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Doula : definition (pronounced "doo - lah") provides emotional and practical support during pregnancy and labour and/or during the post-natal period.

But what does that mean?

​It means that as your doula, I will provide emotional and practical support and encouragement in a wide variety of ways before, during, and after the birth of your baby.

Birth Doula FAQ's

​What exactly will I do?!

​A doula’s role and duties change with each birth depending on the needs of her client. As my client, you define my role as your doula. In basic terms, if you say to me: “I want someone to do X, and I may need help with Y, but definitely not Z,” then I will adapt to support you in whatever ways you need me to.


What's the difference between a doula and a midwife?

​A midwife’s role at births is to provide medical monitoring and support to both mother and baby, and to provide immediate postpartum care. A midwife can perform duties such as vaginal exams, suturing, blood pressure, heart rate, and overall evaluations of the health of the mother and baby, among other things.  A midwife has had special training to attend births as a medical professional, as well as provide a level of emotional support.  A doula does not 'catch the baby' or perform any medical tasks.  A doula cannot evaluate the mother or baby for health problems.  Doulas are normally mothers themselves and are trained to provide a high level of emotional support and can signpost to relevant sources of information. A midwife’s, doctor’s, or nurse’s priority is the physical health of the mother and baby, while a doula’s priority is the emotional health of the mother, her partner, and their baby. Doulas do not replace professional medical care, they enhance it to give their clients a continuity of support that they might not otherwise get.

Isn’t my partner supposed to do all that? Will their role be redundant if I use a doula?

I consider it a priority to ensure that your partner is free to fully participate in the birth experience with you.  

Partners need support, too! Freeing your partner to truly be with you - to be physically and emotionally present for the birth of their child - is the ultimate aim, as well as allowing them to rest during the labour, or ask questions if they arise.

I’m the birth partner - what does a doula do for me?

​My role as doula is to support the entire family.  This means you can go to the bathroom, grab a bite to eat, or if birthing is particularly long, even take a nap without worrying about leaving your partner labouring alone.  It means you can fully participate in the birth of your child at whatever level you are most comfortable.  If you’d prefer to take pictures and leave things like massage up to me, you can.  If you’d prefer to be the one massaging or holding her hand, I can take the pictures, fetch water, and deal with any other tasks that may come up.  As your doula, I tend to the details, leaving you free to focus on what’s really important to you.

I really want a doula at my birth, but my partner is still reluctant.

This is probably the most common reason that people are hesitant to hire a doula.  It is natural for partners to be wary of inviting an outsider to the birth of their child. Partners often feel their role is to protect the mother and baby, and minimizing outsiders is one way to do that.  Oftentimes, reluctant partners will feel more comfortable with the idea once they have met the doula and had an opportunity to have their concerns and needs addressed.  I offer free, no-obligation consultations, and we can meet wherever you and your partner feel most comfortable - at home, at the coffee shop, or over dinner at a restaurant.  I encourage you to ask your most challenging questions at this consultation.  It is also notable that partners who were reluctant at first are often the biggest supporters of doulas after benefiting from her presence at the birth of their child.

Wait, isn’t this what midwives do?

Many midwives are willing and happy to do these things, but unfortunately their other duties often interfere.  A midwife’s first priority is to monitor your physical health and that of your baby, and they often have more than one patient whose care they are responsible for. Midwives rarely have the time to help with things related to comfort and support, and they are often pleased to learn that you have hired a doula.

I plan to use medication. Can I still benefit from having a doula?

My role as a doula is to support you and your partner, regardless of whether or not you choose to use pharmacological pain management.  Your need for support and encouragement continues, even with an epidural.

What if I decide during labour that I want an epidural - will you support that?

In a word, yes! As your doula, I will support whatever option you feel is right for you. I believe in the compassionate use of medication for labouring women, when appropriate and requested.  As each mother has unique needs, this issue will be discussed in detail at our prenatal visits, so that I will have a complete understanding of how to best support your wishes during birthing.

