As your BIRTH DOULA my support will start from the moment you book me. It’s important to get to know each other so you feel comfortable with me and I like to meet beforehand at least 3 or 4 times, although this varies as some people want more and others less. These meetings will range from a casual coffee and a chat to more structured birth preparation and will vary depending on your needs. I will help you in many ways as you prepare for your birth. Putting together a birth plan, signposting you to relevant help and information, helping you decide where to give birth, attending appointments (where possible) explaining the different stages of labour, looking at different methods of coping with labour and what to expect plus so much more. I believe that pregnancy itself is a part of the birth process, it is important to feel supported throughout, not just when labour begins, so I am available if you have a worry or a concern in the run-up to your birth month and I will do what I can to prepare you and your family emotionally and physically.
The BIRTH MONTH. These are the weeks around your due date. I’m not a big fan of due dates as such because I think we become too focused on a particular day and if that day comes and goes with no sign of a baby everyone is disappointed and the clock starts ticking, bringing with it discussions of induction, big babies, etc. Many mums naturally birth babies at 42 or 43 weeks and others at 38 or 39 weeks but our “system” doesn’t allow for much flexibility. We can discuss what you feel about your babies due date and arrange the on-call period accordingly but usually I am on-call from 38-42 weeks. I will do everything possible to be flexible before and after these dates depending on my other clients. It’s always best to book early to avoid disappointment.
When I am ON-CALL I stay local and we will have regular contact, I don’t drink any alcohol, I have a plan in place for my own children and I aim to be able to get to you within an hour should you need me in a hurry. I’m even aware of what I eat (no garlic) and wear (no perfume) as strong odours are really upsetting for many birthing women. I can come and be with you at whatever point you feel you need me, I have been at some births right from the word go and others just in last few hours, I’ve even kept a labouring mum company on a shopping trip around West Quay. Everyone has different needs and expectations so you just need to tell me what you need.
The fee for a birth is £1,200 This includes the on-call period, the birth and all visits before and after the birth. Fuel is charged at 40p per mile on any distance OVER 7 miles from my home. I prefer to work with families in the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch area but if you are slightly further out do get in touch to see if I can help.
As your POSTNATAL DOULA my role is to support you within the first all important few weeks of being new parents. This can be a crazy and over-whelming time, you may be feeling tired and emotional and this is when you need the non-judgemental support of someone who is just there for you and your family. Everyone has different needs so again it all comes down to what you want from me but I’ll give you an idea of what I might do during a visit. Grab some shopping on the way round, make you a drink and a healthy snack, talk over any issues that have come up with your baby, stick the washing on and load the dishwasher, play with your toddler, watch the baby whilst you nap/shower, hang out the washing, do some ironing (I have a weird love of ironing) sit with you and have a chat over coffee (I may have mentioned I love coffee), prepare an evening meal, walk the dog and help you with visitors.* I can help you with feeding, breastfeeding support if you need it or preparing bottles and I can help you get out and about as well as signposting you to local groups and classes. The idea is that by having me to support you and keep the house in order you can concentrate on the important stuff, being a mum and bonding with your baby.
*Where necessary I can help beat off well-meaning but over zealous friends and relatives with a big stick or if you prefer I can make them tea.
My fee for postnatal help is £15 per hour (minimum of 3hrs per session). Usually the postnatal period starts as soon as you need it after your birth, maybe when your partner has returned to work for example and I would come to you 2 or 3 times a week for a few weeks and then gradually cut the time down as you and your baby have found your feet. As with everything this is negotiable and tailored to your specific needs, you may need more or you may need less so please get in touch to discuss your needs.