Birth Doula

View my training and credentials
I’m a Mum of four, a trained Birth Doula and a HypnoBirthing® Practitioner.

I completed my doula training in 2012 through Australian Doulas.

I went on to complete my HypnoBirthing® Practitioner training with the HypnoBirthing® International Institute (which is the Official HypnoBirthing® training course, as run by Marie Mongan) in 2013.

In 2016, I also completed my training to become a HypnoMothering® practitioner.

 

My work as a Doula and HypnoBirthing® practitioner has shown me that no two birthing couples are the same. I’ve been to births where the Mum has been totally fine throughout her pregnancy and has just needed information about her options and then some emotional/physical support during her birth. I’ve also been to births where the Mum has had previous birth trauma, which she is now having to deal with in the lead up to her current birth.

My work as a Doula and HypnoBirthing® practitioner has shown me that no two birthing couples are the same. I’ve been to births where the Mum has been totally fine throughout her pregnancy and has just needed information about her options and then some emotional/physical support during her birth. I’ve also been to births where the Mum has had previous birth trauma, which she is now having to deal with in the lead up to her current birth.

With this experience through my work, as well as my own birth experiences consisting of an “emergency” caesarean after a long labour, a VBAC with a long recovery, an elective caesarean and lastly, (after doing my doula and HypnoBirthing® training and going about things completely differently than I did with my first 3 births), an amazing, mostly pain-free VBA2C, I know that every pregnancy is different, every woman is different, every birth is different, every journey is different.

Every pregnant and birthing mother has different needs and I very much incorporate this into my philosophy about birth. I understand that every mother/couple will have different reasons for their choices and this will often bring everyone to make different decisions regarding their birth. As a doula, it is my job to support you without any bias or judgement. As a birthing mother, it’s so important to have someone who you know is on your side. I will give you information that is relevant for your situation. I will support you however you need to be supported. It’s not about me. It’s all about you. Your choices, your journey, your body, your baby. As a doula, I will help you with information, education, encouragement and support, to help you have the birth you desire, for the reasons you have.

I only take on a limited amount of births a year as a doula, so I can make sure I give you the full attention that you deserve and that you need at this time of your life.

How much does it cost? (Click here)

 

My Doula and HypnoBirthing practitioner fees can be found on my “HypnoBirthing® Packages” page. Payment plans and gift vouchers are available.

 

Before you decide that you’d definitely like me to be your doula, I’m always happy to organise a totally cost-free and obligation-free first meeting, where you can ask me questions, I can ask you questions and we can have a bit of a chat and generally just make sure that you are totally comfortable with your decision before you commit to anything.

If you would like more information or would like to arrange a meeting, please email me at janelle@trustbreathebirth.com.au or fill in the form on my contact page.

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions.

When I meet someone who asks me what my job is, of course I say “I’m a doula”.

A minute or so later, (once I’ve explained, “No, not a jeweller… I’m a doula”), these are the next questions I’m usually asked. Just click the links below to reveal my answers.

 

What is a Doula?

 

A doula is a woman who has had experience and training in understanding childbirth and understands the emotional and physical needs of a woman and her family throughout her pregnancy, labour, birth and early postnatal period. A doula provides continuous support (non-medical) and care for a woman throughout her whole experience.

 

Is a Doula the same as a Midwife?

 

No. They are completely different. A midwife is your care provider, whereas a doula is your support.

Here’s a little description of each role:

…….

A midwife is trained to care for you medically throughout your pregnancy, labour, birth and post partum. They are medically and physiologically trained in birth and can also check blood pressure, check heartrates, monitor all things to do with your physical wellbeing and the wellbeing of your baby, and they can also give you personalised advice for your situation regarding your pregnancy and birth.

They can then be your care provider during your birth by monitoring you and your baby as you labour and birth, they can give advice when necessary, keep in contact with your doctor to give updates if needed, they can do all the medical aspects (in some cases, with the ok from your Dr) such as stretch and sweep, checking dilation, augmentation (synto, breaking waters, etc), they can then monitor how your body handles these things.

Midwives can receive your baby as they are born or help you or your partner receive your baby, and many midwives are also trained in waterbirths.

After your baby is born, midwives can continue monitoring you and your baby, they are trained in resuscitation if that becomes necessary, they can continue monitoring your wellbeing during the birth of the placenta and clamp the cord when you are ready.

They can then also be your care provider for the first 6 weeks postpartum, where they can check the wellbeing of you and your baby as needed and monitor anything that is needed.

They can also do all the paperwork needed for medical and government records.

A good midwife will also help you with support and advice for your emotional wellbeing throughout this entire time, along with your physical wellbeing.

…….

A birth doula is trained to support you through your labour and birth.

Along with her doula training, a doula will have had experience with birth either herself and/or as a doula and so knows what sort of physical and emotional support a birthing Mum and her partner needs.

