What is a Doula?

A doula can, and is, an absolute game-changer for womens’ birth experiences. She is your portable reassurance, patience and connection person.

When other people in your support circles may be getting stressed out, freaked out or just too rushed or too worried, she remains steadfast by your side, believing in you and sending out the vibe “you’ve got this”!

A birth doula is there for you for the entire journey (pregnancy, birth and postpartum) – she is there for all the things you may need or want, she brings birth education and information, she is emotionally supportive and reassuring and she can, if you find a really great doula, bring with her unshakable faith in the birthing process.

In a stressful, unpredictable birth environment with many staff changing shifts, the doula can be your calming and reassuring presence throughout (of course this can depend on your doula and her experience levels).

She is a female, loving presence, soothing and calming you during your labour.

She is also there for you after your baby has been born. Her package includes postpartum support too, maybe you wish for emotional support, breastfeeding support, someone to hold your baby while you shower,  a meal for the family, or a much needed foot massage! lol

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For a relatively affordable fee (packages range from about $350/500 for a student doula through to about $1,400/2,000 for a doula that is experienced, mature, professional and provides extra skills such as counselling, hypnosis for childbirth, private birth education, mindfulness, yoga etc).

Click to find a list of local doulas here.

A Birth Supporter (Doula) believes in the process of birth and the impact it has on parenting:

> She is a great, respectful listener
> She explains birth jargon and information and then gives the woman space to make her own informed decisions
> She trusts the woman’s instincts
> She acknowledges the power of birth
> She believes the birthing woman’s partner is the most important team member if that is right for that couple.
> She recognises birth as a non medical event
> She understands that the fewer people interrupting the woman and the process, the smoother the birth
> She knows that dim lighting always makes a difference
> She offers continuous support to the woman (and the womans’ team if they wish it)

Doulas specialise in non-medical skills and do not perform clinical tasks, such as vaginal exams or foetal heart rate monitoring.

Doulas help to facilitate the environment the mother needs to make calm, informed decisions during birth. They also hold copies of your birth wishes and help by pointing these out to staff as frequently as needed.

Doula advantages

Cochrane studies tell us that “Continuous support from a person who is present solely to provide support, is not a member of the womens’ social network, is experienced in providing labour support, and has at least a modest amount of training, appears to be most beneficial support for a labouring woman” (March 2011).

After examining twenty-one trials involving over 15,000 women, the review authors found that women who received continuous support during labour:

-were more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth
-were less likely to have analgesia during labour (ie: epidural)
-were less likely to report dissatisfaction with their labours
-had shorter labours
-were more likely to give birth without caesarean, vacuum or forceps
-were less likely to have regional analgesia
-were less likely to have babies with low 5 minute Apgar score

Give Natalie a call on 0406 934 645 and she will happily chat with you about the possibly of being your doula. (Natalie hanging out with her daughter below).

doula newcastle

Natalie is also committed to assisting women to know their choices and will also happily chat about the large variety of local doula also available to you.

It is a highly personal choice who you hire.

POSSIBLE IDEA: You can take the time and enjoy meeting and interviewing three or more Doulas as you decide who you feel quite comfortable with, this can give you the time you may need as you decide who to invite into your very private and  very personal birthing space.

Natalie is a current member of the Doula Network Australia.

Ring 0406 934 645 to ask about fees and packages (be careful not to delay too much as Doula often reserve themselves for only one woman per month).

Natalies’ current doula package includes:

* Two, at-your-home, antenatal sessions (approx 1.5 hrs and including birth education and discussions to ensure I am clear on what you want for your birth).

Complimentary access to all birth education courses I am running (during your pregnancy).

* Access to Natalie as your birth supporter via phone, text and email on demand when you have a question.

* Support at your birth;

* Myself, on hold for you for 5 weeks around your 40 week gestation,

* Two post-birth, support visits (at least one of these includes my daughter, as I am a working mum).

* Also included, as a bonus gift, a Mums Cruisin’ Pregnancy pamper day. 

If want to get serious about booking, the next steps I might suggest would be:
1. Let me know your 40 week gestation date and I can check my availability
2. Meet face to face to allow you to get more a feel for me, you’ll need to decide what your gut instinct tells you about inviting me in your birthing space.
3. Look over my contract, book, commit, pay a deposit etc
Email or phone me to chat further,

Natalie Meade

(GradDipC, GradDipPsyc, GradDipEd, Bsc (Hons), CCE, CH).

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