Frequently Asked Questions

What is a doula?

"Doula" is a Greek word traditionally meaning "woman servant" A doula has come to mean an experienced, compassionate mother who offers emotional and practical support to a woman (and her partner) through pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood.

A doula believes that childbirth is a normal part of life and trusts that the majority of women can birth naturally. 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 mother.

A birth doula is trained and experienced in childbirth. She has a good knowledge and awareness of female physiology BUT is not medically trained and does not offer advice. That is the role of a midwife and medical staff. A birth doula will support every client in her choice of birth environment and mode of birthing.

Who uses a doula?

All types of people!
  • First time mothers
  • Second time and more mothers
  • Women with partners
  • Women without partners
  • Women planning home births and women planning hospital births

Why use a doula?

Pregnancy and birth is an exciting, wonderful time, but it can also be a stressful time. Most women in our society do not have the community support that they may have enjoyed in days gone by when a mother, or experienced sister, aunt or cousin may have been there to provide support during her pregnancy, labour and birth and in the early days with a newborn. Many of us now live long distances from our nearest and dearest. Today many women try have to try to cope with minimal support from over stretched midwives and an inexperienced partner and, once home with their baby are left largely trying to shoulder the responsibility of looking after a new baby alone.

Ways a doula help?

  • Provide continuity of caring support
  • Debrief a previous traumatic birth experience
  • Identify your needs and priorities
  • Gathering information and research
  • Writing a birth plan
  • Build your confidence in your body's ability to birth your baby
  • Support at consultant or midwifery meetings
  • Bring fresh ideas during pregnancy and labour
  • Debriefing after your birth
  • Support and practical advice in the first few weeks of mothrhood

How can a doula help Dads?

  • Help partners feel included, supported and informed
  • Empower partners to participate in a valuable way during pregnancy, birth and beyond
  • Reduce anxiety with information and support
  • Doula support helps the whole family to relax and enjoy the experience

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