Birth can be a tremendously exciting but nervous time for both mums and dads. The expectant mother may have some anxieties and worry during this dramatic and life changing period. Whilst the dad can also feel under pressure to care for the woman he loves. There is a vast range of support available to help ease concerns for both individuals and families, during pregnancy and child birth. A Doula can provide this support and guidance, which is bespoke to each individual.
Charlotte Brown is a Bath Doula who tells us about the benefits of having such a service. “There is a small network of local Doulas in the Bath area. Their services range from giving support to a woman and her partner in the antenatal period, during labour and after the birth”.
Charlotte offers all these care options in her service package. Charlotte tells us of how times have changed. “Traditionally families used to live in the same area and thus support was readily available. Contemporary society has changed due to ever changing employment opportunities and transitory communities.” Charlotte also tells us, “According to the Office of National Statistics, for the first time there are more women over the age of 35 giving birth than under the age of 25. This has impacted greatly on the family support network as the expectant family network may be much older.”
“The family can expect to receive great support from the Midwives”, Charlotte tells us. “However, as we all know the NHS workload is great and a Midwife may have more than one expectant mum to look after in labour. If a woman employs the service of a Doula, it can greatly relieve her level of anxiety. Studies clearly demonstrate that having a Doula often reduces the amount of pain relief a woman requires in labour and may also reduce the length of labour”.
Charlotte explains how she very much enjoys her role as a Doula. Charlotte spent 15 years being a Midwife; six of these were as a Sister at the world famous Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington. As a Doula, she tells us of “how the family get a huge benefit of having the same person with them the whole way through the Birth. They have someone who they have built up a trust with and who is there to provide encouragement. This may be in the form of a massage for the expectant mum or just letting the dad get some much needed rest”. Charlotte also explains that she has a lot of experience with helping women breastfeed and that she is also available to families for post birth support. Charlotte is on call from 38 weeks to 42 weeks.
Charlotte is very much involved in the caring services for women in Bath. She sits on the Positive Birth Forum at the Royal United Hospital and also Birth in the Community Project at the RUH. She also has recently completed a Peer Support Course and regularly helps out at the Baby Cafe in Larkhall most Tuesdays.
Charlotte is available to contact via her website www.bathdoula.com
or by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07722619441.