Below are a sample of some of the most frequently asked questions that I receive. If there is anything else you would like to know though, please do not hesitate to contact me.
What is a doula and do I need one?
Doulas support women and their families during pregnancy, birth and the first days, weeks and months after the baby is born. Having a doula to provide practical and emotional support during this time helps to make the journey a truly positive experience for everyone and allows the family to relax knowing someone is there to put them first.
A doula is not there to support you clinically or medically and so is not an alternative to a midwife but a doula can work alongside medical care givers to provide practical, informational and emotional support.
When should I begin to look for a doula?
It is never too early to start looking for a doula as you should be prepared to talk to or meet more than one to ensure you choose the doula who is the perfect fit for you and your family. Bear in mind that a doula may have limited availability around the time you want support so think ahead. Once you have made your decision to hire a doula you can focus on antenatal preparation and your birth without any worries.
Do you only support natural/homebirths?
I support positive birth…and that come in all shapes and sizes!
I do not judge a woman’s wishes for her birth. Whatever your circumstances (first pregnancy, second/third/fourth pregnancy, multiples, medical condition, IVF pregnancy, same sex parents, single parent) and whatever your birth preferences (homebirth, midwife led unit birth, hospital birth, Caesarean birth, water birth, HypnoBirth), I am there to give you the support and information you need to feel confident in the decisions you make.
What is included if I hire you as my doula?
Whether you hire me as a pregnancy doula, a birth doula or a postnatal doula all my services are tailored to you, your family and your individual circumstances and needs. There will be a basic suggested structure to the support I offer but this is highly flexible and I am willing and able to adapt to you and your family.
All services include a free initial consultation for you to meet and get to know me. It is up to you to decide if we are the right fit for each other and if you are happy for me to work with you. For specific elements that are included in each doula package please see the Doula Services page.
Can I contact you if I have questions before I give birth?
Absolutely! It is a pleasure to keep in regular contact with women I am supporting to answer any questions, catch up on pregnancy related stories and share a brew and a slice of cake. As your pregnancy and/or birth doula I will work with you in tailored antenatal sessions. As your postnatal doula I will stay in contact with whatever regularity suits you before I begin my work with you after the birth.
Can I wake you if I go into labour in the middle of the night?
As your birth doula I am on call for you from 38 weeks until the baby is born and this is 24 hours a day. My phone is always on to receive your call whatever the time of day so don’t worry about waking me. As your pregnancy or postnatal doula, and before 38 weeks as your birth doula, I am not on call to be contacted 24 hours a day. Please contact me if you need anything and if I miss your call I will get back to you as soon as I can.
What if it’s a false alarm?
When you make the call to let me know you think you are in labour, I will chat with you (or your birth companion) over the phone to see how things feel and talk about what has happened so far. By having this conversation and discussing what is happening we can soon establish if true labour has begun and put your mind at ease. In the event that what you experience does not develop into active labour then we just go back to waiting for baby to arrive. There is no pressure, baby will come when baby is ready and I will be there to support you when baby is ready too!
What if I change my mind about having you there once I am in labour?
In the time leading up to your birth we will have got to know each other extremely well through phone conversations and antenatal sessions. We will have established a relationship based on mutual respect and trust and there will be plenty of time for you to deal with any apprehension about the birth and the support you want or need. If, for whatever reason, during the birth you decide you no longer want me present then that will be fully respected. I will leave the space but remain available to you should you want me to return until the baby is born and/or I know I am no longer needed.
What is the limit of the help you provide?
Whether you want pregnancy, birth or postnatal doula support our initial consultation is the time when we can discuss exactly what you see as my role for you. We will establish in advance what you think you want but this will remain flexible as your needs change throughout pregnancy, birth and beyond.
I cannot provide any medical support and where I am not able to answer any questions I will signpost you to reliable sources where you can find information.
For an idea of what help and support I can provide please see the What Is A Doula and Doula Packages pages. If you would like to find out if I can help with something specific please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Would you stay overnight?
In the early days and weeks after the birth of a baby the time of day is irrelevant when things arise that create anxiety or require practical or emotional support. The main areas that women are likely to want support for during the night are sleeping and feeding. If you would like help with night feeding, settling your baby, or simply want someone to look after the baby in between feeds so you can get some quality sleep then I am available for overnight doula support. Just get in touch if this is something you think would be useful.
For how long after the birth can you support me?
Postnatal doula support traditionally extends from days to weeks after the baby is born, however I am able to support you for as long you need me. This could be for a period of months or even longer. The support I offer is personal to your circumstances and needs. You may start out wanting support for a short period of time but change your mind and extend it. Whatever your thoughts, let me know and we can formulate a plan that suits you.