What is a Doula?
“Doula” (pronounced “doola”) is a Greek word meaning “woman servant or caregiver”. It now refers to an experienced woman who offers emotional and practical support to a woman (or couple) before, during and after childbirth.
A doula believes in “mothering the mother” – enabling a woman to have the most satisfying and empowered time that she can during pregnancy, birth and the early days as a new mum. This type of support also helps the whole family to relax and enjoy the experience. source: Doula UK
I don’t know why anyone would go through labour without a doula. I think it is the most intensely womanly thing a woman can do, and the support of another strong woman who has been through it herself is invaluable – it is a deeper level of support…..
BIRTH DOULA SERVICES:
I am a Recognised Birth Doula under Doula UK, the non profit organisation for Doulas in the UK. I have undergone the mentorship process to become ‘fully recognised’ by completing a number of ‘jobs’ under the guidance of a mentor.
I am a trained Active Birth Specialist, Pregnancy/Post-Natal Yoga Teacher and Baby Massage Instructor.
Before employing me as your Doula we can talk on the phone and meet for a no obligation chat, at a place of your choice.
I was lucky enough to find Nikki to be my Doula when I gave birth to my daughter Alice. It was one of the best decisions I have made. Thanks to the breathing techniques
, support and general feeling of confidence Nikki gave me, I had the most wonderful birth experience – I actually enjoyed giving birth! I felt so supported before, during and after the birth and having Nikki involved, helped to make it a such a wonderful experience . If I have any more children I will certainly be asking Nikki to be part of my birth experience – thank you x Miranda
If you decide that you would like me to support you, I will then offer you the following packages for Birth & Post-Natal support:
- A minimum of 2 Antenatal visits and 1 Antenatal Active Birth Workshop with your partner. The first two Antenatal visits are tailored to your needs to discuss: Birth preferences and options, making a birth ‘plan’, talking through previous births (if applicable), relaxation techniques and Yoga breathing exercises, your choice of birth environment, the labour and birth process, possible positions for labour & birth, feeding options and the early days of parenting.
- A Private Pregnancy Yoga session tailored to you if required
- An Active Birth Workshop of 2/3 hrs with you and your birth partner (at the 3rd Antenatal session)
- 24 hour ‘on call’ period between 38 and 42 weeks, or until baby is born.
- Presence at the birth from whenever you decide you need me. Support with Yoga Breathing and Active Birth positions/techniques throughout the birth if needed.
- 1 Post-Natal visit which can include an introduction to tummy massage for your baby
- Communication via phone/emails throughout Pregnancy
Investment: £950 £475 paid on booking / £475 paid at 38 weeks (plus petrol expenses & parking costs)
Other installment options are also available e.g. over 4 installments, last installment at 38 weeks.
If I were grading Nikki out of 10, I would give her 11! She was calming, knowledgeable, supportive, untiring, and more than anything else she seemed genuinely invested in helping me to have the best birth for me possible. Annie
Nikki was AMAZING!! She was kind, patient, caring, maternal but also easygoing, unfussed and most importantly she listened and responded to my needs during labour so that the care she provided me (including massaging my back for 12 hours straight without a break) was EXACTLY what I needed at the time. Leza
During labour Nikki helped me massively with lots of low back massage/pressure, suggestions re breathing, movement etc when required but did so without being interfering or intrusive.
Nikki is obviously knowledgeable but doesn’t show any judgement to things you say and knows how to direct you to information in a very gentle way. She has a great range of skills which she brings into her doula work – yoga, active birthing and baby massage. She was always available for me, always offering to help and obviously very committed to being there for us throughout the whole birthing window/period. Katrina
POST-NATAL DOULA SERVICES
I live in Farnham, Surrey. I will travel up to 40 mins from Farnham for Post-Natal work. I can offer practical and emotional support to you in your home following the birth of your baby. I usually help support your family for a minimum of 20 hours – for example, this could be over a period of 8 -10 weeks, following the birth of your baby.
I am available Monday/Wednesday/Thursday & Friday from 9am to 2.30pm.
As your Post-Natal Doula, I am able to offer Baby Massage with you and your baby, including some Post-Natal Yoga work if required.
I am a ‘Mentored’ Post-Natal Doula. This means that I have a ‘Doula Mentor’ who I refer to, as I work towards becoming ‘fully recognised’ as a Post-Natal Doula under ‘Doula UK’ – the non-profit organisation for Doulas in the UK. View my Doula Profile here.
Nikki was wonderful in the postnatal period – not only in the first week, but in all subsequent weeks since then – It is now 8 weeks later and Nikki still provides me with post natal support twice weekly. She has been a really valuable source of support, a kind and supportive person who I have been lucky enough to be able to lean on following the birth. This has been particularly crucial for me, both as a new mum, but also because I have no other direct family support here in Farnham…
We are just so grateful that we have benefited from her kindness, sensitivity, calm, experience and empathy. She has been our Mary Poppins! Leza
Things I can help you with: holding your baby while you catch up on some sleep, assistance with feeding baby – breast/bottle, cooking food for you and your family, washing up, tidying, washing and drying/folding of clothes, going shopping for you, or just being there to lend a caring ear for any concerns you may have and signposting local providers/therapists for your needs. I can also help entertain older siblings whilst you care for your new little bundle.
POST-NATAL Package Option:
£280 for 20 hours support over the course of 6 to 8 weeks, includes teaching you how to perform a ‘tummy and colic routine’ baby massage.
Please note that this option requires you to complete a short feedback form to my mentor at ‘Doula UK’. Hours are booked in 3 hr slots. Petrol Expenses are payable in addition to the hourly rate if located outside of Farnham.
Other POST-NATAL options:
£15 per hour ad-hoc Post-Natal Doula Support.
Available up to 40 mins drive from Farnham, bookable in 3 hour slots. Includes ‘tummy and colic routine’ baby massage tuition if required. Petrol Expenses are payable in addition to the hourly rate if based outside of Farnham.
I may ask you to provide feedback to my mentor at Doula UK if my hours with you exceed 20 hours
A survey of birth doulas in 2013 conducted by Nurturing Birth showed that:
Only 12.5% of births supported by doulas ended in caesarean section, just under half the national rate of 25.5%
26.3% of women had a home birth with doula support, compared with the 2.4% national rate.
Epidural uptake was less than 15%, compared to a 62.9% national average (49.3% spontaneous births)·
96.4% women who gave birth supported by a doula initiated breastfeeding, and of those 81.4% were still exclusively feeding at 6 weeks (as compared to 73.9% and 47.2%.)
It has also been shown by research undertaken in the USA that having the support of a doula is likely to reduce the length of labour (Kennell & Klaus)