A grandmother gives feedback on being supported by Hilary in her role as birth companion for her daughter:
I want to share my thanks to Hilary for helping us (grandmother and parents) to process a disappointing first birth (2016) and to prepare for the second one which took place in October 2018 in Salt Lake City USA. As a longtime friend of Hilary I was delighted and relieved to be able draw on her experience and knowledge as a doula in readiness for being a member of the birth team again.
The first birth ended in a C section, despite making it to full dilation without assistance, because very late on the baby was discovered to be breech. The hospital staff was risk averse and not in touch with UK evidenced informed practice, such as immediate skin to skin contact, seeding and allowing the mother to take time. I had chosen home births for my children because I know how important the birth is for mother and baby. The information I gained from HIlary reminded them of this and, though they definitely didn’t want a home birth, they began to think seriously about which hospital to choose for the delivery of their second child.
Early on in the second pregnancy I had a long telephone discussion with Hilary about what would make a difference second time round. When I visited a few months later she gave me a book to read and links to research findings to answer some of my questions. I ordered the book for the parents and summarised the material I’d looked at to make it quick and easy for them to access. On arrival at their home in Salt Lake City in October I discussed where and when I should be assertive during the birth. They had read the book and had used it to prepare a very clear birth plan with symbols which were clear for everyone. The baby came 10 days early and was born normally with the help of an epidural. I cut the umbilical cord once the baby had all the blood it needed. The midwives were supportive and the routine tests were done an hour later once the parents were ready. He continues to thrive.
For me Hilary’s help meant that;
the materials selected were tailored for me and my daughter for a second birth in her unique circumstances. This helped me inform myself and them quickly and effectively. This resulted in a clear picture for them of the birth they wanted and helped them choose the hospital most likely to provide it.
the Birthplan was clear for me to support, as well as for the hospital. The plan came directly from the recommended book using the tools provided.
Reading and talking to Hilary enabled me to identify what I needed to know and to consolidate my knowledge.
My daughter recognised the importance of getting the right information from me:
‘Thanks…with all your research that helped us with the birth and helped us be more informed on the day’
A big thank you Hilary!