My baby will be born by caesarean; what are some ways I can benefit from having a doula?

As your doula, I can help you and your partner navigate the often complex process surrounding a caesarean birth. I will hold the space for your family, helping to remind everyone involved that birth is a deeply emotional and spiritual process, not a medical event, even when medical care is involved. Breastfeeding and caring for your baby are sometimes more challenging after a caesarean birth, and as your doula, I will provide support and encouragement while you overcome those challenges.

I am planning to have a homebirth - do I still need a doula?

This depends on your preferences and on your midwife. Some midwives work with apprentices who will fill

the role of a doula. Most midwives offer a very high level of emotional support, regardless of whether they work alone or with apprentices. There are benefits to hiring a doula separately, however. You can interview several doulas to ensure the best relationship. Also, having a doula at your homebirth ensures that the level of emotional support will be maintained even in the event of an emergency, during which the midwife and apprentice could be too busy to offer much emotional support. As your doula, I will also provide an increased level of postpartum support.


It seems so expensive!

​Doula fees may seem high because it is an expense that was not anticipated. Many couples do not consider doula services until they are already pregnant and the birth is looming. When put in the perspective of other costs of having a baby, however, the investment is clearly quite practical. Most parents will spend hundreds of pounds on baby furniture, car seats, clothing, bottles, cameras, diapers - sometimes even a bigger car or house! I also offer installment options! Every family needs support and encouragement before, during, and after labor and birth. Doula fees are actually quite reasonable when you break it down. You receive 3 in-home, completely personalised visits (2 prenatal, 1 postpartum) to discuss your needs and wishes for your birth and to help with breastfeeding or other postpartum needs. I also include an Active Birth Workshop, and Pregnancy Yoga in my package. As your doula I am also on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from 38 weeks of pregnancy, and I will stay with you for the duration of your labour, throughout all hours of the day and night, no matter how long your laboUr lasts. Not even your doctor will do that! The benefits of having a doula at your birth are truly immeasurable.


Post-Natal Doula FAQ's

What exactly will I do?!

As your Doula I can: hold your baby while you catch up on sleep, assist with feeding baby – breast/bottle, cook food for you and your family, wash up, tidy, wash and dry/fold clothes, go shopping for you, or just be there to lend a caring ear for any concerns you may have, and generally lift you up, and leave you smiling when I leave. I have contact numbers for various providers/therapists in the area if you need them. I have also been known to lay on the floor playing 'Cars' with older siblings!

When are you available?

I am available Monday to Friday from 9am to 2.30pm most days and sometimes until 5.30pm. With some exceptions as I often run a Post-natal Yoga class once a week during the daytime.

I will travel up to 40 mins from Farnham.

I don't know how much support I will need!

I usually help support your family for a minimum of 16 hours – for example, this could be over a period of 8 -10 weeks, following the birth of your baby. However there are other package options available on my Post-Natal Doula page. Take a look at my suggested amount of days/hours....

What do you charge?

See my Post-Natal Doula page for info

A non refundable deposit is payable on booking - This secures my support to you/dates in my diary as sometimes I have other clients wishing to book me around the same time as you.

The deposit amount is usually equivalent to 8-12 hours of support. If I need to cancel my support with you, due to unforseen circumstances, then your deposit will be refunded.

If you need immediate support and I am available, then there are a number of package options you can choose - please see my Post-Natal Doula page for info.

The Statistics:

A survey of birth doulas in 2013 conducted by Nurturing Birth showed that:
Only 12.5% of births supported by doulas ended in caesarean section, just under half the national rate of 25.5%
26.3% of women had a home birth with doula support, compared with the 2.4% national rate.
Epidural uptake was less than 15%, compared to a 62.9% national average (49.3% spontaneous births)·
96.4% women who gave birth supported by a doula initiated breastfeeding, and of those 81.4% were still exclusively feeding at 6 weeks (as compared to 73.9% and 47.2%.)
It has also been shown by research undertaken in the USA that having the support of a doula is likely to reduce the length of labour (Kennell & Klaus)
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