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what is a doula?

A doula gives help, support and advice to you through your 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 a c-section. For me, the role of the doula is about enabling you to feel positive about giving birth, no matter how or where your baby is born, so you can look back on the experience with pride.

antenatal and birth doula support: I am passionate about the importance of positive experiences of childbirth for you, your partner, and for your baby. I aim to support and empower you to remain engaged in decision-making throughout the process of your labour and birth. 

I offer you unconditional support throughout your pregnancy; but you get to define what support you need, and how I can best provide this as your doula. 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. I travel alongside as you make this unique journey to parenthood, and I am there to support you both throughout, and in the period immediately following the birth of your baby; I stay with you until you are settled, and baby is fed, and I visit you in the first two weeks to see how you are doing, and to support you making this huge transition to life with a new baby.

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 protected space for parent(s) and baby to adjust to life together; a time for bonding and establishing feeding. I believe in the importance of honouring this sacred time of new parenthood, a time of great vulnerability for you, and I do this through supporting you, practically and emotionally in flexible ways that meet your needs.

As your postnatal doula I provide reassurance and nurturing support. I can offer you encouragement and practical support with feeding your baby, particularly over establishing breast or chestfeeding; you may find this challenging to begin with, and sometimes it can take time for you and your baby to work out the best way to do this! I provide information on a range of local resources you can access in the early days and weeks, and I can sign-post you to additional resources around safe bottle-feeding 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, information 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