What do you do again? What a doula is and isn’t…

Most people know I’m a doula and those that don’t do a very good job of hiding their surprise/total incomprehension. But sometimes I wonder how many people really know what a doula really is?

What a doula isn’t:

  • I don’t replace or make redundant the birth partner
  • I don’t replace the midwife or doctor
  • I’m not a ‘natural’ or ‘drug-free’ birth nut
  • I don’t have a specific birth plan in mind for my clients
  • I don’t do most of my work at the birth
  • I won’t tell you what to do
  • I’m not a crazy crystal wearing, dream-catcher waving madwoman (though happy to turn in to one if that’s what you need)

What a doula is:

  • I’m a member of the team who fills whatever gap exists at the time, be it taxi calling and pool filling, hand holding and encouragement or silent, unobtrusive support
  • I help the birth partner to be supportive, loving, helpful and informed and, by my presence, give him/her permission to take a break every now and then
  • I am totally non-medical and happy to point you to resources but will never give you an opinion
  • I’m completely non-judgemental and my only goal is for you to be confident before your birth and happy afterwards
  • I don’t mind what kind of birth you want – as long as you are well informed and at the centre of the choices made
  • I do most of my work before the birth helping a couple explore their feelings around the birth, understand as much as possible about the birth process, develop confidence in the woman’s ability to birth, build strong connections and be well-versed in how to communicate with their medical team and make well-informed decisions
  • I spend time getting to know you and vice versa so you feel comfortable with me
  • I’m a fairly normal human, just one who happens to believe that birth is natural, normal and wonderful and is keen to support couples as they make their journey towards and beyond it

If I had to sum it up in a sentence, I’d say:

A doula knows your strength, listens to your fears and tunes in to what you need so that you  feel safe, relaxed, powerful, informed and able to embrace and own your birth.

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The Hackney Doula

Doula UK Recognised