Birth, Labour, Doula, Labour Doula, Windsor Doula, Childbirth, Childbirth Education, CBE
Witch? Magical fairy? Unicorn of the birth world? All three?
I am often asked what a doula is and does. I can't really describe it in one word to be honest. I am a non therapeutic, non diagnostic labour support person. Now what does that really mean? Well, I don't do any Mom or baby checks. I do not check your blood pressure, monitor your baby's heartrate or do any cervical checks. I am there for the family before labour to help navigate birth preferences, medical procedures what birth may or may not look like for each individual. If I am doing my job properly, I am listening deeply, helping to work through fears and worries and talking about preferences in an unbiased way. I never want to inject my personal thoughts or beliefs on another as it is not my journey.
During labour and delivery I am there to offer personal support for both parents. A hand to hold or squeeze, a comforting and encouraging word. I offer a calm presence which hopefully lets everyone know that all is well. Physical comfort measures are often used such as the famous hip squeeze, massage, cool clothes on a warm body, suggestions for positions that may either offer more comfort or help baby to get into a better position. I do not take over for your partner. We work together in ways to best support you. For me personally, my main objective during labour is to encourage comfort and leave fear at the door. Much of what I do is about much more than just the physical comfort a touch or massage may bring. It is about really using these techniques to encourage your 'thinking brain' to disengage and to activate your 'non-thinking' brain to take over. This encourages the right hormones to flow and allows birth to unfold more effectively. So although I may be squeezing your hips or massaging your feet or back, I am more than likely squeezing to create space, massaging nerves to calm your system or using pressure points to encourage contractions or ease nausea.
After baby arrives I offer breastfeeding support. Help to ensure all family members are coping with the sleepless nights and constant feedings. Answer questions, offer suggestions.
I find so many families struggle with the abundance of information out there- from well meaning friends and family to medical professionals. It can be difficult to know who to believe when you are getting so many different suggestions from so many sources. I like to think that I can help bridge that gap. I can help you navigate the space between 'wives tales' and traditional medicine with evidence based and practical support that works for your family.
Does birth always go as planned? Is the reality of life with a newborn as magical as they say? Not always. However, if I can help support and empower you to navigate these challenges with confidence, then I have done my job.
So, witchy magical unicorn fairy doula? Maybe...