What is a Doula?
The word Doula (Doola or Dooler) comes from the Greek word meaning woman servant, helping with the emotional and physical needs of a woman (and her partner/husband) in labour/during birth and after birth too.
Essentially, a doula is focused on mothering the mother.
Who benefits from having a Doula?
Any mum who is expecting a baby can benefit from having a doula, but also Dads can benefit too as quite often they have questions to ask but may feel a little shy or awkward.
What are the main roles of a Doula?
A doula can come and help you with all sorts or things from helping to bathe the baby, support with breast or bottle feeding, help around the house, entertaining other siblings to cooking light meals or just to simply look after the baby whilst the mum catches up on some well earned rest.
How can a Doula help me with my pregnancy/birth/new baby?
A Doula can help with all sorts of things during pregnancy, suggestions for positions for birth, information on the chosen methods of feeding your baby, a birthing Doula will be on call for you and will support you during your labour and birth, although you must remember that she is not a substitute for a midwife as she a Doula is not medically trained and will always point you in the direction of your health care professional if there are any problems. A postnatal Doula will be there to help you out when your baby has arrived, she is there to support mum in which ever way she can.
What would be your best piece of advice for a first time new mum?
To rest as much as possible and limit all those visitors who want to pile round to see your new baby, the best visitors are the ones who come round and make YOU a cuppa and run the hoover round!
How long have you been a Doula?
I have been a Postnatal Doula for nearly 3 years and absolutely love it!
What made you decide to become a Doula?
After the birth of my twins (children 3 & 4 ) I had a lot of help from family & friends which was really great. As a result I wanted to be able to help with baby or babies and support other new parents who are expecting a baby or 2! Whether it is your 1st baby, 2nd or 4th we all need help and support and to be told that we are doing a good job.
As my children grew older and it was time for them to start school I thought that I would really like to give some of my help & knowledge to others by way of becoming Doula
Knowing that I am helping someone who may be struggling and just simply being there to listen to their worries and fears and reassuring them that it is ok and there is light at the end of the tunnel. All with the added benefit of cuddling cute small babies.
What advice would you give to other mums who may be interested in becoming a Doula?
Mmmmmm, I would say go for it, it is a very rewarding job.
The aim of a Doula is to be able to support you and your family helping you make informed decisions so that you are always in control, she will be non judgemental and supportive at all times.
Doulas are not medically trained and will always point you in the direction of your Midwife or Doctor if the need arises.
Six weeks after the birth, mothers who had doulas were:Less anxious and depressed, had more confidence with baby, more satisfied with partner and more likely to be breastfeeding.
For more details see www.helendoula.co.uk
or find Helen on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/wwwhelendoulacouk/224210912968
Find Helen in our Directory: www.morethanmummies.com/directory/helen-doula-postnatal-doula
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