have bills to pay and mouths to feed back home!). I offer payment plans so you can spread out the cost and am always open to skill swaps if you have something to offer.
Take a look at the Nurturing Birth Directory to find doulas and other related services in your area.