Few people have heard the word birthkeeper, a few more have heard the word doula. Many have not. The (google) dictionary definition of the word doula is;
“a woman who gives support, help, and advice to another woman during pregnancy and during and after the birth.”
I would disagree with the use of the word advice, I would also hesitate at the word help – it depends on the definition of help. Support is the word that works for me.
The word doula is derived from the Greek word doúlos meaning slave. When supporting women in birth I do not see my role as a slave, yes I will offer a sip of water when it’s needed. I will quietly lay a jasmine oil dipped handkerchief beside you whilst you relax in the pool. But I am on your team, I want to provide you with access to information so that you are brimming with knowledge in the weeks and months before birth. I want to love you, genuinely, because love is what a birthing woman needs. If you have a birth partner that is the other parent to your unborn child I want to enable him or her to support you and give you what you need. If you have a birth partner that is a friend / relative I want to help them help you. I want the relationship we develop prior to the birth, and the work we do together to create a bubble for you and your birth partner to birth within. I will remain outside the bubble ensuring it doesn’t burst. Inconspicuously making sure everything outside of that bubble stays just so to maintain the calm inside of it. Quietly. In the background.
Should there be other people present that want to divert from your ideal birth I know the questions to ask to ensure you are able to make an informed decision. I hope to ask you the right questions to help you search within and find your true birth preferences. Informed birth preferences.
Above everything though I am there to support you in what you want, from an elective caesarean to a natural birth in your forest.
If you have an unusual situation I will use my contacts to find the expert for your situation, making sure you do not make decisions based on the limited knowledge of a more general practitioner.
When I work with women in birth, from the moment we meet my intention is for you to feel special. Every woman growing and birthing a baby should feel special.
I am part of The Red Tent Doulas, having attended their doula course. This is not my principle qualification or experience, my two natural home water births are my most powerful qualifications. My friendships and conversations with amazing midwives is my experience, my roles as birth partner are my qualifications. The countless conversations with pregnant couples discussing previous birth experiences and hopes for future birth experiences are my qualifications. My work with women in overcoming previous birth experiences are my qualifications. I have learnt through nearly ten years of working as a therapist that the best way to learn is through experience, I am prouder of my experiences than my qualifications. I know that it is my experiences that guide me in my work, not my certificates however I am very aware that qualifications are important to many people which is why I have them and am pleased to share them. Please contact me for more information on having me attend your birth in a birthkeeping role.
I am a breastfeeding counsellor in a volunteer role with the La Leche League and will enjoy supporting you after birth with your breastfeeding relationship should you find it helpful.
For further information on the work I do as a doula please click here.