You have a baby on the way! Amid everything you’re experiencing (excitement? Trepidation?) is the need for some serious preparation and planning. In those preparations the considerations are endless: Home birth? Delivery suite? Instrumental delivery? Hypnobirthing? Epidural? Gas and air…? Aside from all this, you may be anxious due to a previous difficult birth experience, some form of personal trauma or simply being exposed to the vast array of birth horror stories (please note that beautiful birth stories, though plentiful, rarely get retold!).
With so many well meaning friends and family, online groups and a lorry load of of books – the choices are endless and perhaps a tad baffling.
One certainty is that which ever way your birth goes, a key ingredient to a positive experience is knowing that someone has got your back! Someone who is familiar to you and makes you feel safe, someone who is consistently there for you and your partner, has experience with holding women in labour, understands the system and most importantly someone you and your partner have a good connection with.
As a doula with many years of looking after women in pregnancy through body work and supporting women during labour, I love nothing more than “birth talk” over a cup of tea where together we can look at how:
- The secret of overcoming birthing fears lies very simply with trusting the process. Remember that your body knows what to do, you have come from a long line of women whose bodies have birthed many babies.
- Instrumental to avoiding an instrumental (forceps etc) delivery is specific movement and resting positions in the lead up to birth to get your baby into an optimal position for a more undisturbed process.
- The right amount of planning can help with a positive birth. the writing of a “birth plan”, as used to be encouraged, is giving way to the more open and less rigid idea of “birth preferences”. With the latter, you can set the tone for your birth so that you have a more calm and fluid experience.
- We have the power to manage and dispel fear. Oxytocin is your beautiful love hormone that is the essential ingredient in the cocktail of love hormones that drives the birthing process. For it to flow you need love, safety, peace. Maybe even some music, candles and massage if that works for you. Anything that increases adrenalin (loud noises, in-laws!…) is the enemy of oxytocin.
- For you and your baby to ignite your very special bonding process, those same needs of peace and safety in the hours after birth are sacred.
- For oxytocin to flow freely, everyone in the birth room needs to be feeling safe, held and supported.
My partner is worried that he won’t be very involved if we get a doula for the birth of our baby
Your partner may be concerned about feeling “redundant” during the whole process, that he or she will have no role during one of the most important days of their life. Rest assured that by the time you go into labour, we will already have built the foundations of being a tight team so that we can both give you the care that you will need. A typical scenario is that we would take turns massaging you, helping you change position, walking with you, generally holding you as well as making sure that the space you are in feels peaceful. He/she may be grateful to have a few moments rest here and there as well as some more practical help such as getting you in the car if you are going to hospital.
When is the best time to get in touch?
You may feel that it’s too early in your pregnancy to get make contact or that you have left it so long, that it’s too late. The sooner we meet the better as this gives me time to plan my diary if needed. However, if you are well into your third trimester, it’s not too late- diaries can always take last minute adjustments.
How it works
Firstly, fill out the contact form or give me a call so we can arrange a meeting together with your partner. I can come to your house or we can meet in a cafe if you prefer to see how we get on and see if there’s a good connection.
We will then meet as many times as we need to so that we can get to know each other and work out how you would both like to be supported.
I’m on call for you from 38 weeks, during this time- my phone is always on and I will be with you as quickly as I can when you go into labour. From here I will support you in which ever way you need. This may be very hands on with lots of massage, positional help, breathing … or you may prefer to be quiet with a safe and familiar presence. Once your baby is born I will support you in those precious hours with feeding and practical help. In the days to follow we will spend some time discussing your birth and how you can be supported as a new mum.
Birth Doula Package £1,200
“Bella was AMAZING! I couldn’t have done it without her. From the moment she arrived she looked after me tirelessly – giving massage and supporting me through each contraction. She was a wonderful, calm, non judgemental presence.
Lovely gentle personality and excellent knowledge about the labour process. She has amazing empathy and I would recommend (and will recommend!) to anybody that is giving birth in Oxford, and would like to give themselves the best possible chance at a natural childbirth, that they appoint her as their Doula”
“As the father, I had mixed feelings about being present during the birth. I wanted to be supportive but I wasn’t sure what part I wanted to play. Having Bella around meant I had a choice. Her calm, helpful attitude and her knowledge of what she was doing allowed me to relax into a supportive role. She was excellent at communicating with me and Molly’s mum and provided ways in which we could be involved. She also gave us ample opportunity to rest if that was what we needed. She was very generous, tireless and wonderfully supportive.”
Tenessor (Husband of Molly), Oxford
“Before meeting Bella, we weren’t sure whether we needed a doula for the birth of our second baby – would it be relaxing to have an additional person at the birth, and how would it help? It turned out to be the best decision we made – Bella just radiates calm and warmth, and largely thanks to her we had a wonderful experience. After a difficult first birth, having Bella’s emotional and practical support made a world of difference to all of us. Bella is professional but somehow manages simultaneously to feel like an old friend. From the outset she was incredibly generous with her time, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.”