Hi everyone … welcome to my Doula Questions and Answer Page. I offer Packages for the Antenatal Mama, Labouring Mama and Postnatal Mama.
I aim to support you physically and emotionally and help you to feel cherished and cared for during the life-changing experience of bringing your baby into this world. A lot of information but worth scrolling down instead of jumping from page to page although there are some helpful links there.
What is a Doula and what are the benefits of having one ?
The word 'Doula' comes from the Greek meaning Slave, female servant or Carer. Today a Doula is someone who offers physical and emotional support. A Doula is a Birth Companion who "Mother's the Mother" … someone who empowers the mother to have the birth experience and nurturing that she hopes for …
This support is offered to the mother and her family throughout her pregnancy, during her birth experience and postnatal. In some ways, she is seen as a form of replacement for the traditional mother, grandmother , aunt, older sister or wise woman in the community.
She is someone you come to know well by the time of your baby's birth ... someone who is there by your side focused on your needs ... encouraging and supporting you ... as well as assisting your Partner to feel more confident to be there for you and share in this special time.
Research has shown that having a Doula at your birth can make a real difference ..
- Risk of an emergency cesarean is reduced
- Risk of episotomy and assisted delivery are reduced
- Mothers have more relaxed births and feel more in control working with their body's natural rythmn
- Satisfaction ratings of achieving the birth they wanted are higher generally than those without support although midwives are very supportive when they have the time.
However, Doulas do not take a clinical role and work alongside the Midwives and Doctors. We do not advise but can support you to help you find balanced information to make informed decisions about your Maternity Care.
We are not taking the Midwife's place or doing any physical examinations, checking baby's heartbeat etc. We do not make decisions for you or speak for you ...this is your birth and your baby .. and your choice.
Doulas may provide information but it is always your choice ... you decide what is best for you and I will be there to support you in that decision.
So what do you offer as a Doula ?
SUPPORT - NURTURING -COMFORT -KNOWLEDGE - PATIENCE AND UNDERSTANDING - LABOURING AND BIRTH TECHNIQUES - HOLISTIC THERAPIES
I can loan you some books that will help you to understand your rights with regards to Induction, vaginal examinations and lots of other things. My books are primarily from AIMS - they campaign for better births for all women, protect human rights in childbirth, raise awareness of research and offer independent information about pregnancy. There are many articles for you to read.
We usually meet up at least twice after the initial interview before you go into labour but I can be available to meet up or chat via Zoom with you several more times before labour for a coffee and chat in Aberdeen to see how things are. It's important that you feel comfortable and relaxed with me.
I can help ease your labour with the use of my TENS machine, Essential oil blends from my own 'Smells So Good' natural product range personally made by myself, Rescue Remedy, Homeopathic remedies and the use of my Rebozo, Birth Ball and CUB chair for comfort along with Hypnobirthing massage, breathing techniques and relaxations.
The initial interview gives us both a chance to see if we are a good 'fit' and there is no obligation to commit and sign a contract straightaway. You may want to meet a few Doulas before you decide or I may refer you to another Doula if I cannot meet your needs.
If you would like me to be your Birth Doula but also need someone to cook for you along with some Postnatal care then it's possible to hire 2 Doulas. We all know other Doulas that we could recommend with different skill sets.
I can be available via e-mail, Viber, Whatsapp, text and by phone if easier than meet-ups in person. We would discuss your preferences at the interview and when we sign a contract.
Some mothers-to-be do not want a lot of time spent together during the pregnancy and would prefer a chat by messenger or Zoom and just for me to be there for birth support only and that is perfectly fine. I can be a hands-on Doula or just be in the background till you need me.
I can be there by arrangement to offer Postnatal care ... we would make arrangements about what type and how much Postnatal care you require and payment / arrangement discussed when we meet and sign a contract.
and some extra's ...
