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what is a doula?

The Oxford Dictionary defines a doula as “A woman who gives help, support and advice to another woman during pregnancy and during and after the birth”. As your doula I support your labour and birth wherever it happens and whatever it involves – home birth, hospital birth, water birth, birth after epidural or c-section. For me, the role of the doula is all about enabling a woman to feel positive about her experience of giving birth, no matter how or where her baby is born.

antenatal and birth doula support: I am passionate about the importance of positive experiences of childbirth for a woman, for her partner, and for their baby. I believe in the need to support and empower women to remain engaged in decision-making throughout the process of labour and giving birth.

I offer you unconditional support throughout your pregnancy; but you get to define what support you need, and how as your doula, I can best provide this. I act as a guide to you and your partner in navigating the sometimes bewildering array of evidence-based information about childbirth and birth options. I listen to your hopes and fears, offering non-judgemental information to support you both in making informed choices about the labour and birth you want.

postnatal doula support: Giving birth is a profound experience; it is transformative to your sense of self, and as such it brings with it joys and challenges. In various cultures around the world this period immediately after birth is revered; a new mother’s space is protected while she and her baby adjust to life together; bonding and establishing breastfeeding. I believe in the importance of ‘mothering the new mother’ during this time of great vulnerability, and it is this I offer to do for you.

As your postnatal doula I provide you and your new family with reassurance, and nurturing support. I offer practical support with feeding your baby, particularly over establishing breastfeeding, and I sign-post you to additional resources if necessary. Together we work out what you need; what is most useful to you and your family during these early days with your new baby. I provide practical help and emotional support to make this experience both a positive and a memorable one for you.  

do you need a doula?

I am a Doula UK Recognised birth doula, and I also offer an an independent postnatal doula service. For more information about the benefits of having a doula give me a call on 01271 344344 or 07714307066, or you can email me: hillypen@hotmail.com

I’d love to hear from you…

Hilary Pengelly – antenatal, birth and postnatal doula