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.
Many new parents worry about the choices they are making in looking after their child, and often lack the confidences to believe that they are doing the right thing.
It seems that no matter how much a woman reads about birth or parenting, or how much time she has spent with children, very little can actually prepare her for becoming a mother.
Not long ago, I was listening to the radio and feeling disappointed that the knowledge and perception around childbirth is still so dire. Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 had childbirth expert Christine Hill on, talking about the ‘ghastliness’ of childbirth followed by Clare Byam Cook ‘controversial breastfeeding advice’ (her own words), stating that many women can’t make enough milk for their babies; and when she says ‘many’, in reality, she means most!
A few weeks ago, Adele spoke openly in the media about her struggles with postnatal depression after the birth of her son. Like so many other mothers, she struggled with adjusting to motherhood, and felt that having a baby had been a bad decision and that she was inadequately looking after her baby.
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.