Hiring a Doula for my Second Pregnancy
Have you ever hired a Doula before? I hadn’t, in fact, during my first pregnancy I didn’t even know that support like this existed. Perhaps if I had, my birth with my first daughter would have been so much easier. This time around, I am seeking out the best possible support I can to ensure I have the pregnancy, labour and birth that I want to have. After having a traumatic birth with an emergency c-section which in all honestly feels like such a long time ago now, I feel a little more informed about how I want this pregnancy to go. I’ve decided to have a hospital birth, I’m going to be pushing for a VBAC and now, thanks to the Doula I have decided to hire, I feel so much more informed about my choices. Now my first trimester is over and I’m welcoming the second, I feel like it’s the right time to start making some choices about my birth plan and support.
What is a Doula
A Doula is someone that offers support throughout pregnancy and birth. Some Doulas also offer postnatal care. You can have a Doula for pregnancy and Birth only, postnatal only or both. It depends on your preferences. Hiring a Doula is the same as paying for a private service. Most Doulas are hired by clients and packages are offered at a price that reflects the support offered by the Doula personally. You can choose to hire a longstanding Doula with experience or a newly qualified Doula who may be a little cheaper. Doulas do not offer a clinical or medical service but often have holistic therapy training to enable them to provide a variety of support. No doubt, there is probably a Doula out there for every woman depending on her needs and preferences. For vulnerable women there are a few NHS Doulas and the Doula Access Fund, a charity that works with women in need of extra support and care as well as women’s refuges. I’ve spoken openly about my own time in a women’s refuge and I’m really glad that this charity exists.
Searching for a Doula
I literally searched ‘Doula in Hampshire’ because that’s where I live and was pushed to click through the Hampshire Doula website. There were a few ladies on there which advertised their websites and contact details. I was drawn to one in particular and clicked through to find out more about her services. I really liked the sort of package she was offering for a ‘Birth Only’ Doula and decided to send her a message. Her name is Sophie, she’s relatively close to me and she suggested that I interview her. We arranged a time and date that suited us both and as she was close to my hometown it was for later on that week. Sophie recommended that both myself and Adam were there to chat to her so we could both ask questions and get everything out in the open. If you’re based in Hampshire and would like to read about Sophie’s experience and packages you can visit her website.
Interviewing a Doula
Sophie said that the most important thing when hiring a Doula is that you connect with each other and I completely get that. Preparing for labour and birth is incredibly personal and you ultimately want someone with you who you feel is going to be supportive and encouraging. If you don’t like your Doula then it’s going to affect your birth and you won’t feel comfortable getting into the nitty gritty with them. Sophie has been a Doula for a few years and the testimonials on her website were really positive and encouraging. I was looking forward to meeting her and feel we connected right away. Rather than a full on interview it was a very casual chat about everything really. Sophie is so informed about women’s choices during pregnancy and birth, some of which I did not know I was entitled to refuse. Sometimes choices are pushed on you which make you feel a little anxious but I really feel that with Sophie’s help I will be armed with a lot of information and with the help of my medical support I will be able to make the choices that let me have the best possible labour and birth whether that is the very hoped for VBAC or the possible Elective C-Section.
What I loved about Sophie is her friendly, bubbly and upfront personality. She is completely on board with Hypnobirthing and Childbirth Aromatherapy which are two things I really want to use in this pregnancy. Whilst she recommended that we interviewed other Doula’s in the area and sleeping on it, Adam and I felt she was already the right choice for us. Sophie had an agreement for us to read through and sign and alongside this and paying the deposit she is booking us in for September.
Sophie is going to help us with our birth plan with some lengthy antenatal style visits, support me with hypnobirthing and go through the essential oils we can use. For a four week period around my due date Sophie will be available to me to assist with labour and birth including coming with me to the hospital. I feel that with Adam and Sophie, alongside my midwife and the staff at my chosen hospital I am going to be able to have a positive birth experience and I feel really good about the rest of this pregnancy. I will be writing more about using a Doula in my pregnancy updates and hopefully we will be able to tell you more when I write up our birth story.
For more pregnancy content please head to my hub post which contains links to all my relevant pregnancy based blog posts. My second High Bmi Pregnancy.
Id never really thought about hiring a Doula before but it sounds like it would be a great support at the time you need it most. I’m not sure my husband would agree though! #anythinggoes
My partner has been so supportive and met her as well, they’ll both be there at the birth and having such a traumatic experience for my first birth I just want to have as much help and support as possible 🙂
I interviewed for a doula but the first one I spoke to sadly put me off, as she was quite anti-medication and simply could not understand that I could not carry past 8 weeks without a lot of medication and ‘western medicine’. After I gave birth I discovered that there are plenty of doulas who are experienced with high risk pregnancies and even C sections (ironically shooting the baby out was the one think my body can do unaided … we just made it into the birth centre in time!) Who knows if I’d interviewed one of them before, I’d probably of hired her!
Yes I did some research first and before interviewing said I was a VBAC case. Mine is very much about making informed decisions which is really helping me as I want as natural a birth as possible despite being high risk due to my really high BMI and previous C-Section. It’s a shame yours was not helpful for you and that one bad experienced put you off.
My friend hired a Doula and I must admit, I’d never heard of one until then. She had an amazing birth experience and she could not have had such a positive experience without her Doula. Go for it, I say! #bloggersbest
I honestly feel SO much more confident about everything and that I’ve really got someone championing the birth I want 😀
mummy here and there
I have heard really good things about the service and can help a great deal during pregnancy and birth X #stayclassymama
Lydia C. Lee
They are quite popular here. Not for me tho. #Stayclassymama
That’s fair enough, I’m just so grateful to have the choice and have more confidence in my choices after such a traumatic birth the first time around!
Musings of a tired mummy...zzz...
I have heard lots of good things about doulas but I wanted as few people there as possible! In fact I gave birth 3 times with just a midwife present #bloggersbest
That’s fair enough! I am all about birth being exactly what you want! 😀
Musings of a tired mummy...zzz...
Yes! Birth is difficult enough and if you worry that you won’t have the support you need then a doula sounds perfect, popping back from #bloggerclubuk
Laura - Dear Bear and Beany
I must admit I didn’t know this was possible with either of my pregnancies. I hope it helps you this time round. I love chutney and this looks delicious. Defientely something I would love to try. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove
I know a few people who have hired doulas and they’ve been the most amazing support. It’s a time when you’re so vulnerable, and it can be hard to have your voice heard, so a support like that can be invaluable. Best of luck with it all. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove
Thank you! It really does feel good to know at least someone will listen to me and have my emotional back! 🙂
Good for you – I’d definitely have done the same if we could have afforded it. Instead Misery Guts had to do!! #bloggersbest
The expense, I think, does put a lot of people off. I’m glad I found a way to flexibly pay mine. I’ll have my partner there too, of course, and thankfully she can be there for him too if any emergencies arise! 🙂
This is a really good post. I thought about hiring a doula when as I had home births. It seemed like w great option but the only thing stopping me from doing so was that I didn’t want a lot of people around so decided to go with just my husband and midwife in the end. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama
I am kind of hoping the midwife will stay in the background a little bit as I’ll be in hospital. I would love to have a home birth and would absolutely have one next time I think! 🙂