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Do any of you have any experiences in having a post-natal doula?

(22 Posts)
muppetgirl Fri 06-Jul-07 14:49:22

Just thought I'd ask as I'm seriously thinking of employing (sorry that sounds pompous!) one and would like any of you lovely ladies to tell me what they did, were they helpful and did it make things easier?

muppetgirl Fri 06-Jul-07 20:42:23

bump

maveta Sat 07-Jul-07 08:55:19

liath from the april 2007 postnatal thread did, I´ll leave her a message that you´re looking for advice..

muppetgirl Sat 07-Jul-07 10:05:46

thank you!

jofeb04 Sat 07-Jul-07 17:46:06

Hiya
I am a Doula and carry out PN work. If you want information, email me on
jopowell1 at yahoo dot co dot uk, or CAT me!

Egg Sat 07-Jul-07 17:58:23

Might be interested in one too, as by Jan will have three children under 2 and not sure I will be coping too well without sleep etc. Don't want to get a maternity nurse but have heard a post natal doula can be really helpful and reassuring. So anyway... just bumping this .

lulumama Sat 07-Jul-07 18:01:50

the greatest benefit of a post natal doula is that they are really flexible, and will be there to nurture you too, not to feed the baby, but to do things that make it easier for you to have a baby moon and enjoy getting to know your new arrival......PN doulas can do houswork, laundry ,school run, cooking....whatever you feel would be good for you and your family..and tend to be really flexible..many also do overnight care too

i would suggest looking at http://www.doula.org.uk and looking for doulas in your area and asking them what they would and could do for you!

GrowlingTiger Sat 07-Jul-07 18:10:16

I had a PN doula who was very helpful. However the rates back then were £12-£15 per hour, which frankly I think is a bit OTT if you just need a hand with kids and house. Possibly different if you're a first time mum and looking for bfing help etc. I swapped to a temporary nanny who acted as mother's help (£8 per hour and a small agency fee - £30 per week or so). The nanny did the same duties as the doula but for less cost.

Have to say as i had a cs havong someone around was fantastic. They emptied anf illed dishwahser, did laundry and ironing, took baby and let me sleep, and did pre-school run when I couldn't drive. They would also cook and clear up meals (both for dh and me, and the children), and would go on small errands. They came with me to the park and even to friends houses to help with lifting toddler etc. Would definitely have someone again but personally wouldn't pay a premium for a doula over a mother's help.

melsy Sat 07-Jul-07 18:23:24

Ggrowling tiger I know what you are saying in terms of economies and hourly rates, but I felt that a doula was also good in terms of having someone to talk to about anxieties of BF or the baby or just general yuckiness of being at home wiht young kids and no sleep !!!. That was an invaluable part of having a doula for me.

Egg Sat 07-Jul-07 19:06:49

Have now had a look at that website which is really helpful. Jo I checked out your profile but you are in Wales so too far away...

boo64 Sat 07-Jul-07 19:17:32

I had one - I thought I'd need it as I didn't have any family nearby to help and wouldn't be able to take a shower etc but then ds was relatively easy as a newborn. For the first couple of weeks after dh returned to work she came 3 times per week for a couple of hours which was quite useful as I got to have a nap and she did some chores. After that the usefulness didn't justify the expense. We decided to spend the money on a night nanny 2 times a week so we could get a really good nights sleep - a godsend!

lulumama Sat 07-Jul-07 19:33:48

also, trainee doulas charge less, and some doulas offer a sliding scale of fees if finances are an issue

also, as Melsy has commented, a doula is more able to listen to and address PN issues, and breast feeding queries, and is also there to mother the mother....

melsy Sat 07-Jul-07 20:27:18

Actually like boo64 says , I have to confess to asking my PN doula to do a few night shifts for us to catch up on a full nights sleep and that really helped in the last week she was with us.

You know in deciding between a night nanny , mothers help and a doula, I think you have to weigh up how you are as a person and what your needs are in the house with the family & its size, its not a cut and dry issue.

melsy Sat 07-Jul-07 20:30:20

For me it was great , as I organised it due to past PTSD & PND and knowing someone was going to be around to talk and help with dd1 and the house stuff was a great relief and comfort, she was in her 50's , had grandchildren , had attended 50 births , seen and helped all sorts of women and was very caring, like a mum would be.It was also good as it meant my mum didn't feel wholly responsible for being here every day. For me personally I needed that.

muppetgirl Sat 07-Jul-07 20:31:22

Thanks everyone!

I am seeing a postnatal Doula from the Doula website and have contacted several others. I have learned what they do but just wanted to ask you lovely ladies -did they help and it seems they did. I have ds1 -3 to get to nursery 4x a week and dh is away 6.30am-7.30-8pm and can't help during the night during the week so would need help in the days.

I would like the Doula to take lo whilst I sleep but they don't seem to want to do that as is then a childcare/ofsted issue. Is this your experience?

muppetgirl Sat 07-Jul-07 20:32:55

Melsy thanks for the advice I had severe pnd and that is a worry for both me and dh hence the need to organise extra help before things go wrong this time.

Elibean Sat 07-Jul-07 20:33:26

Yes, oh yes, and she was wonderful. I had loads of doubts, and also checked out alternatives (night nannies, maternity nurses - didn't feel right for me, though) but am so glad I went ahead.

I had no help with dd1, and that was ok at the time, but with dd2 I just felt I needed some extra support - no family around, a 3 yr old to look after, etc. In the event, dd2 was seriously ill aged 4 weeks so I was even more knackered and stressed than I could have imagined - our doula was a total godsend. She managed to help me with both dds, and the house/cooking/laundry, without making me feel in the least inadequate or invaded - no mean feat

Good luck with your decision! Oh, and BTW, found ours at the website mentioned

Elibean Sat 07-Jul-07 20:35:08

Oh - and yes, our Doula took dd2 while I slept a couple of times: both on walks, and in the house. She also was great at settling her when no one else could, and I was just to exhausted - and this was a babe with nasty silent reflux, as yet untreated.

muppetgirl Sat 07-Jul-07 20:56:14

Have just sent email to a local lady found on local website (for local people.....Little Britain gets everywhere!)
as she seems to be a maternity nurse/doula etc which sounds very right up my street.

hertsnessex Sat 07-Jul-07 23:31:45

i have looked after the baby whilst the mum sleep on many occasions - certainly not something a doula DOESNT do. Its about supporting and empowering the mum - and a bit of sleep certainly does that.

cx

hertsnessex Sat 07-Jul-07 23:33:57

forgot to add that some doulas (i do) also do overnights which can certainly help you get through the next day sanely!!!!!

boo64 Sun 08-Jul-07 22:39:31

Mine didn't do the overnights - I found a seperate night nanny for that but she certainly took ds for a while so I could nap.

She was amazing - she attended the birth and was such a godsend. The birth was a very difficult one and ds ended up in neonatal intensive care and if she hadn't been there....well it would have been way more traumatic.

She will always be special to me for what she did for us that day. There are some lovely doulas out there and so I hope you find a good one!

Anyway I have digressed onto birth doulas.

Also remember that if you do hire one forthe postnatal period there is no obligation really to do a certain number of weeks so you could just stop when you feel ready

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