Doula Services at Nurturing Life
If a doula were a drug, it would be not to use it – Dr. John H Kennell
Every doula works slightly differently, and every mother wants different care, to ensure you receive the care that YOU need, I like to discuss your wishes and expectations to ensure I provide the exact care you need.
Having said that though, there are a few different aspects to doula work that are fairly standard, these include:
- Initial visit/meeting– to decide if we will work well together
- Prenatal visits – generally a minimum of 2 (though it does depend on when you engage my services as to whether there is time!). These are set up to talk through different childbirth options, understanding the birth process, pain relief options, getting to know each other, as well as helping you (and/or your partner) with any fears or hesitations that you have going into birth. Please note that it is recommended you also take a Childbirth education class as all topics discussed are done so briefly, there unfortunately is not time time go in-depth into all topics.
- Help you create a birth plan
- Labour support– once you go into labour I will meet with you (as you arrange), this may be at your home, or at the hospital depending on what you want. Alot of women find it very helpful to have me meet them at home, and the partners generally are more at ease as there is less pressure on them to get the you to the hospital “at the right time”. During the labour I can have a range of different roles (this is where it is really dependent on what YOU want).
- Physical support/massage/acupuncture
- Emotional Support
- Discussion of different options/alternatives if the need for intervention arises
- Remind you of different pain relief options available (natural or not)
- Look after older children
- Take photos/video – camera to be provided by you
- Help keep you on track with your birth plan
- Help involve your partner in the birth process
- Help you initiate breastfeeding if that is your wish
- Stay with you for a couple of hours after the baby is born to ensure you have both settled
- Postnatal visits– generally a minimum of 2. These are set up to:
- Debrief about the birth
- Help you settle back into home
- Provide some cleaning/cooking assistance, go shopping or do some laundry
- Look after bub for an hour or so, so that you can take a shower, get food or have a rest.
- Phone support– once you decide to have me as your doula I will be happy to provide you with any phone support you require during your pregnancy. I consider herself “oncall” for a birth from 2 weeks prior to your estimated due date, and will ensure I have access to her phone 24/7. Please try to only contact me from 8am to 7pm unless you think you are in labour. If you are worried about something medical related please contact your main health provider first.
- Email support– I will try to ensure all emails are answered within 24hrs. If you need to ask me a question in the middle of the night and you are sure you will forget if you wait until morning, then this is the perfect way to ask!
If you would like an additional service that is not listed above, then please feel free to contact me to ask. I am always more than happy to look into different options.
There are a few things that a doula doesn’t do,
- Talk to the medical staff on your behalf- I can talk to you about your options, or help ask questions, but I am not able to tell the doctor directly (that needs to come from you or your partner)
- Perform any medical procedures, this is not included within my scope of training, these include:
- Taking blood pressure
- Listening to the baby
- Internal vaginal exams
- Palpate your stomach to advise position
- Lift your baby to your chest after it is born
- Cut the cord
If any of your questions about the doula service I provide have not been answered, then please contact me directly.