The Six Aspects of Doula Care Explained

Tailored to suit your needs

How I support you as your doula will be unique to you and each package is customised to suit your specific needs and the outcomes that you wish for. Birth is such an unpredictable and ever-changing landscape, and no-one can ever know what to expect. My focus is on preparing you for all eventualities and for you to feel in control and confident every step of the way. I do this in the following ways.
Informational Support
This means helping the birthing woman and her partner to be aware of all their options for their upcoming birth, to stay informed throughout the course of her labour, to suggest different techniques to use such as breathing, relaxation, visualisation, movement, and positioning. Helping them to find evidence-based information about the different options they may have and helping to explain medical procedures before and as they occur.
In a post-natal situation, informational support can be assisting to find relevant information relating to feeding, settling and caring for a newborn baby and suggesting ideas to help with post-partum care of the new mother.
Advocacy
This element of doula support is sometimes considered controversial and this comes down the different meanings/definitions of the word. On one hand it can mean “pleading the cause of someone” or “speaking on behalf of someone” but it can also mean “supporting an individual or group to gain what they need” or “supporting a person in their right to self-determination” and it is this definition that I believe is an important aspect of the support I provide as a doula.
To me advocacy looks like encouraging the birthing woman or her partner to ask questions and verbalise their preferences, asking the birthing woman what she wants and supporting their decision, amplifying the mothers voice if she is being dismissed or ignored, creating space and time for the couple to make decisions without feeling pressured, facilitating communication between parents and care providers.
Emotional Support
This is such an important aspect of doula care and it is focused on the care of the mother’s emotional health (and her partners). Emotional support helps the birthing woman to feel cared for and listened to and for her to feel a sense of accomplishment and empowerment after birth.
Emotional support can be as simple as continuous presence, words of praise and encouragement, reassurance, staying positive and seeing the positive in all situations, showing compassion and empathy, no judgement, helping the birthing woman (and the partner) to work through their fears and any doubts and debriefing afterwards. Emotional support also plays a large part in post-natal care particularly if the woman has experienced a difficult birth.
Physical Support
This can take many forms and is an important part of doula support and provides the birthing woman with comfort, some examples are soothing touch such as massage and pressure points, rebozo, creating a calm environment such as lighting (candles, dim lights), water (holding shower heads, running a bath), hot packs, cold compresses, support while changing positions or walking, getting up and down, providing food and drinks.
Physical support during the post-natal period could be assisting with positioning for breastfeeding, moving about the home particularly after c-section.
Holding Space
So, what does holding space actually mean? To me this means being physically, mentally and emotionally present, it is supporting the birthing woman to feel her feelings without judgement, it is not offering advice or solving problems it is just being there, a continuous presence, being calm.
I am walking alongside you on your journey, not seeking to influence the outcome with my own desires but just to hold the space for you to have the experience you are meant to have and to provide unconditional support.
Practical Support
This is typically a large part of the post-partum care provided as a doula. It can mean any task performed that will make life easier for the post-partum woman such as preparing a meal, doing the dishes, making the bed, holding the baby while she showers or sleeps, entertaining a toddler, putting on a load of washing, hanging out or folding washing.

Contact Me

I wish to empower women to trust their bodies and their ability to birth and to raise their babies with awareness.
If this resonates with you, please get in touch, I would love to chat to you about how I can support you and your family through one of life’s biggest transitions.
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