What is a Doula?

A Doula is a trained professional who specialises in supporting women and their birth partners during pregnancy, birth and early motherhood. They are there to educate and support those who are planning all kinds of birth, from homebirth to planned cesarean section. A Doula will give emotional support as well as practical for both the mother and her birth partner. You can book a Doula just to educate you on all things antenatal, such as breathing techniques and positioning or she can be with you for the birth of your baby to help and encourage and be that constant calm that you need. After the baby is born she can be by your side to support you in becoming the mother you want to be, whether it be breastfeeding support or looking after baby while you sleep!

Are Doula’s the same as midwives?

No! A Midwife is a medically trained caregiver, who also performs clinical tasks and examinations. A Doula is there in a non-medical role to support and encourage mum and her birth partner, by keeping her comfortable, calm and relaxed as possible. She does not give out any medical advice, but can signpost you to information that can help you in your choices.

Are Doula’s employed by the NHS?

Doula’s are self-employed professionals and each have their own contracts that need to be signed by both parties before working together. A deposit is paid upon booking, followed by the balance before the “on call” period starts.

Will my partner feel pushed out if I hire a Doula?

Definitely not! Our main role is to encourage your birth partner to support you in the best way possible. We are not there to push anyone out, but work together as a team, which is why it is so important to have met a few times before the birth. The rapport we build up with your partner will carry us through to the labour and we can support you confidently together. A Doula’s presence has been proven to strengthen a partners role as she frees up some of the pressure and feelings of responsibility and can participate as little or as much as you both want.

Will having a Doula interfere with this intimate and private time in our relationship?

We would discuss at length how little or often you want your Doula involved. You and your partner make that decision. We are trained to be there for you when needed but never to take over! At times there may be a need for her to remain quietly in the background or even leave the room if you need time together. Or at other times your partner may be grateful for her to help you through the last stage of labour when pain is intensified and she can offer comfort measures to you. A Doula will always work intuitively with every couple and meet their needs accordingly!

I’m interested in the Aquanatal yoga classes, from how many weeks pregnant can I attend?

From the 14th week of pregnancy and please note you do not need to be a confident swimmer to attend.


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