During world doula week we’re privileged to be able to share a series of stories from people who have benefited from doula support. A common misconception is that doulas only support ‘natural’ births but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Vickie’s baby was born by planned caesarean birth and she found the support of her doula invaluable.
How did you hear about doulas?
I heard about Doulas from Mumsnet and from a friend who I ended up choosing as my Doula.
Why did you want a doula?
I have complicated pregnancies, and having had a really terrible experience with my second child, I wanted an informed third party to advocate for me, and act in my interests as I didn’t feel my partner was confident enough to fully assert my wishes.
How did your partner (if you have one) and wider family feel about the idea when you first bought it up?
My family had no clue what a doula was, but when I explained it they all said having someone with both medical and holistic information was a great idea. My partner was equally confused initially, but valued the support particularly when our daughter was taken straight to NICU.
How did your doula help you prepare for your birth?
My Doula gave me information on my birth options, even down to types of caesarian, and empowered me to actually request these things. She came to consultant appointments and translated the medicalised language used, and was another pair of ears.
What did your doula do on the day when you went into labour?
My birth was a planned section at 33 weeks, my doula arrived on the morning of the section with my partner, and massaged my legs, and helped me decompress from the previous horrid evening. She advocated for me as there was some confusion regarding whether the birth was happening that day. My Doula went with my partner to NICU to meet our daughter, which was a comfort to him in such an alien environment.
What did she do after the baby was born?
My Doula acted as a buffer between me and the rest of the world, which was needed as I was exhausted, had lost a lot of blood and had a baby in NICU. She provided me with information and encouraged me.
What was the best thing about having a doula?
Having another female to support, inform, and advocate for me. Someone who fully understood and unconditionally supported my decisions. This was especially valuable in a situation where a partner may not fully understand what you are experiencing.
Would you recommend having a doula to other families?
I have, and will continue to! Such a positive experience that every woman should be able to have!