Doula

What is a doula?

Watch Doula! the film below:

The word ‘doula’ (pronounced doo-la) literally means ‘woman who serves’, but has grown to mean a woman who supports another woman through pregnancy, birth and in the postnatal period. It is also sometimes referred to as the role of ‘mothering the mother’.

In traditional cultures, a pregnant woman is surrounded by other, more experienced women in the community who advise and encourage her throughout her pregnancy, support her in her birth and nurture her and her new baby in the first few weeks or months afterwards. This tradition has been lost in many western societies, but through the work of doulas it is beginning to return. The doula doesn’t take on a medical role, but will provide ongoing support to the mother and her partner during pregnancy, throughout the whole labour and in the post partum period.

What can a doula offer the mother for the birth?

A doula can help to talk you through your birth plan and discuss ahead of time any concerns or worries you may have about labour. She will support and guide you in the decisions you make about where to birth and how to plan it. She will be available at any time leading up to the birth for any questions, concerns or problems that may arise. She will listen to you and your partner and will be an advocate on your behalf with medical professionals if necessary. She will be able to explain medical terminology and will be able to provide objective information at every stage. She will be by your side continuously, a calm and knowledgeable presence, whose sole purpose is to be with you and support you and your partner through this time.

After the birth she will be able to ease you through those first few days, offering encouragement with breastfeeding if needed, answering any questions and debriefing the birth with you.

What can a doula offer the partner?

During the birth, the presence of a doula ensures that the partner of the birthing woman can be with her as a partner, without them having to also be her advocate and sole support. This is crucial when they are feeling very vulnerable themselves.

After the birth a doula can help to take the pressure off the partner by taking on domestic tasks which allows them the opportunity to spend time with their partner and new child, and by supporting them as they settle into their new role and learn to care for their baby. Once the partner has returned to work a new mother can sometimes feel isolated and even overwhelmed by full-time motherhood. Knowing that there is someone there to support her and ensure she has answers to her questions as well as time and space to relax can bring a sense of relief to a partner who is unable to be there themselves due to work pressures.

Who am I?


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Claire supports couples in Northamptonshire and the surrounding counties. She firmly believes that every woman can have a magical and beautiful birth experience. As a birth & postnatal doula, Claire works with mothers and their partners providing support, information and empowerment before, during and after labour and birth.

Claire has been a Birth Doula since 2005 and a Postnatal Doula since 2010. Claire was a member of Doula UK from 2005 until 2012. Within the organisation she undertook a variety of volunteer roles including the Regional Representative coordinator, the Regional Representative for Northamptonshire, she was a member of the Board of Directors, a Doula Mentor and the Doula Mentor Joint Co-ordinator. Claire has also been a member of the Maternity Services Liasion Committee (Northamptonshire) which she has recently reconnected with.  Claire rejoined Doula UK at the beginning of February 2017.
Her doula journey began when she had her first child, the passion surfaced when she was retraining at LCM and then the opportunity to journey with Dr Michel Odent and Lilianna Lammars (Paramana Doula).

Claire is an experienced doula who has supported couples who have chosen to deliver at home, those who have preferred to deliver in hospital including a phenomenal breech water delivery. Claire has also supported couples planning to VBAC and those who have chosen to have elective cesearean sections. Claire has supported over eight hundred families. She has had the honour & privilege to be present with those families who have chosen to have a doula to support them during their pregnancies, labour & birth.

Claire is a qualified massage practitioner for pregnancy, labour and baby massage & development. She believes that every woman should have access to a Doula should she want one, and will assist clients on low incomes via instalments.

Claire abides by the Doula UK code of practice and is insured by BGi UK & has an up-to-date Enhanced CRB Disclosure certificate.

Please feel free to browse my pages and contact us if you have any questions.

Please note that all of our support packages / programmes work alongside your ante-natal care which you receive from you GP practice. We are not a replacement for your GP or midwife but work co-operatively with them.

I have supported many couples here are some of them ….

  • Assisted birth (ventouse) under spinal in theatre; 
  • homebirth; 
  • VBAC with elective section; 
  • Vaginal birth with blood clotting disorder; 
  • elective c-section (baby large for dates); 
  • vaginal birth (monitoring with clip & bicornuate uterus); 
  • Home water birth, transfer in due to retained placenta and pph;
  • Vaginal birth (3 hours); 
  • VBAC – ventouse birth with epidural in theatre; 
  • undiagnosed breech vaginal birth;
  • Induction due to pre-eclampsia successful vaginal birth; 
  • transferred home water birth with ventouse birth in sitting position; 
  • home water birth transferred in with ventouse birth (lithotomy); 
  • elective c-section
  • hospital vaginal birth on knees due to blood pressure concerns; 
  • elective section;
  • vaginal birth;
  • repeat emergency c-section; 
  • home water birth with baby birthed in caul; 
  • hospital breech water birth; 
  • elective section;
  • home water birth transfer due to stitching and loss of blood; 
  • repeat client homebirth; 
  • speedy vaginal birth (2 hours);
  • supported Group Strep B vaginal birth in water
  • repeat speedy vaginal homebirth with transfer in for baby  (needing creating assistance) and mum with high blood pressure 

Claire teaches from her bespoke studio “The Space” based in Northampton and also offers Rebozo workshops and Closing of the Bones … to both couples and others working with clients who may or may not be pregnant.

 

Birth Support Package I

A birth support package with Claire is £850.00 plus mileage (45p per mile).