- Hypnotherapy / Traumatic Birth Recovery with the 3 Step Rewind Technique working with any particular fears and anxieties you may have about this birth or past birth experiences
- I am qualified in the McLoughlin Scar Tissue Release which works well with the appearance and discomfort of Caesarean Section and can show you ( demonstration and drawings) how to deal with the discomfort of Episotomy cuts once healed.
- I am a qualified Phlebotomist and been trained by Cells4Life to do the Stem Cell and Tissue Procurements for Cord Blood Banking.
Are you available for any Postnatal Care ?
Yes by arrangement, I can assist with caring for other children while you have bonding time with your new baby, time with Dad or your Partner, make cups of tea and toast post birth and do a wee tidy up of your home …. help you to shower and get into bed …. or just take over for a bit if you need to sleep.
Unfortunately my cooking skills leave much to be desired so I won't be making meals but can care for baby or assist in some way that would help you.
In a nutshell, I am there to basically increase the 'Oxytocin levels' in the room ... to nurture and support you ... and to create as calm an environment as possible whether you are having a Hospital birth or a Home Birth and help you to feel relaxed, nurtured and fully in control.
I am there for your comfort whether that be before giving birth, during birthing or afterwards. I am also there as part of your Birth Team supporting you and Dad or Partner helping you to achieve your 'Birth Proposals / Birth Wishes' as much as is possible …. to perhaps buy you some time to discuss an issue and make your decision … or to try different positions for a while before going down the medicalised route if that is what you desire.
Will you be with me for the whole of my labour ?
Yes if you are having a Home Birth then I will come to your home and if you end up going to hospital then I will attend to you there too be it before you go into Theatre for a C-section or post delivery.
If you are birthing at Aberdeen Maternity then I will be with you all the way from when you are admitted / active labour through to delivery as well as help you to shower and get into bed if required. I will stay with you as long as you need me. I am currently just covering the Aberdeen area at the moment but hope to expand to other areas shortly. I am happy to stay with you during an Induction too or take turns with your Birth Partner during the day or evening.
If you need a cup of tea and toast and a bit of home clean up after the delivery then I'd be happy to do that with a Home Birth. If you choose to have a Placenta Smoothie after delivery then I will provide that too. If you feel like a relaxing foot massage while you are cuddled with baby then I'm there for you too. A Doula is a "Mother's Helper" which is exactly what I will be for you …and as a Postnatal Doula, I'm there for you after the birth.
Will you accept a payment plan ?
Yes of course. It can be a lot of money to pay out in one go particularly if you choose a Package with different Services so we would sign a contract with an agreed amount to be paid at specific times that suit you with the final payment being by 37 weeks just in case you go into labour early or are induced. I have purposely reduced my package fees to make it affordable for you.
I don't like the idea of having to chase people up for outstanding fees, I have my own expenses to cover, I commit myself to being available for you so I'm not earning as much as I would offering therapies or workshops during that time ... and you really will have enough on your plate with a new baby without having to worry about money. There may also be a case of the 'Baby Brain' going on afterwards too ……
Will my Husband or Partner feel left out ?
You may be concerned that as a Doula I will take over and subtract from Dad or your Partner's involvement leaving them sitting away in a corner not participating in any way.
Nothing could be further from the truth … if anything Doulas show Dads and Partners how to get involved, how to be more hands on and how to make you feel loved and nurtured.
I will be taking the fear out of birthing by encouraging your Husband or Partner by instructing them on what to do and where it should be done. I will be showing how to do the massage, where and how firm.
My role is to act as a Facilitator but there may be times when Dad or your Birth Partner is tired or unable to provide a certain kind of care … a certain touch that a Doula can provide and that is the point when I would take over.
This can be very helpful if he/she need to go home to see to other children or even the pets. Sometimes Dads or Birth Partners can be a bit stressed which affects the Oxytocin levels in the room so I'd step in at that moment and do whatever is needed to bring a bit of calm and support.
During a long labour, Dads or Birth Partners may need a snooze in order to be of more support when the baby finally arrives … may need a bit of fresh air … to make a few phone calls… Mums often feel more relaxed and can concentrate more on labour.
