Right now, many NHS Trusts across the country are limiting birth partners to one and in other countries, birth partners are being stopped altogether. We are starting to see the cancellation of many homebirth services and birth centres are being shut down and used to isolate women with confirmed or suspected Coronavirus. This means for many women, the only place to have their baby, with the support of medically trained staff, is on an obstetric led ward in the hospital.
I've been a doula, as well as a doula course facilitator, for 17 years and my favourite part of the job by far, is unlocking the secrets to birth for expectant mothers and for aspiring doulas.
Each year, around 700,000 babies are born in the UK and yet, I estimate that less than 1 per cent were supported by a doula during birth and/or postnatally.
Being a birth doula is probably one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. To be at a woman's side, supporting her (and her partner) while she births her baby is an extraordinary privilege. However, thanks to the unpredictable nature of childbirth, one of the aspects of the job that needs to be navigated is the on-call period.
The skies are blue, the sun is out - yes, it’s summer! I love this time of year but I also remember when my daughters were small babies, finding it a little bit stressful.
PHOTO CREDIT: RED PRODUCTIONS LTD 2015
'It’s not because 'I'm too posh to push' – it's about what I think my body is capable of. I'm not good with pain - I faint when I stub my toe.'
When we think about childbirth, our focus is often on a mother, pushing with all her might to get her baby out! What we don’t often consider is what the baby is doing in that scenario.
As new parents, one of the biggest challenges faced is often sleep - or the sudden, shocking lack of it. Although it’s often talked about, not much can really prepare you for having a newborn and the disrupted sleep that goes alongside becoming a parent.
Kicki Hansard is a member of Doula UK, however any opinions expressed on this blog are personal views and not necessarily the view of Doula UK.