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Ten things a doula does to prepare you for the birth of your baby, or why antenatal preparation is so important

Most people do not realise that the most important part of a doula’s work is done BEFORE she comes to support you during the birth of your baby. So, here are ten things a doula may do for you:
1) We get to meet at least twice (this doesn’t include the interview), so we can get to know each other, and establish a proper connection. I will listen carefully and encourage you to explore how you feel about the birth and beyond. Together, we make sure I have a good idea how to best support you during your birth.
2) Your partner matters too. That’s right, I’m also here to support him/her-so he can be the best to support to you during your birth.
3) We can talk about and maybe try some labour support techniques. If you like, we can try massage and various labour comfort measures, so that if you like the idea of physical comfort during the birth, we have worked out how that might work for you.
4) I can be there for you on the phone or by email at any time to answer any questions you may have, or if you feel worried.
5) We can make sure that you have all the information you need to choose where to have your baby. I am very familiar with the different birth settings options locally, and I can share this information with you as you work through your choices.
6) We can discuss and write your birth preferences document together, again making sure you have all the information you need to make the right choices for you and your family.
7) I can point you in the direction of the right people, in the hospital or elsewhere, whenever you need extra support during your pregnancy. My extensive local network of pregnancy and birth professionals includes midwives and doctors, and complementary therapists (osteopaths, massage therapists, yoga instructors etc).
8) We can plan and navigate postnatal topics such as looking after yourself, feeding your baby, soothing a crying baby, baby sleep etc, so you feel confident in choosing the right options for you and know where to get support if you need it.
9) I can show you to how use a baby carrier (and help you find the right one for you-they are a bit like jeans or shoes, in that personal preferences vary a lot), so that you get your hands back and can look after yourself once your baby has arrived.
10) I will be guided entirely guided by you and your needs. I will not try to steer you in any direction. Doula support is different for every couple as it is tailor-made to your needs. We have no agenda except making sure you feel supported unconditionally and have the knowledge you need to make informed decisions.

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