  • Holding your space whilst journeying through the maternity system.
  • 2 x one to one antenatal sessions, which will take place in the comfort of your own home on a day and time that suits you.
    We will cover all aspects of labour, birth & beyond and if applicable take the time to reflect on previous pregnancies/births
  • Access to the client area of the Ripple Effect website which has a whole host of resources to support you when researching options and looking for information.
  • Access to birth preparation area of the website – client protected password with empowering birth presentation and postnatal presentation.
  • Any books, dvd’s and cd’s relating to pregnancy and birth that I have may be borrowed.
  • On call for the birth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from 10 days prior to your due date until week 42.
  • Continuity of care throughout your pregnancy, labour and birth plus 12 weeks postpartum.
  • Use of Aromatherapy oils & Homoeopathy remedies if you wish to use them.
  • TENS machine available (cover cost of replacement pads)
  • Guidance with the first feed and what to expect in the following hours and days.  Plus signposting as required.
  • Postnatal goody bag to support your postpartum recovery & breastfeeding journey.
  • 1 postnatal visit (2-4 hours) usually with in 10 days of the birth, taking time to reflect on your experience and giving you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about you or your baby and what to expect in those early weeks.
  • Advice and support available via phone or email from time of booking until 12 weeks post birth.
  • Additional visits can be arranged if required. (charge applicable)

You also have the options of:

  • Option of hiring a birth pool at rate of £80.00.  Clients will need to order a liner (payable directly to the supplier … a discount order code will be supplied).
  • The use of a TENS machine – no charge for unit (charge of £15.00 for replacement pads included with final invoice).

It would be helpful if you had the use of a birth ball to use at home and during your birth.  Ask family and friends they might have one lurking in a cupboard … it will need to be anti-burst.

The postnatal visit is to discuss your birth experience, and to help and assist you in the post-natal period. It lasts for approximately 2-4 hours.

To book please contact Claire to check availability.

Birth Doula Booking
Fill out my online form.

Online contact and registration forms from Wufoo.

Birth Support Package II

Sometimes we aren’t always sure if we want to have a doula with us at the beginning of our pregnancy journey … classes with Claire are very personalised so she is often very aware from class discussions or you sharing your thoughts and birth wishes over the weeks together, especially those that have done 2 or more blocks of classes … Claire offers her clients the following support … If you start your labour journey and feel the overwhelming urge for support and someone to hold the space for you and your partnerthere are many scenarios which may make you think “I need the support” e.g. induction of labour, when your wishes aren’t quite going where you want them to be  … if Claire is available she will happily join you wherever you need her to be and stay with you to hold the space and be your Birthkeeper along with your partner …  the fee would be paid after the arrival of your baby.

Staying in contact with her when you think labour has started would be helpful.

The fee for this is £450.00 for the birth plus mileage or taxi fare and if you wish to debrief post birth then this can be in the form of a face to face appointment or perhaps organising a birth after thoughts appointment at the hospital with a named midwife … cost £60.00.

Please have a chat with Claire about this service …

  • Holding you space whilst journeying through the maternity system whilst you are in early labour and bringing your baby earth side.
  • Access to the client area of the Ripple Effect website which has a whole host of resources to support you when researching options and looking for information
  • Continuity of care throughout your labour and birth.
  • Use of Aromatherapy oils & Homoeopathy remedies if you wish to use them.
  • TENS machine available (cover cost of replacement pads)
  • Guidance with the first feed and what to expect in the following hours and days.  Plus signposting as required.
  • 1 postnatal visit (2-4 hours) usually within 10 days of the birth, taking time to reflect on your experience and giving you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about you or your baby and what to expect in those early weeks. (You may choose not to do this however it’s included in the costs)
  • Guidance (not advice) and support available via phone or email from time of booking until 12 weeks post birth.
  • Additional visits can be arranged if required. (charge applicable)

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What is a Postnatal Doula?

A postnatal doula offers the family:

Emotional support for mother and baby
Physical care of mother and baby
Assistance with establishing feeding (breast and bottle)
Advice and help to the family re: adjusting to the new baby/babies
Assisting with the care of older children in the family
Assisting with the household: I will do light housework this would include washing up, laundry, putting washing on the line, hoovering and small amounts of ironing, shopping, cooking and any other reasonable requests.
I am happy to look after or take the baby out while the mother gets some rest or has a relaxing bath.

My role is quite varied, however my main task is to make sure the mother is resting enough and getting the fluids and nutrition that are essential after childbirth. Too often mums are rushed back into normal day-to-day activities and lose out on the “lying in” period that many women in the third world experience. With the help of a postnatal doula a mother can enjoy some of the benefits of a prolonged “lying in” period. This will help her bond with her baby and spend extra time with any older siblings. As a postnatal doula we are about empowering a family to take care of itself and we facilitate this by helping around the house and offering encouragement and suggestions.

As a postnatal doula, I offer practical and emotional support to the new mother and father in the home following the birth of the baby.

This service would usually last between 3 weeks and 3 months depending on each families circumstances.

Postnatal Support Packages

The hourly charge is £15.00 plus travel expenses at 45p per mile. (the mileage rate is negotiable if you are more than 20 miles away).

How to book.

If you are interested in booking Claire as your doula, please contact her to arrange a complimentary appointment for you to meet and to discuss your birth plans.

Postnatal Support: £15.00 per hour with a minimum 15 hour booking for postnatal support plus mileage (45p per mile).

Once you have decided that you would like to book Claire, please return one copy of the contract along with your deposit payment. Once this has been received, your dates are booked into her diary and your antenatal appointments are organised.

Repeat clients who wish to book Claire as their doula for their second or subsequent births will receive a discounted package which includes one antenatal appointment, the labour & birth (for however long) and one postanatal visit with unlimited telephone and email support from the booking until 6 weeks after the birth.

Cost for repeat clients:  £700.00

 

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