A Doula is a woman who gives support, help, and advice to another woman during pregnancy and during and after the birth.
Trained antenatal and birth doulas provide independent and non judgemental practical and emotional support to women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting. Doulas work with women and families to support them in the choices they make. Each doula will work slightly differently. It is important to find a doula you click with in order to get the most from your birthing experience. Doulas offer different packages to suit your needs. From one to one antenatal sessions to full pregnancy, birth and postnatal support.
Doulas complement the medical staff to provide more holistic support to women and their families.
Research shows that continuous one to one support from doulas can improve birth outcomes.
31% decrease in the use of Oxytocic drugs
28% decrease in the risk of C-section
12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to special care
34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
(Hodnett et al, 2012)
Doula services are not usually available on the NHS, and their charges vary. East Lancashire is lucky to have a few doulas in the area who run a few different schemes and groups.
There are also post birth doulas who have less training and take on the role as a mothers help in the post birth period.
We recommend you always check the qualifications, DBS status and insurance of any doula.
Michelle Bromley – Snowdrop Doula Community Interest Company – www.snowdropdoula.co.uk
Amanda Chinery – Doula Plus CIC – www.doulaplus.co.uk