My sister in Nottingham has just been raving about her postnatal doula - a lady who is coming into her home each day to help her with her newborn twins. She sounds marvellous - she does the washing, ironing shopping, cooking,and even cooks a meal for the evening. MOST importantly she encourages my sister to go for a sleep each afternoon. She sounds like an angel - I wish I'd had one. Has anyone else heard of them? My sister says she found her on the doula UK website.
I am one (antenatal, birth and postnatal). It is very rewarding and especially lovely that we can take the pressure off for mums after the birth. The most helpful time, I feel, if the mum has a partner, is when he/she goes back to work. Up until then, the excitement about being new parents is being shared full time between both of them but once the aprtner returns to work, the mum can feel really quite isolated and in at the deep end; especially if she hasn't other friends/family nearby able to help and support. The govt are putting about £270000 into training volunteer doulas (more birth doulas I think)but this concerns me slightly in that if no money is involved, then where is the incentive to give 100% to the job.I think it provides an open door for letting mums down. Most doulas are fab but I'm sure the committment of giving up 4 weeks of your life until the mum gives birth, would be a lot to ask a volunteer.