Supporting women to reclaim their power in the birth room
I am Amy, a 25-year-old healthcare support worker and birth doula from Sale, Manchester. In the last year, I have joined forces with the amazing Elle and Lauren over at Greater Manchester Doulas CIC - for more info on what we offer and how we work, click the link:
And to read about what lead me to joining Elle and Lori, check out my latest blog post about it!
Ever since I can remember, I have been absolutely fascinated by pregnancy and birth! My older sister had her first when I was thirteen years old and I just wanted every detail. After her rather traumatic births, I began to see how important it is for women to be the key decision-maker in their birth experience, and for their choices to be respected.
I went on to complete my doula training course with Conscious Birthing. Conscious Birthing is an organisation made up of doulas, many of whom are extremely experienced! They hold amazing doula courses that are recognised and approved by Doula UK. You can read about my experience on the course in my blog.
I am passionate about empowering women to birth their babies however they want to, and I completely believe in their ability to do exactly that. I also believe that every woman should be given what she needs to really enjoy her birthing experience!
What You Get When You Hire A Doula
Every woman and family is different, as is every doula! Doulas are not for everyone, but if it's something you are interested in, it is really important for you to find the right one for you. You need to feel comfortable and safe with the doula that you choose - feeling safe in labour can make all the difference to your birthing experience. So I would always recommend meeting a few different doulas to get a feel for who would work best with you.
If you decide that you want to meet with me, we will have an initial interview in a place of your choosing. This meeting will be an opportunity for us to get to know each other a little bit! It would be the ideal time for you to tell me a bit about you and your expectations of birth, but also a chance for you to ask me questions and work out whether we would be a good fit.
After this initial meeting, you can contact me to ask any of those questions that pop into your head ten minutes after we finish, and then the decision is completely yours. There is absolutely no obligation with the initial meeting, and it is of course free of charge! I am all about informed choice and want you to make the right decision for you, your family and your baby.
If you do decide to choose me as your doula (yay!!), typically I will offer two or three prenatal visits. The content of these visits will depend entirely on what you want to learn, practise or discuss and will be tailored to your specific needs. They can involve your partner, other children, another birth partner or can be just you depending on what you prefer.
Here are some examples of what your prenatal visits might involve;
- Debriefing any previous birth experiences
- Talking through worries or concerns
- Learning about the physiology of birth and the hormones involved
- Techniques for you to use during active labour for relaxation and pain relief
- Help with writing birth and postnatal intentions/wish-list
This is just a short list of some suggestions, but ultimately I will strive to provide whatever it is you want from your prenatal sessions.
In addition to these prenatal sessions, I am also available by phone, text or email any time between 9am-9pm to answer any questions, calm any nerves or just to have a chat!
Once you get to 38 weeks, I am then on-call for you, and only you, 24/7.
During this time, I will be completely ready to drop everything and come to you when your time comes. I will stay with you from the moment you want me there, throughout your labour, the birth and for a little while afterwards if you want me to stay.
In labour, I will be able to physically and emotionally support you any way you need me to. I can help a partner with ways to support you if that's what you both want. I can be your advocate if you feel you need it. But mostly, I will be there to support you and believe in you fully.
I carry my doula bag with useful bits and bobs in that usually come in handy at a birth! I also offer birth photography, feel free to contact me if this interests you.
After you have given birth, I will stay as long as you want me to to help with settling in, tidying up etc.
After the birth, I offer one or more postnatal visit to your home, depending on your preference.
During these visits we can debrief your birth experience, I can support you with your feeding choice and answer any questions you might have, I can signpost any postnatal classes or social groups in your area if that appeals to you, and just offer general support whilst you're getting used to your new normal.
I also have experience in making placenta prints, so if this is something you are interested in, I can help you to make some beautiful art with yours.
This outlines my standard package, but if you feel like you need a variation of the services I offer, please don't hesitate to contact me! I'd be happy to discuss any alterations you might want.