New COVID-19 Virtual doula Arrangement
Due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic I am offering a virtual doula service alongside in-person support where possible; for more information on what this involves please see the post https://devondoula.com/2020/04/02/covid-19-virtual-doula-support/
ante-natal/birth doula support
I am a Doula UK Recognised Birth doula. As your birth doula I listen to you and assist you in making informed choices about how to achieve the birth you desire. Through establishing a relationship over the weeks leading up to your ‘due month’ we develop an understanding of what is important to you/both in birthing your baby, and what you want from me at this exciting and challenging time in your lives.
I am not there to take the place of your partner, your family or your midwife; I am there to provide whatever help and reassurance you require of me. I endeavor to provide a continuous presence throughout your labour and the birth, if you want this. I keep you and your partner informed as to what is happening throughout your labour. I do my utmost to protect your birthing space, encouraging all who are privileged to share it to respect your wishes at all times, so that you can relax and feel empowered to give birth to your baby in the way you want to.
I try to safeguard precious opportunities for bonding with your baby immediately after the birth; for example, I support you in requesting the cord is not clamped for as many minutes as possible after the baby is born, and for your baby to remain with you for ‘skin-to-skin’ contact as long as you wish. I support you in enabling your baby to ‘find the breast’ and feed in the first hour after birth, and I stay with you until your new birth family is settled and comfortable.
I am happy to talk about what support you may be interested in and negotiate my fee accordingly, whether you want a standard ‘package (see below) or if you are looking for a more bespoke antenatal/postnatal support package.
standard birth doula package includes:
- all home visits during your pregnancy (usually 3 visits)
- 24 hour on-call availability from 37/8 weeks up to the birth, when I constantly carry a mobile phone and will be happy to hear from you at any hour of the day or night (if you anticipate giving birth before 38 weeks please talk to me about this)
- continuous support for you throughout labour wherever you are, at home or in hospital, including transfer from one to the other if required
- photographs of your labour and the birth of your baby (if requested)
- two postnatal visits, ongoing text, email and/or telephone support for up to six weeks after your baby is born
postnatal doula support
I offer an independent postnatal support service. As your postnatal doula I provide you with nurturing support as you make the transition into mother/parenthood; as little or as much support as needed, from a few hours in the beginning, to regular visits over a number of weeks (we negotiate this together depending on the nature of support you want). The Fourth trimester (the first three months following the birth of your baby) is a time of huge change and massive adjustment; as your doula I facilitate a space for you to start to process this experience and reflect on the changes – physical, emotional, spiritual.
I assist you (and your partner) with the practical and emotional tasks of adjusting to life together at home as a family with your new baby. In the early days and weeks with your new baby, support from your partner can be key, so I am a resource for you both during this time. I support you in establishing breast or chestfeeding, and signpost you to additional help if needed. I can help with light housework, and provide ‘an extra pair of hands’ around the house while you and your new baby adjust to life together. If need be, I assist you with tasks outside of the home, like doctors appointments, or enabling you and your other children to enjoy the new baby.
If you just need to chat over a cup of tea, or for someone to watch over your baby while you take a longed-for shower, I am there for you. I can cook nutritious plant-based meals to support your recovery from the challenges of childbirth, and load the washing machine (an even walk the dog!) – whatever you most need.
I provide follow-up support (by phone/text/email) for an agreed period following the end of our contract.
birth reflection service
I offer an independent birth reflection service. Birth reflection is an opportunity for you (and your partner if you wish) to reflect on your previous experience, and on how you felt/feel about what happened ‘then and now’. In the session I create a safe space and a supportive environment so that through reflection you can maybe find much-needed closure on painful issues; closure that enables you to go forwards with deeper understanding of yourself/selves. Maybe you are wanting to embark on another pregnancy, but you feel there are things from before ‘holding you back’; having the space to reflect can leave you feeling stronger and more able to make important decisions about going through another labour and birth.
I will signpost you to additional perinatal mental health support if need-be.
I am available to support couples going through baby loss, either through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death; please contact me to discuss your support needs. I am also able to provide valuable support to those expectant couples who have previously experienced a bereavement. Please get in touch if you would like to talk about this bespoke doula service.
I aim to cover most of North Devon and North Cornwall (EX23 covers postcodes from Bude to Bideford) in the course of my birth work and in my postnatal doula role. I am willing to support you where ever you live in this area if I can reach you in around one hour by car.