Rosalie & Ben
I first heard about doulas from a friend who had one for the birth of her second child. The idea immediately appealed because I wanted my partner to be able to concentrate fully on giving me the emotional support I would need during labour, and not have to brief the midwives on our birth preferences or leave my side every time I needed a drink or snack!
We interviewed a few different doulas in our area, and found Estelle to be very warm, approachable and supportive of our birth preferences and ideals; we were very pleased when she agreed to be our doula.
We had regular contact throughout my pregnancy, and two birth preparation sessions where we discussed our ideal birth preferences as well as how we would respond to unexpected circumstances.
Estelle was also able to help with some antenatal exercises to help with strength and flexibility and to help baby into the right position for birth.
Our baby kept us waiting for as long as he possibly could! It was very reassuring to have contact with Estelle during the on-call period, and to be able to discuss with her our informed decision to decline induction before 42 weeks.
When my labour did finally begin of its own accord, it was still a two-day process before our little boy would be born-in the end by emergency caesarean due to having changed position at the last minute!
The labour itself is a bit of a blur to me, but I remember that for every contraction during that long period, I had emotional and physical support from my partner or Estelle or, in most cases, both.
Every midwife who cared for us had been fully briefed on our birth preferences and how our labour was progressing before they came to speak to me or my partner, and Estelle also updated our families so that my partner didn’t have to leave my side to make phone calls. Estelle’s support was invaluable to us and protected our “bubble” so that I could stay in my birthing zone, and meant that my birth experience, albeit prolonged and not to plan, was a very positive one.
I would definitely encourage other parents-to-be to consider having a doula, and could not have asked for more from Estelle!
Initially when my partner mentioned that she was interested in hiring a doula I had never heard that term, and didn’t know what the role entailed.
The thought of an additional birth partner was a little confusing at first as I had always thought the midwife fulfilled that role; I was worried that we were going to have to share OUR experience with a stranger and, if I am honest, slightly upset that my partner thought that I wouldn’t be able to offer her enough support.
However, in hindsight I am extremely pleased I was talked into having a doula. There were plenty of times that two of us were needed: I could mop my partners brow or offer encouragement whilst the doula was able to massage her, cool her down with a cold cloth or just make us a cup of tea!!
Estelle was extremely knowledgeable on the whole birth process and supportive of our birth preferences.
My partner’s labour was a long one and I was very grateful for the encouragement and support Estelle provided during our birth experience.