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.
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.'
Last month the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) decided, what felt like overnight, to effectively ban independent midwives from practising. I won’t go into all of the reasons why this is problematic in this blog post (for a great summary see Birthrights’ post here), but I’m sure you can imagine how worrying and unsettling it would feel to be a pregnant woman who had been planning on utilising the services of an independent midwife.
From a very young age, girls are taught to be “good”. To not make a fuss, to ensure everyone is happy, to make things run smoothly and not cause a scene. It is so ingrained in our society that you would be forgiven for thinking that subservience is a natural quality of women and girls; that little girls are “sweet” and “gentle”, and little boys are “boisterous” and “loud”.
There is so much research and so many studies showing the incredible difference a doula can make to a woman’s and her family’s birth experience. There are a number of studies to look at here on the Doula UK website.
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.