Right at the start of my second trimester I blogged about hiring a Doula and how I felt that was the right decision for me. So far, I have to say, Sophie has been a great emotional support. She has been following me on Instagram, checking in if she notices I’m feeling a bit emotional, takes the time to listen and has been an advocate by text too. She is so welcoming and has been really supportive of our decisions for our birth plan and those first special weeks with our newborn. Thanks to her confidence and support, as well as pointing me in the right direction for positive information allowing me to make informed choices I am feeling really good about my plan for a VBAC and actually, I’m really excited about meeting my baby.
I, of course, have a little anxiety about how things will go but our recent appointment talked through pretty much every possible outcome. Having those ideas and speaking about them has made it really clear in my mind that I feel prepared for most situations. I can’t tell you what having that extra support outside of the NHS has been for me. Having that person to continually talk to about my birth plan and our family has been really, really lovely. I think as well it’s helping my midwife have extra faith in some of the decisions I’ve been making because she knows I’m getting all the information from the right places.
Sophie has recommended books, talked us through what might happen in the event of an emergency c-section, more for Adam’s benefit as obviously this is all new for him, and talked to us about our plan and the types of pain relief I want. She’s helped me talk through so many options for things like how Vitamin K is administered, optimal cord clamping or cord blood donation, what to do with my placenta and all those kind of things. Having someone that has the time to get excited with us and talk about a really personal plan is making me feel excited, safe and comforted. I really feel quite empowered by having her by my side and confident that she will be a great advocate for making my birth plan clear to my midwife during birth. That means Adam can be there for me too without having to make any on the spot decisions without talking them through with someone that also knows what I want. I feel so glad to have two people that can support me and ensure I am listened to.
Some people have asked us why or commented that they wouldn’t want another person in the room with them at the birth, or that their husband might not feel comfortable. It’s a really personal decision when it comes to hiring a Doula but Sophie has been there for both of us, talking to us both, answering any questions that we both have and Adam has been really supportive in my decision. Adam obviously wasn’t at my last birth so he just wants to make sure that no matter what I’m looked after and he is all for anything that I think will make the entire experience better. Hiring a Doula early on in my pregnancy has really made me feel positive and excited about the whole thing and as a result, knowing I have people to speak to about my emotional issues and to help me in times of anxiety as well as making positive informed decisions has been great.
It is a personal choice, of course and if you feel that hiring a doula is not a service you will need for your pregnancy then that is absolutely fine. However, if like me, you had a bit of a hard time of it before or you’re feeling anxious about birth then perhaps speaking to a doula and meeting with one might help you. Most Doula’s will expect a meeting where you can get together and see how you connect with each other. You want someone that is going to work in sync with you for your birth and that will help you make it the best experience for you, whether thats a natural home birth or a planned c-section.