My doula experience | Advice from moms
Why all new mothers need a doula
The new must-have accessory for mums to be
With a shortage of NHS midwives, a growing number of women are employing the services of an unoffical birthing assistant.
Meet the ‘doula‘, the new must-have accessory for middle-class mums-to-be. The term comes from Ancient Greek and refers to ‘a woman of service’. In the context of labour, she is abirthing assistant, offering emotional and practical support.
The practice of having a ‘doula’ is an ancient one. Historically, women assisted other women as unofficial ‘doulas’ when birth took place in the home. After the birth, a woman remained with her doula for a ‘lying in’ period during which she recuperated and got to know her baby.
In 2004, around 700 women hired a doula. Last year, it was 2500. The number of doulas available via theDoula UKnetwork stands at 450 – in 2003 there were just 28.
Trained doula and mental health nurse, Marcia Blackstock, runsDoula Consultancy Services(DCS). She says: ‘Too often mothers are rushed back into normal day-to-day activities,” says Ms Blackstock. ‘With the help of a doula, a mother can enjoy some of the benefits of a prolonged ‘lying in’ period. This helps herbond with her babyand spend extra time with any older siblings.’
‘If a womangives birthin hospital she is often left to her own devices.
Video: How a Doula Helps You Have a Natural Birth- Virtual Doula
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