Providing Doula services in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire.
A Doula is an experienced woman who offers emotional and practical support to a woman (or couple) before, during and after childbirth. A doula believes in "mothering the mother" - enabling a woman to have the most satisfying and empowered time that she can during pregnancy, birth and the early days as a new mum. This type of support also helps the whole family to relax and enjoy the experience. "Doula" (pronounced "doola") is a Greek word meaning "caregiver or woman servant".
Birth doulas (or birth partners) are trained and experienced in childbirth. They have a good knowledge and awareness of female physiology BUT the doula is not supporting the mother in a clinical role - that is the job of the midwife/medical staff. She will support the parents during pregnancy and throughout labour, for however long and will visit them postnatally.What does a doula do?
Have a quick look here: http://vimeo.com/58769487
Research has shown that having a doula present at a birth :
Shortens first-time labour by an average of 2 hours Decreases the chance of caesarean section by 50% Decreases the need for pain medication Helps fathers participate with confidence Increases success in breast-feeding
(Findings taken from "Mothering the Mother" by Klaus, Kennell & Klaus, 1993)
Kennell J, Klaus M, McGrath S, Robertson S, Hinkley C. JAMA 1991 May 1;265(17):2197-201
Postnatal doulas work flexible hours to suit the family, offering practical and emotional support to the new mother and father in the home following the birth of baby. In the West today, too often mothers are rushed back into normal day-to-day activities, in many cultures women are confined to bed and rest for a period of up to 40 days. This may be impossible in our society but with the help of a postnatal doula, a mother can enjoy some of the benefits of a prolonged "lying in" period. This will help her bond with her baby and spend extra time with any older siblings. Our work is about empowering a family to take care of itself and we facilitate this by helping around the house and offering encouragement and suggestions.