What is a doula?

A doula is there to hold the space for you to bring new life into the world. Doulas are a source of support and practical information for the transition to motherhood and parenthood and are there to listen, to give confidence and to be without judgement. A doula can help to prepare for the birth you envisage,  support you through labour and birth itself as well as being there for the postnatal healing and transitioning period. Doulas are often invited to be present for the arrival of a second or third child, as well as a first-baby experience.

Doulas are not medically trained and do not have any role in clinical or medical diagnosis. A doula will suggest things or signpost resources and provide encouragement and emotional support, as well as a continuous presence through the childbearing year, the changes it brings. She will be company and support through both the highs and the lows.

Do I need a doula?

A woman may feel she needs a doula for many different reasons. Sometimes she is disappointed that continuity does not occur in her prenatal care, and wishes to have someone who 'knows her' involved in the experience. Some may have had or heard of a previous traumatic birth, or feel nervous at how birth may unfold and would like a reassuring presence. Some women feel overwhelmed at the changes coming and the volume of information available and would like some help in finding the right way for herself. Others may have concerns related to gender identification or issues specific to black, asian and minority ethnic mothers. In all of these situations and many more a doula may be able to help.

Does it matter where I intend to give birth?

Not at all. A doula is there to support you wherever you choose to give birth - whether it be at home, in a midwife-led unit, or in the hospital labour ward. If you do not know where you would like to give birth a doula can also help you sort through the information to clarify where would feel best and most suitable for you and your baby.

How much does it cost?

All doulas charge differently and a lot depends on the specific situation (e.g birth only or birth and postnatal), distances travelled and number of meetings or support sessions. All of this would  be discussed in a first informal chat or sometimes by email with more information.

What are the next steps?

If you would like to explore having a doula involved the next step would be to have an informal co-interview. This is a chat where we meet face-to-face to see if it could feel right to work together. It is usually a good idea to meet with several potential doulas , and often doulas will recommend one another to mothers and couples they feel would be a good fit. If you would like to speak to me about doula-ing, either in general or in regards to me being your doula, just get in touch!

Further Information

Here are a couple of websites with more doula related information: