SARAH THE DOULA
I'm Sarah, I have been an early childhood teacher working in Auckland for the last 6 years (I worked primarily in the under 2s, being their voice and helping them to navigate their important first few years). I am a mother of three adult children. Prior to having my children I worked as a nanny for many years in England, America, Australia and New Zealand. My passion is babies so I am thrilled to be embarking on this amazing and exciting journey as a doula, where I can help and support mothers as they too try to navigate through birth and those first weeks of postpartum. Engaging a doula when having a baby - for the first or subsequent time, means that you don't have to navigate it on your own. I, as your doula (a trained professional), can support you by bringing my knowledge, experience, energy and love to ensure that you feel ready, safe and well supported to bring an amazing new life in to the world. I work in conjunction with your lead maternity carer and your midwife. To put it simply I 'mother the mother'. I do this by supporting and guiding you to trust in your body to believe that you can have the birth experience you want. I will provide comfort measures and pain techniques including breathing, massage and labour positions. It is your choice as to how you give birth to your baby. It is my role to support you in the decision and remain by your side throughout. I also provide support to your birthing partner, by reassuring them and encouraging them to participate in any way they choose. I am your advocate to helping you fulfil specific desires and achieve the birth outcome that you would like.
WHY HIRE A BIRTH AND/OR POSTPARTUM DOULA?
We all have moments in life when we feel overwhelmed, under prepared, and in need of help and support. We all know that babies don't arrive with manuals. I am confident that hiring a doula is a vital and valuable evidence - based resource for all families with newborns.
Midwives and doctors will be present throughout labour to ensure safe passage for you and baby. However, they might not be able to be there the entire time to offer the kind of familiar supportive presence you deserve. This is my role as your doula.
Doulas are trained to help you participate at your comfort level. The continuous and calming presence of a doula allows the couple to experience the birth as fully as possible. Hiring a doula will give you and your partner a greater capacity to be there for each other in ways that are just right for the two of you.
Congratulations! Growing a baby is such a miraculous process! Knowledge is power...
My role as your doula is not to empower you,
but if needed I will gently remind you of your power.
HAVE THE BIRTH THAT YOU DESERVE
Regardless of whether you need a doula for birth, postpartum or both I will be there to support you. My approach is non-judgmental. I am there to hold your hand and encourage you to use your own voice. My only aim is for you to have the best birth experience possible.
Meet several times before baby is due.
Will be on call 24 hours from 2 weeks before EDD.
Will make sure you are informed of your choices.
Will help with your birth preferences.
Provide emotional and physical support throughout the labour.
Offer non-medical support techniques for labour and birth.
Help, encourage and support birth partner(s).
Will help with post-birth issues:
Light housework folding/sorting/ washing
Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions and answers about doulas.
WHAT IS A BIRTH DOULA?
The word doula comes from the Greek word 'doule' meaning "woman servent or caregiver". That is precisely the role of a doula: to serve the labouring mother. She is there continuously to give encouragement to help her focus, to offer evidence-based comfort measures, support and knowledge throughout labour and to support the birth partner(s).
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A BIRTH DOULA?
Research has shown that when a birth doula is present, labour tends to be shorter and with fewer complications. Women who use doulas report having more positive feelings about their childbirth experience. There is a reduced request for pain medications, epidurals and caesareans when a birth doula is present.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVE A CAESAREAN?
Advocacy is extremely important whether it is for a caesarean section or a vaginal delivery. You will be supported no matter what.
DO I NEED A DOULA IF I HAVE A MIDWIFE?
A midwife has a very different role from a doula. A midwife is your primary care provider. She will take care of all your medical needs. Her time is spent monitoring the baby and charting your labour. She is responsible for the health and well being of you and the baby.
IF I HAVE A DOULA, WILL MY HUSBAND/PARTNER STILL BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE BIRTH?
Absolutely! The doula provides support to both the mother and her birthing partner. She ensures the partner plays a key role in the process to the extent that they are comfortable.
DOES A DOULA REPLACE MY MIDWIFE, DOCTOR OR NURSE?
No, doulas do not replace any medical personnel. Doulas do not perform any medical tests or procedures. Their role is to provide comfort and support. They can help communication between the family and medical staff. A doula doesn't make decisions for you but can assist with making your needs clear to the medical staff.
WHAT IS A POSTPARTUM DOULA?
A postpartum doula provides evidence-
based information on things such as, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant feeding, mother and baby bonding, infant soothing and basic newborn care. Postpartum doulas are there to help families in those first few days and weeks after bringing a new baby home. This is usually in the first 6 weeks.
WHAT SERVICES DO A POSTPARTUM DOULA PROVIDE?
Postpartum doulas will do a wide variety of things to help new parents. This includes techniques for calming and soothing baby, breastfeeding/infant feeding information, bathing and helping to set up routines. It might also involve watching baby while mum takes a nap, meal prep, even light household duties and overnight stays to help with establishing nighttime routines.
WHO SHOULD HIRE A BIRTH AND/OR POSTPARTUM DOULA?
Anyone who would like continuous support during labour and anyone needing help after giving birth would benefit. They are especially good for first time parents or parents expecting multiples.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE A DOULA?
Choosing a doula is a very personal thing. It is all about the connection that is made in the initial meeting. It can also depend on your EDD and your doula's availability.