If ever there was a woman who needed birth support, Eve was that woman. When you think of it, the garden would have made an awesome setting, pity her and Adam got kicked out! I’m sure they both would have benefited from some doula support right from the first niggle and been empowered with some knowledge as to what lay ahead and what they could both expect.
Because there is a lot we can do!
By providing a calm setting, encouraging words, and comfort measures, doulas can reduce any fear for both woman and partner; thus decreasing the anxiety and adrenalin effect, and allowing oxytocin to flow naturally. We can empower women by showing them how to access relevant evidence-based information so they are in turn empowered to make informed decisions. We can give dignity and comfort to those who otherwise would have laboured alone or with little support.
I personally find so much value in my antenatal visits which can often include coffee in a cafe, a walk on the boardwalk or meeting in my client's home. This isn't a quick, clinical, 15 minute appointment but a time to talk and allow feelings of anxiousness, past experiences, or expectations to surface.
The involvement of a doula in labour and birth has been proven women have less need for pain relief and medical interventions, reducing the need for caesarean sections ( saving the local health board money, too!). We also lessen the need for midwives to be available in early labour, which eases their considerable workload.
After delivery we can be there to offer advice and guidance in caring for baby - a lifeline for the first-time mother struggling to deal with this huge responsibility placed upon her. We can also be there in the sad occurrence of still-birth with empathy and support.
I am a great believer of changing the current medicalised birth system from within. Once mothers have tasted and experienced a ‘natural’ birth, received support and care that nourishes them, and seen the difference we make – they are hooked. They become our best allies spreading the word about our awesome service.
In summary, our purpose is so multi faceted as it relates individually and personally to the needs and desires of so many different women and their partners.
We offer not only our training, knowledge and own experience but an ability to respond to and empathise with each woman as an individual and each couple as a unique unit.
Such is our value that I believe it should be available to every woman which is why I am willing to offer payment plans to those who need them and also open to a bartering option if the need arises.
Poor Eve labouring alone with just a clueless Adam to help. I am profoundly grateful no woman needs to do that again if we doulas can help it!