This is a service for pregnant mums or mums with new babies who feel they may need help in the house for the first few weeks after their baby is born. I live in Gamston and work predominantly in the local areas.
WHO AM I ?
My name is Tracy, I am 37 years old and am married with two sons. I have been a qualified paediatric (childrens ) nurse for 13 years during which time I have gained much experience in caring for young children, babies and their parents. I am now using this experience to care for new parents, particularly mothers, in the community. To facilitate this I have attended a course in London and am now a certified member of the Doula Association. For more information please phone 0115 981 7175 or visit www.doula.org.uk . Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT IS A DOULA ?
The word ‘doula’ is a Greek word meaning ‘handmaiden’ or ‘servant’, but the modern doula is certainly not a servant, nor is she a midwife.
A doula is someone who can help a new mother to care for herself and her baby before, during and after the birth. Birth doulas assist and support a mother through the birth process, either in place of, or together with the father. They offer the comfort and calm that a female relative would give in this emotionally and physically trying time. Research from Britain and America (reference Bremner, M. “For a few Doulas more.” Natural parent (Nov/Dec 1998), and Doulas of North America “Doulas Make A Difference” www.dona.com (Sept 2000)) reported that when a doula has been present, the births are shorter, and mothers were found to be more loving and responsive to their babies.
Post-birth doulas assist the new mother AFTER the birth of the baby by helping her to breastfeed, running a few errands for her, cooking and doing some light housework and providing opportunities for her to rest.
Doulas are NOT health professionals, although some are nurses. They will not offer medical diagnosis or treatment, they are not qualified midwives and unlike maternity nurses or nannies, doulas do not take charge of the baby. They exist primarily to help the mother. A doula is like a second mother or sister to the postnatal mum and provides a vital service to women who do not have close female relatives nearby.
Some mothers find that they only need to have help for a couple of weeks, others like their doula so much they want her with them for months. It is entirely the clients choice how much or how little help they want.
Taylormaid Doula Agency specializes in post-birth doulas, and the services provided are tailored to the individual clients needs, which are discussed at an initial interview. The doula is available 4-5 hours per day, 3-5 days a week for 3-5 weeks after the birth of the baby.
WHY MIGHT YOU NEED A DOULA?
In days gone by women could generally rely on the support and practical help from close relatives after the birth of their baby. Today, for various reasons, this is not always possible. Geographically families live much further apart with close relatives living hundreds of miles away, or work commitments preventing the new grandparents from assisting the new mother as much as they would like.
Mums are generally discharged from hospital within a few days of delivery and are still at`low ebb’ for many days or weeks. Many women feel distressed that they cannot do everything as easily as before, and sometimes, when feeling exhausted, even a simple task such as preparing an evening meal can be overwhelming.
Research from America (Klaus, M.H; Kennell, J.H; Klaus, P.H, “Mothering the Mother “(1993)) has shown that where a mother has time to concentrate on looking after her new baby, (and not having to worry about household chores) the bonding process is enhanced. Having a doula present for the first few weeks allows this.
She comes into the home to support the new parents in whatever way they feel is most useful, such as light housekeeping and food preparation, and when requested can give experienced tips on baby care. In this way the mother and father remain the main nuturing carers, without the worry of the house and meals. Mum has opportunity to rest and take some time for herself if desired. The more a mother is cared for the more easily she can manage the baby. The more praise and support she receives, the more love and patience she can give her baby.
Dads are now usually able to take paternity leave and this is a good time for him to bond with his baby and to help mum. But he too has had his world turned upside down and may be in need of support. Having spoken to new dads they have much appreciated the presence of a doula, quietly working behind the scenes so that they can spend time with their partner and baby. Once dad has returned to work he can take comfort knowing that his partner has someone to look after her. When he returns home it will not be to a stressed and overtired partner with a fractious baby and chaotic household, but to her sitting calmly nursing the baby, the house tidy, washing and ironing done, and supper simmering in the kitchen.