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What is a Doula?

"Doula" (pronounced "doola") is a Greek word meaning "woman servant or caregiver". It now refers to an experienced woman who provides continuous emotional and practical support, educational resources and comfort measures to a woman (or couple) before, during and after childbirth. She works with a woman/couple to develop and achieve their birth plan/preferences. A Doula also helps to encourage, advise and support the birthing companion so they can become more involved - rather than replacing this critical role.

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 this special experience.

About Doula's
Doula’s give pre- and post-natal care on a full or part-time basis. During the birth, a doula will support and encourage the new mother, acting as her companion and comforter. A recent report in the United States (Mothering The Mother by Kennel, Klaus and Kennel) showed the presence of a doula could reduce the likelihood of caesareans, and the use of epidurals and forceps.


After the birth, the Doula's first priority is to insure that the new mother is rested, relaxed and eats well. To assist her with breastfeeding and/or nurturing her baby, to help with siblings and take away some of the stresses and strains of running a home.


We bring lots of love to the new family, and try to lighten the load that new mum and dad initially feel. 


As a postnatal Doula we are experienced and passionate about this special time. Let us help your family get off to a great start.

Would you like to have an empowered and positive birth with the help of a professional childbirth assistant?

A trained labour companion can help you have a shorter, easier and healthier birth. 


RESEARCH has shown that having a Doula present at a birth;
• Shortens first-time labour by an average of 2 hrs
• Decreases the chance of caesarean section by 50% 
• Decreases the need for pain medication    
• Helps fathers participate with confidence
• Increases success in breastfeeding
( Findings from "Mothering the Mother" Klaus, Kennell & Klaus, 1993)

Example's of what a postnatal Doula can offer:

  • Provide hands-on education on infant and mother care
  • Help parents to get to know the abilities and talents of their new baby
  • Create a nurturing, restful atmosphere in which parents may eat, shower and nap
  • Shop for groceries and prepare meals
  • Play with older children and offer suggestions for how to integrate the new baby into the family
  • Spend time with the baby, allowing parents to cuddle and have quality time with older children or just be alone together
  • Introduce parenting tips, helping parents to learn skills that will enable them to cope with their new responsibilities
  • Help and support with breastfeeding challenges or postnatal mood disorders
  • Make referrals to any local or informational resources that the parents might need
  • Work herself out of a job, by helping parents to gather the skills and resources that they will need in the upcoming weeks and months
  • Help to organize the nursery and home
  • Take care of the baby's laundry
  • Offer a listening, non-judgmental ear

The benefits go on...

Women who have had doulas present at their births:

  • Are less likely to have post natal depression.
  • show higher self esteem about their labour
  • are more confident of their ability to birth their baby and care for it

Doulas are still a relatively new phenomenon in Britain and are not currently available on the NHS, but as maternity and post-natal services are stretched to breaking point in many parts of Britain, maybe doula services could develop to fill the gap in support and care of today's mothers.


Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Labour Doula


1.  You want to give birth normally, without the use of medication or unnecessary interventions.


2.  You want someone who is experienced and trained to help manage your labour pain.


3. You've heard about the reaserch on Doula's and want the benefit of having one present.


4.  You want someone knowledgeable present at all times to ask questions and explain your options.


5.  You want someone to act as an advocate for your and your partner's wishes.


6.  You've experienced a traumatic or negative birth with prior children.


7.  You're a single mother or your partner is not available to attend the birth (for example in the military services).


8.  You're trying for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).


9.  You want someone present who can provide physical and emotional support, if the father cannot be present or participate for religious reasons.


10.  You want someone to help the father participate more fully in the birth, to take pictures or video and to deal with family and friends.


Pregnancy and birth is a very special time, and every minute should be treasured and enjoyed.

Beauty of Birth, Lambourn, Berkshire, RG17 8YQ.

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