Will you work with Same sex parents or Solo Parents ?
For sure … I have no problem working with Same sex couples and Solo Parents. I work in the same way as any other couple by making sure that your Partner feels welcome to be as involved as they want to be. If you are a Solo Parent and have no one for support then don't worry as I will be with you from the beginning to the end helping you to feel supported and nurtured.
What about if I end up having a C-section after a long Labour or Induction ?
I will be with you while you are in active labour and if you end up having a C-section then I can wait by the hospital to give you some support when you come out of Theatre if you would like me to do so as you will have your Husband or Partner with you .If you are eventually Induced then I will still be with you for as long as you need me. If you are booked in for an Induction and choose to go down that route then I can offer some Reflexology and Reiki to help you to relax … and come down to the hospital as soon as you are admitted.
What if I have to book a C-section instead of going into Labour on my due date ?
If you are booked for a C-section then I can provide relaxation while you wait in the form of some Reflexology, Reiki, Massage as well as preparing you with the Hypnobirthing scripts. I can be there waiting for you for when you come out of theatre. We could discuss all the different scenarios and what your expectations and wishes would be when we meet up.
What other Services do you offer and can I book these ?
Yes I offer a variety of services and you will find some descriptions below and if you are interested then go to the Doula Package options and fees by clicking HERE
I offer Hypnobirthing classes which can be part of a class that is running at the time over 2 full days or if you have birthed before and would prefer to either have a private class perhaps working on some fears and anxieties from previous deliveries , we can do this as a 2 day Birth Preparation and Hypnobirthing class.
Or if you have birthed before and time is a problem with arranging dates perhaps due to Childcare problems or work, then we can do a full day Intensive.
The Intensive is purely practical focusing on the use of the Rebozo, Birth Ball, Peanut Ball, the CUB seat and Labouring / Birth positions with the home study aspect of reading your KG Hypnobirthing book and watching / looking at some links that I will send you.
These classes are usually held at the Rosemount Centre in Aberdeen. If you decide that you'd like me to be your Doula as well as doing the Hypnobirthing then you would go for the Doula Package that covers both at a reduced fee.
Reflexology, Aromatherapy and Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Pregnancy Massage, Reiki therapies
You can have any of these treatments as and when you wish from the beginning of your pregnancy through to Postnatally on their own or as part of a Package with the reduced fee.
I have a lovely L-shaped pillow and plenty of regular shaped pillows for your comfort.
You can have an Aromatherapy massage or Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage. I use grapeseed and Coconut oil and Essential Oils. My couch is well padded with memory foam and wider than the average couch.
Reflexology works on the feet and after using Baby wipes and Baby talc to work the zones then you can have a lovely leg and foot massage.
With Reiki, you are fully dressed and lying comfortably on the couch with I move my hands down your body from head to toe ... deeply relaxing.I can give your Baby Reiki too or both of you at the same if you sitting on lying down together. I also combine therapies such as Reflexology with Reiki or some massage with Reiki.
The ideal option when it's hard to find the right time or transport, you can't be bothered getting dressed, are tired and would like to go at your own pace rather than a class, or maybe you are recovering from a Cesarean section and find that using pillows to sit and massage while baby is on the bed or table would be more comfortable.
You can work with any issues that your baby has such as colic right from newborn at a time that suits you as we will be working one-to-one. However I will run classes at the Rosemount Centre for Complementary therapies too from 6 weeks upwards by demand for those who want to be in the company of other mothers or caregivers.
Placenta Encapsulation Remedies
I am a fully qualified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist so I can provide Remedies for you too. I can also refer you to Cells4Life if you are interested in Stem Cell and Cord Blood Banking and am currently undergoing training as their Phlebotomist to assist with the procurement.
There are a variety of Placenta Remedies and Keepsakes which are all on my page- click on this link for more info - Placenta Remedies
Professional Plaster Casting
Baby Pods which are a cast of your tummy that baby will lie in for photo shoots, family hands as well baby's hands and feet. I am always adding new images to my gallery …