Recommendation of doulas, please?(24 Posts)
I'm starting to look for a doula for the birth of DC2. I'll probably give birth at the Whittington or UCH (NW London).
Ideally I would like someone who could act as a very strong advocate for my wishes during birth (my birth partners didn't do that in DS's birth and I ended up pushing on my back, with legs on stirrups, and very angry! Also, MWs weren't as respectful as I would like).
I prefer someone who is not radically against hospital births, c-sections, epidurals, etc. It seems most doulas are a bit too militant about this for my taste. I have nothing against epidurals or even c-sections, and I believe strongly that women should be able to choose how they want to have their babies (instead of being brain washed to have a painful natural birth, even if they don't want one!).
I've looked for names in the doula.org.uk website, but it would be great to have some suggestions. Also, I know I'm looking for a very specific type of professional (I don't even know if there are doulas like that!)
If you're not far along (she books up really early!) try the Hackney Doula. I think she'd cover your area, she's lovely and she is totally non judgemental about what interventions you want.
Thanks, Secondtime, but I got in contact with her but even though my EDD is November, she is not taking any new clients now (I think she's going to be away for a while or something like that). Did you give birth with her? Maybe she can recommend me someone?
Oh, shame. She does know a lot of people and might me able to point you in the direction of someone?
I would give some of them a phone call. My doula was great - sorry she's not near you, but she was definitely not militant.
I'm planning a vbac at the Whittington (am 38 weeks today) and my doula is Marcia (Mars) Lord (mammy doula). I wanted a doula this time because last time it all went pear-shaped immediately and no one listened to a word either me or my husband said (though in fairness, I wasn't capable of saying much and DH was totally overwhelmed!). I wanted a sensible doula who was experienced at the Whit.
Obviously haven't given birth yet, but she's been great so far. She is lovely and hugely experienced in all types of birth (including having had c-sections and vbacs herself) and myself and my partner are both feeling more confident about things this time around.
I've heard of Mars Lord too. She is apparently also fab. You're lucky in London that there are quite a few doulas about, so I'm sure you'll find someone to suit you.
This lady is lovely but as I am in NW and geographically challenged I am not sure how far away she is. She is a family friend and if I have children it is her I will want with me!
I was about to suggest the Hackney Doula too, but see I've been beaten to it!
My FILs girlfriend has just completed her doula training, she is a fabulous woman, very ballsy without being overbearing. Supportive of all types of birth and will have no problem acting as a fantastic advocate! She's based in NW London and is very passionate and committed. Her website and doula reg is still going through but she has al her certificates etc. If you'd like her contacts, please PM me, she'd be thrilled to work with you I'm sure.
schroedinder Mars is fab but do email me again (I'm the Hackney Doula) and I can point you to some others too...
I had Liliana Lammers.My baby was born at UCH. She has worked closely with Michele Odent and has decades of experience,I thought she was absolutely lovely.
I have Stacia Smales-Hill helping me with my birth, am due in 4 weeks. She's based in SW/West London. Super lady and came highly recommended.
Many thanks for all the recommendations, I'll go through then and send PMs and emails as soon as I have a minute (I should have gone to bed ages ago, I'm knackered and DS will be jumping up and down early morning...
Helly, I've spoken to Liliana, and I'm planning to meet her for for a chat (she still works with Michel Odent, by the way). How was your experience with her? Isn't she more on the "militant" side?
I'd like to introduce myself - I am a Nurturing Birth trained Doula and a member of Doula UK. My name is Denise Miller and I am relatively new to this.
I have an open mind about birth but I do feel passionately that a woman should be able to choose the kind of birth she wants - as long as it is safe for her and her baby. I have nothing against epidural -and research has shown that Doula-attended births are less likely to result in forceps or c-section births - simply because the woman feels less fear, is more relaxed, and the constant presence of a supportive female makes an immense difference. I also think that if you have someone who will advocate for your wishes with the medical staff without getting stroppy that is a huge bonus.
My email at the moment is email@example.com - still waiting for my son to get my website and email address sorted! Or you can call me on 07796 671894.
I would be delighted to hear from you so that we can meet and discuss what you are aiming for.
Denise - Doula with Love
I would suggest looking at Doula UK and ringing or meeting a few. Most doulas are more interested in supporting the mothers' own informed choices than diligently sticking to their personal opinions. They are professionals whose job is not to be judgemental. Even a fervent natural birth advocate should be able to leave "herself" outside the door and competently support a mother making choices she wouldn't make herself.
Well, I don't know about militiant ! She is very pro natural delivery, which is a good thing in my book, but she is also pragmatic and reasonable and was very supportive when I needed another c-section (I was trying for a vbac). She is a very kind person, and wouldn't try to push anyone into something they didn't want. I'd had a quite frightening experience with my first c-section, I wanted someone with me who would help me feel safe, and who would stick up for me if needed (I hoped for as little intervention as possible) and who would be like a mother to me as I knew I might be in hospital wihout DH. (still co-sleeping with dd1 and had no-one to leave her with at night time who she would have felt happy staying with). She came with me to the birthing centre and was very supportive on the ward when I was shipped over there, she waited while I was in theatre and recovery until I came out with dd2, DH was with me by then and she had been up all night and much of the previous one, but she stayed to see that all was ok and to see my baby, which I was touched by. She made me feel a heck of a lot better about my first birth and the whole process the second time healed some of the wounds from the first. Part of that was down to her and how she made me feel.
I think having a doula is a really good idea, and I would go with your gut feeling when you meet them. I had seen another doula first, who was a lovely person and easy to get along with, but almost as soon as I saw Liliana I felt she would be right for me. Get a shortlist of ones you like the sound of, meet up with two or three and then decide would be my advice. Good luck!
This lady is lovely Disclaimer - I did not have a doula, but I used to know this lady before she became a doula and I think she would be wonderful.
Hi all, sorry for taking so long to answer your lovely messages.
FutureNanny, that's what I hope. That she doesn't try to follow her own agenda, but help me with whatever is best for us.
Helly, that's very good to hear, and I'm happy you've had a good second birth, and also healed the scars of the first one. I'm a bit concerned about the experience of the first birth coming back to haunt me once I'm in labour again... (I've had a technically very good birth, but emotionally it wasn't a good experience). I'm arranging to see Liliana soon, but I'd also like to meet other doulas, even if it is to stick with the first one. I've never met a doula in my life, I don't even know what to expect...
denise and thereistheball, thanks for the offering and the recommendation!
Hello all pregnant women out there. Just a word of caution if you are in Edinburgh thinking of hiring a doula for your birth. I hired Nicola Goodall, and while she had a lot of really great points and i 100% resonate with her birth philosophy, sadly she left halfway through the birth at the worst imaginable time, and then with very little effort she failed to provide a backup. This is not the service I paid for. I cannot recommend her due to her lack of business ethics, and do not assume she has a reliable backup in place when she says she does. This should also be borne in mind by anyone considering taking a doula workshop or doula training with Nicola Goodall. Feel free to contact me if you wish.
Hello schroedingersdodo - I appreciate that this thread is a couple of years old now; however, on the off-chance that you might see this...
You have basically described the exact sort of doula that I'm looking for (I'll be at UCH) so who did you go with in the end? Would you recommend them?
Lasychappers might be worth sending her a private message. Most people get an email notifying them so more likely to see it rather than this thread.
Thanks, sockmatcher. Good idea. I'll try that .
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