Some doulas are ex-midwives and some go on to train in midwifery but the two are very different and play different roles in a woman's birth journey. Doulas are not clinically trained so do not perform clinical tasks or give medical advice, that's what your doctor or midwife is for. Instead we give you emotional and practical support and signpost to relevant information allowing you to make informed choices yourself.
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 I fully support the Doula UK access fund for families who are on a low income and unable to afford a doula. If you are not eligible for the access fund but are still worried about whether you can afford my fees please still get in touch as I will do all I can to give you the support you need.
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.
A doula can still provide invaluable support if you have a caesarean birth. I will still help to make sure you have access to the information you need to make informed choices about your birth and work with you to put together your birth plan. I can give you emotional and practical support before, during and after your caesarean in any way I am able. Take a look here for more about how a doula can support your caesarean section.
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!