What is a doula?
A doula is a skilful and experienced pregnancy and birthing coach, who supports new parents in a non-medical way during their pregnancy and child birth. Being pregnant and becoming a mum is a new stage of life, in which it can be difficult to find a new balance. It is new and sometimes confusing, emotional and exhausting. A doula can help you through the phases of pregnancy, childbirth and becoming a mum in a convenient way!
From research and from practice it is proven that a doula is the effective way to help to have a natural birth and to reduce the risks of a C-section, epidural or an assisted child birth. To discuss your fears, wishes and expectations and to give a clear explanation, we investigate together what is necessary for you to get more self-confidence. And with that I help you to make good decisions with confidence and to have control over the process.
How Do I Hire A Doula?
After you have had confirmation of your pregnancy and you are interested in hiring me as your doula, you can contact me directly to arrange an appointment for an informal “chat with Q&A’s”. You can explore if there is a connection and enough trust to continue together. It is also a good opportunity for me to learn a little more about your preferences and any concerns you may have regarding your pregnancy and birth. After our meeting you can then decide if you would like to proceed with my services.
Packages And Support
You can choose between separate support or a package. The Basic Package is the most cost effective with a good balanced composition of services. The most populair package The Luxurious Package include greater support. You can plan in this package a relaxing massage or a massage to induce contractions after the due date, or a moxa session when you baby is in breech. Supermums, without a partner, are advised to choose the Luxurious Package for these extra sessions (e.g. a midwife or hospital visit or doing exercises together).
The packages will give you all the tools you need to prepare yourself and to be confident with your pregnancy, giving birth and the post partum period.
The Last Minute Package is an ideal package for when you decide last minute you would like to have a doula at your side when giving birth f.i. when you are having a second baby. The packages, with the exception of the last minute package, have the following components:
Fixed Units In The Packages
Intake consultation and spinning babies:
At around 26-30 weeks of your pregnancy we will have a appointment in the comfort and privacy of your own home were we will discuss in more detail your expectations concerning the birth and your birth wishes.We also have a training session that will include exercises for the pregnancy and during birth. I will teach you the best exercises for a balanced, healthy body. It is also recommended that your partner is present and you can practise together.
At around 30-34 weeks of your pregnancy I will explain everything in detail to you and your partner about giving birth. You will also receive lots of practical tips and great exercises to help prepare your body for pregnancy and giving birth. I will also explain all you need to know about giving birth in the Netherlands.
At around 34-36 weeks I send you a form that you can use to outline your birth plan (personal preferences). During this session I explain all of your options to help you construct the best possible birth plan incorporating your personal choices and preferences.
Post Partum Prep:
At 38 weeks of your pregnancy I prepare you for the post partum period. In this meeting we will discuss what you can expect on the first night, medical care, ‘kraamzorg’ (maternity nurse), and contingency and backup plans. Also the physical and emotional changes that may effect you and/or your baby and recovery.
Unlimited Support by Telephone, Whatsapp or Email:
I can offer assistance to you by telephone. You can call me from 09:00 hrs. until 21:00 hrs. (9:00am – 9:00pm) for help or quick questions. You can also email me and I will reply at the first opportunity. Should there be a need for medical assistance, I will refer you to your midwife or gynaecologist.
Starting from week 38 through to week 42, I will be on call 24 hours/7 days a week and will be present at your labour within 1 hour (of being given notice).
Continued Support During Your Birth:
From previous experience, most women greatly appreciate help during the active labour phase. I will be present for your birth, the afterbirth and for your baby’s first feeding, to help offer assurance and assistente throughout the whole experience.
During The Post Partum Period:
I will visit you during the first week to discuss your birthing experiences. I shall keep a record of all the details and events during your birth and provide a short review as a keepsake.
Doula Support During Pregnancy
Moxa (between 33 and 36 weeks):
The use of a moxa stick (of Artemis Vulgaris, which is slow burning and warm) warms the skin and your pressure points. Its purpose is to encourage positive chi (life energy) flow throughout your body. If your baby is in a breech position, moxa can help encourage and promote movement in your pelvis. This movement will allow your baby to have more room and a better opportunity to right itself naturally into an optimal position. I will visit you and explain how to use the stick, let you experience the moxa for yourself and give you a moxa stick to try on yourself in the following days.
The back massage is a combination of cupping, and a relaxing massage. Depending on how many weeks you are into the pregnancy, the cupping will either be on your whole back or on isolated areas. The idea of cupping is that suction stimulates the circulation of blood. After the cupping follows a relaxing massage with your back and pelvis also included.
Feet and leg massage:
The feet and leg massage focuses on swollen lower legs and feet. I will teach you and your partner the theory and techniques to take care of your feet and legs.
No contractions? (from 41 weeks and after your water has broken without contractions):
In this session acupressure will be combined with massage and cupping to help your body to induce contractions. It is nice to do the session before or after the sweeping of the membranes by your midwife.
Help To Nest (extensive post partum prep):
In addition to the information in the post partum preparation, I can help you with the practical part of the preparation. I can assist you with; packing the items you will need in your hospital bag, your diaper bag, helping with your baby’s bed, bathing, clothes and products. I teach you how to correctly make up the crib (cot) and pram, how to put the maxicosi into the car safely, and preparing your bed for taking in the amniotic fluid when the membranes rupture.
I’m available for extra support during the pregnancy whenever needed. (e.g. visiting your midwife or gynaecologist with you or to offer extra support during contractions other than labour).
Doula Support During Birth (last minute)
During labour I will support you by giving you the confidence and assurances needed in this process and in your own strength and abilities. I will support you in the choices that you and your partner make during pregnancy, during birth and post partum. I will offer physical, psychological and emotional support and can advise you in any situation that may arise.
I do not perform any medical assessments, actions or to treat your medical conditions, as this falls under the responsibility of your midwife or doctor. This support is always in conjunction with a prior meeting (to discuss your birth plan) and a meeting during the post partum period (to review your birth).
Support for C-section:
On the day your C-section is planned, I will accompany you to call in and throughout the whole day to reduce the stress and make you feel comfortable and confident. During the waiting hours, I will give you a relaxing and soothing (foot) massage, prepare the “seeding” for your baby and guide you through the day. During the C-section pictures will be taken and I will arrange a quick reunion with your baby (if you happened to be seperated). I help you the first hours with breastfeeding, and anything you need to fully enjoy these first hours with your baby.