As a doula, I am able to accompany you and your partner through the process of preparing for birth and to support you during labour, birth and meeting your baby. I can also support you after the birth of your baby for as long as you need me to. I do not give medical advice nor do I undertake examinations or perform any other clinical task. I cannot make decisions for you. I can, however, act as an advocate for you. I am independent and self-employed. I am working for you, not your caregivers or hospital.
I draw on my knowledge and experience, as well as the accumulated wisdom of my community of birth-folk, to provide you with balanced, non-biased information, unconditional emotional support and physical comfort measures. I am able to make suggestions for helping labour to progress, I can help with relaxation, positioning and optimising your birth environment. If the need arises, I can help you to communicate with your midwives and other medical care givers to ensure that you have all the information you need and the space to make informed decisions during pregnancy, labour, birth, bonding and early parenting. I can provide continuity of support for you and your partner, make suggestions for planning and preparing your birth and bonding environment and building rapport with your midwives and medical attendants. I do not come between you and your partner but rather support both of you.
How do I provide this service to you?
We will usually have had an introductory meeting or call early in your pregnancy. We will start to get to know each other, explore and discuss your priorities, any fears or concerns, and plan how we might best work together. Once we have agreed a plan, I will arrange to meet with you and (if applicable) your partner at least twice more antenatally. Session one will be two hours and will generally focus on discussing skills for labour and birth, any particular issues surrounding your pregnancy or anything else that might impact your birth experience, and ensuring that you have the information you need to make informed decisions about your care and that of your baby. We will also work on contingency plans and work through different scenarios to ensure you can feel empowered even if your experience takes an unexpected turn.
During the second two-hour session we usually look at your birth preparation in detail. At this time we can emphasise and rehearse how you and your partner (if applicable) can work together with me on comfort measures and optimising different elements of the environment to make your experience as straightforward as possible. We can also discuss the current position of your baby and how you can help your baby to engage well in readiness for birth. We can review the birth plan that you will share with your health care professionals, including your preferences regarding pain management options. We can also talk about your natural coping-mechanisms and how your partner and I could help you use these to your advantage.
We will arrange for me to go exclusively on-call for you, usually from about 2 weeks before your estimated due date, until your baby is born, or for four weeks, whichever is sooner. During the on-call period I will have arranged my diary so that every appointment has a backup, all my clients know I am on call and might cancel at sort notice, and I make no firm commitments to anyone beyond my own immediate family. If there is a date during your on-call period when I would be unable to come to you (one of my own children’s birthdays, for example), I will arrange for another doula to be available on that day and make sure you are fully aware of the arrangements.
Once your labour starts you will need to call me and, after assessing the situation over the phone, we will decide together on the best course of action. Even if you plan to go into hospital I would prefer to meet you at home unless the baby comes in a hurry or an emergency situation has occurred. Please keep in mind that I may need an hour to arrive locally. If you live further away it may take longer. I will be with you as soon as I safely can though.
If you are having a planned caesarean or your labour is being induced, we may have more certainty over the timings and we can plan the support you need accordingly.
Except for in circumstances out of my realm of influence, I will remain with you throughout labour, birth and early bonding. If you transfer from home to hospital or within the hospital, I will do my very best to stay with you and/or your partner in whatever capacity you want me to.
I will do my best to safeguard those precious first minutes of physiological bonding after birth and I can support you with first feeds if you need some help. I won’t leave until you are totally settled and happy to let me go.
Before I leave you, we will arrange your first two hour postnatal visit, usually within one or two weeks after the birth to see how you are doing, listen to your and your partner’s side of the birth story and provide you with any support you might need at that time. We will then have another postnatal session at around six weeks after the birth.
Lucy was our birth and postnatal doula for our home birth. After deciding that we would like our first birth to be a home birth, we felt additional emotional and practical support from a doula would help both myself and my husband stay relaxed and calm which we knew was so important for welcoming our son.
Lucy not only was there for the birth, but before. She supported us with knowledge and the confidence that we were making the right decisions for our baby and birth. During the birth she made sure the midwives were looked after, that my husband was okay and helped keep me relaxed and my breathing calm. Without a doubt her presence contributed to what was truly a positive birth experience.
During the birth she advocated for our choices and afterwards helped us settle. She held our little boy while I showered and my husband rested.
Lucy has been available for support after our birth, and really helpful with advice around slings and baby wearing. We’ve settled into our new lives as a family of 3 and feel like it has been hugely helped by Lucy’s support and confidence.
Birth Doula Package £850
- Ad hoc antenatal support via message and, by arrangement, phone call.
- 2 x 2-hour antenatal sessions.
- Up to 4 weeks on call exclusively to you with 24/7 access to me by message and phone.
- Physical, emotional and informational support throughout your labour, birth and immediate postnatal period.
- 2 x 2-hour postnatal sessions
- Up to 6 weeks ad hoc support via message and, by arrangement, phone call if needed after the birth.
Travel costs are included if you live within 25 miles of Belper, by agreement if you live further afield.
You will also be expected to pay for my taxi if I accompany you to your place of birth in your car, and then need to return to your home by taxi to retrieve my car.
The fee will be paid as follows:
- Retaining fee of £200, payable when the contract is signed.
- The remaining £650 must be paid before I go on call. The balance can be paid in full at the first antenatal session, or in two instalments of £325 at the two antenatal sessions.
- I am prepared to discuss other payment arrangements if this would be a problematic barrier to you accessing my service. Please just ask me.