I really enjoyed writing this series of posts over on my instagram, there I've collected it all together in one place. There were lots of things I could have written about in this A-Z but I went with what I felt was the most important things as a Doula I want women to know about. I hope you find it useful, inspiring and thought provoking to read as you approach the birth of your baby. Enjoy......
A IS FOR ADRENALINE...Adrenaline is our stress response hormone - what is produced when we are faced with what we perceive as danger, otherwise known as the fight or flight response.
During labour this is not a good thing and can slow things down, it also makes us feel the pain more. We enter a cycle of Fear - Tension - Pain.....the more fearful of birth we are the more tense we are and so the more pain we feel, the more pain we feel the more fearful we are and so on. We need to reduce the adrenaline in our body by relaxing and staying calm. (There is a lot more to it - follow my future posts!)
Having said that there is a stage in our labour that adrenaline is useful....
During transition (the stage when we are fully dilated and ready to start pushing our baby out) the body naturally gives us a shot of adrenaline to let us know this and to get our muscles to work differently, bringing us out of our calm and ready for action so to speak. During the transition it is common for most women to become scared, and say they are can’t do it anymore and they want it to stop now!
B IS FOR BBA... Birth Before Arrival. Babies don’t wait for no one and your body takes over to birth your baby where ever you are - there’s no stopping it!
Birthing is a physiological process just like sneezing or vomiting or going to the toilet your body takes over and does the work.
The fetal ejection reflex or involuntary pushing as it’s sometimes referred to happens when your body and your baby are ready not when you are!
This could be in the car/ambulance on the way to hospital or at home on the bathroom floor before you’ve even set off.
Living in rural Lincolnshire where for a lot of women in my area it’s a good half hour drive to the hospital I imagine it happens a lot!
C IS FOR CONSENT... "Hop up onto the bed so I can examine you"
This is NOT what Consent looks like! 👆🏻
Asking a woman to lay down on the bed so she can be examined is not a way of gaining her consent to do an invasive vaginal examination. A better sentence would be “I would like to do a vaginal examination for X reason, would you be ok with me doing this?”
Remember YOU always have complete autonomy over your body and you absolutely have the right to decline any examination if you are not comfortable with it being done. You also have the right to ask questions about the examination before it is done. You are not wasting the midwife or doctors time, you are gaining information so you can give informed consent to what is being asked to be done.
Nothing should be done without your prior consent!
D IS FOR DOULA (OBVS!)... If you have been following me for a while you must know what a doula I by now! If not let me fill you in.....
A doula provides emotional practical and educational support to women and their family before during and after the birth of their baby.
Think of a doula as your personal guide. We are highly trained professionals of birth who help you navigate your own path through it all.
We are not to be confused with Midwife’s, we have no medical training but we give you that constant support throughout.
I have written a more detailed blog about what a doula is and how a doula could benefit you on my website, check it out!
E IS FOR EDD... Estimated Due Date (otherwise known as a date your baby is likey not to be born on!)
Really take note of the word Estimated here!
It really is a guess of when your baby will arrive, I prefer a due month than an exact date. Women can often hold onto that specific date and if baby isn’t here by then worry and stress can set in as the countdown starts to induction (which most women want to avoid) having a due month means you can expect your baby anytime between 38 and 42 weeks - which is when most babies are born within and takes the pressure off a little allowing you to relax more in those final weeks.
Only about 4% of babies are born on their exact due date!
F IS FOR FINANCES... I hear a lot of people say “I can’t afford a doula / antenatal classes”
I think what you need to ask yourself is what is more important - the expensive pram I will use for a few weeks or a lifetime of satisfaction knowing I fully prepared myself physically and emotionally for this life changing experience and I was fully supported at each stage???
But also you have to think it’s like a lot of things you shop for, there are going to be the free / low cost items you can get hold of to do at your leisure, there will be the mid range items that you get abit more for your money with but then there is going to be your top of the range items which are worth the investment and give you a good quality product or service.
You pay for what you get!
I have confidence in the price of my services which comes down to years of training & experience and continuing CPD and research to ensure I am giving you the best I can, I feel the support and contact with a real person providing you these services will actually make you use them more effectively too as you’ve put your money and time into committing to it, whereas a free service is easy to not complete or to loose interest in. I’ve done it myself, I’ve committed to training courses and invested my money and time into them but Ive also signed up to free courses and got half way through them as no one is there to encourage me and keep me going. You need that from the service you buy into I feel.
When you buy from me - it’s not just a product it’s a person who truly cares about your wellbeing and your experiences and wants you to have the positive outcomes you desire and who is committed to you.
Are you worth that investment?? (You and your baby really are!)
G IS FOR GOLDEN HOUR... The hour straight after your baby is born is so important hence why we call it the golden hour! Michael Odent suggests that ‘The hour following birth is undoubtedly on