‘Devondoula: Doulaing you from a distance’
It’s difficult to describe the challenges of the current situation we face with the COVID-19 virus, but if you’re pregnant at the moment, particularly with your first baby, this may be an immensely difficult time for you and your partner. With face-to-face antenatal support being reduced, and advice to pregnant women to stay at home, it’s hard to see how your needs for support and the company of others in a similar situation (being pregnant) can be met. With so much uncertainty you may have many questions; you (and your partner) may need someone to hold a safe space for you in which to explore how you’re feeling, someone to help you to develop confidence and curiosity in responding to what lies ahead.
That’s where I come in as your virtual doula, to be that ‘someone’ with the knowledge and experience of supporting birthing individuals and partners through pregnancy and childbirth. As your virtual doula I offer advice, information, and emotional support; we negotiate how best to meet your needs through various forms of remote communication, such as text, email, and phone/video calls. I am accessible to you throughout your pregnancy, through your labour if you wish, as far as contraints allow. My support continues in the days and weeks following the birth of your baby, without the restrictions of distance or the risks associated currently with face-to-face contact. I travel alongside you as your guide, and help you navigate the many twists and turns on your path towards the birth of your baby.
I can be on hand to answer questions after the midwife or hospital appointment that leaves you feeling uncertain about the way forward, or when you feel overwhelmed by all the information out there, and just want someone to listen to your thoughts and feelings about your forthcoming labour and birth. I am committed to enabling you to connect to your birthing wisdom, so that you can be guided by and learn to trust your instincts. I help you find answers to your questions, and together we devise strategies and develop tools to alleviate your anxieties and increase your confidence about what lies ahead. Through working together, I want you (and your partner) to feel empowered to embrace childbirth with confidence, to emerge as new parents with positive memories of your experience.
What you can expect from me as your Virtual Antenatal/Birth Doula
In doula-ing you from a distance I undertake to do the following:
- I offer an initial ‘no-obligation’ consultation by video call after which we can decide how we wish to work together
- I agree to attend a minimum of two remote antenatal meetings and a minimum of two remote postnatal meetings with you, as well as being present remotely as a support during the birth if you wish, and if practicable. I do not purport to act as a midwife and I agree that my role is supportive and that I will at all times be guided by your birth plan, decisions, needs and wishes
- As part of this contract, I will be available for consultations via telephone, video call, text messages and email from when you engage me until six weeks after birth. I agree to be on-call from week 38 of the pregnancy
- I can send you distance Reiki throughout our work together and through your labour
You understand and agree that I will provide:
- a minimum of two remote antenatal sessions and consultations (by video call, email or telephone up until the start of the on-call period at week 38), and a minimum of two remote postnatal sessions
- support from the beginning of the on-call period through to the start of your labour
- remote support during labour and birth (if practicable)
I am Devondoula, an independent and self-employed doula with six years experience. I have recent experience of providing remote doula support to a couple, both antenatally and postnatally, and I am currently providing a complete remote doula support package to a second couple.
I am a Recognised Doula, registered with Doula UK, and I follow Doula UK guidance in my practice. In 2018 I completed Second Degree in Reiki Method of Natural Healing (Usui Shiki Ryoho) administered by Reiki Mater Catherine Louis Booth. I have professional insurance cover provided by Holistic Insurance Services.
I regularly update my professional knowledge on relevant research and practice. As your virtual antenatal/birth doula I use my knowledge and experience to help you make informed, evidence-based choices and decisions about your labour and birth, and the time immediately following birth.
Confidentiality and information sharing
Whilst working as your doula I understand you may discuss or disclose personal information to me. I keep your information confidential, except in a situation where I am required by law to share such information; for example, where there is a safeguarding concern. Otherwise any information you provide about you or another person shall not be given directly (or indirectly) to a third party without your express permission.
As a Virtual Doula I DO NOT
- Give medical advice
- Advise on natural/complementary remedies during pregnancy, labour and early parenting
- Express opinions or make decisions for you; my role is to enable you to make informed decisions for yourself
I encourage you to take responsibility for your choices around the birth, parental style or feeding method you feel is right for your you and your baby