One of the best things about a doula (and this part is the same as a midwife who offers continuality of care), is that they allow you to have the same person who has supported you through your pregnancy, also be the person with you at the birth of your baby. If you don’t have continuality of care, you don’t know which midwife you will get at your birth. You may have prepared for a totally natural birth, but turn up in labour and the midwife who is on doesn’t know your thoughts and views and may have an entirely different stance on birth than you (and believe me, when you are labouring, you don’t want to be fighting for what you want or trying to explain why it’s important to you). Without continuality of care, do you know if the midwife you’ll get when you go to hospital will have a personality that will mesh with yours? Will you be comfortable with asking them questions if you don’t know if they have a bias or policy restriction when answering? How do you feel about having a stranger at your birth? Will the midwife you get allocated suggest position changes, offer/suggest natural comforting methods before medical alternatives, support you completely in the birth you want? You just don’t know until you get there, and sometimes you can only realise the difference that person made when thinking back over your birth experience in the days/weeks/months after. If you have the same person with you during your pregnancy, labour and birth, that person will know you, you’ll know them, they will be familiar to you, they will know your feelings about your birth, they’ll know your birth desires and understand why you have made each choice you have so will do everything they can to help you achieve that. You trust them and know you can tell them or ask them anything and you know they’ll be honest with you. Continuality of care is important.

But what does a doula actually do?

A doula can give you information and birth education throughout your pregnancy, to prepare you for your upcoming birth. They can then help you prepare for the birth you desire by letting you know the options in your area, giving you the information you need when deciding which option/care provider is best for your birth, and they can also help you write out your birth plan.

A doula will be available to be reached via phone (or whatever is agreed upon) if you have any questions or worries, or if you just need a chat in the leadup to your birth. There’s lots of physical changes and hormones happening towards the end of pregnancy. Sometimes you just need a chat with someone who understands and will support you through it. A doula will do that.

A doula will then be on call for your birth and come to you when you want her, once you’ve gone into labour. During labour she can support you with calming words, she will be a familiar face who you know understands birth, she can support you physically, with cool facecloths, massage, heat, suggestions and help with position changes, the use of a rebozo for help with positioning baby, counter pressure, getting you food and drinks as needed.

A doula also helps you mentally and emotionally by answering any questions you have, suggesting different positions, reminding you what your body is doing and how you can work with it, continually encouraging you through the intense stages of labour and birth.

If you need things set up… a birth pool, your birth space, affirmations… anything at all, a doula can help with that too.

A doula can also help support your partner by bringing food/drinks to him so he doesn’t have to leave your side (this is more important than it sounds… you don’t want him being dehydrated or feeling weak through lack of food as he is trying to support you. He needs nourishment too.), a doula can also fill in for him if he needs a quick toilet break or if he needs some fresh air if he feels stressed (rather than showing that stress to you. Again, this is important.). Dad’s often find doulas extremely helpful, because it helps them to never feel out of their depth. They have that support there too, so they’re not feeling like they need to remember everything, or everything is falling on them to be the support person. A doula doesn’t replace the Dad (unless that’s the situation the couple has decided on)… rather, she helps him emotionally too, so that he can be the best support person for his partner.

After your baby is born, a doula will keep in contact with you and answer any questions you have about your birth. Sometimes you just need to talk about it with someone who was there, sometimes you need to debrief, sometimes you have questions. A doula was there and understands and can help you with all of that.

…….

Midwives and Doulas work together so that between the two of us, you are completely supported, medically, physically and emotionally during your pregnancy, labour, birth and postpartum.

 

Why would I want to hire a Doula?

 

There are lots of reasons why women choose to have a doula at their birth. Feel free to read my blog post “Does everyone need a Doula?” if you are trying to work out if a doula may help you. And the answer above about how a doula is different to a midwife is also a great explanation of exactly what a doula can do for you.

 

How do you feel about being a Doula for VBAC Mums, VBAMC Mums, or Mums with a history of birth trauma?

 

I’ve helped many Mum’s who have had to deal with policy “restrictions” due to these births (for example if she has had previous caesarean and is now finding it hard to deal with all the restrictions that the medical system puts on these Mum’s. This is really sad and I can definitely help couples find other options that they may not have considered, that they may be more comfortable with, rather than choosing an option they don’t want due to lack of choice).

I’ve helped these Mum’s know their options for their birth so they can make their choices based on evidence based research and understanding, rather than fear. I’ve helped these Mum’s deal with their birth trauma and then supported these women as they birthed their baby in the way that they have decided is right for them.

With this experience through my work, as well as my own birth experiences consisting of an “emergency” caesarean after a long labour, a VBAC with a long recovery, an elective caesarean and lastly, (after doing my doula and HypnoBirthing® training and going about things completely differently than I did with my first 3 births), an amazing, mostly pain-free VBA2C, I know that every pregnancy is different, every woman is different, every birth is different, every journey is different.

I have a special place in my heart for VBAC Mums and Mums who have experienced birth trauma. I think this is why I have also had so much experience with healing births for these women after these kinds of birth experience. I also have an understanding of what these Mums have been through. These are brave women. I’m in awe of them.

I understand that the fear can be huge. I understand that the journey for them is different as they have to overcome obstacles both mentally and in the medical system and this has a big impact on them emotionally, which is important to work through.

I am totally honoured when a VBAC, VBAMC, or a Mum with a history of birth trauma asks me to be a part of her journey.

 

If someone chooses to have a Caesarean, can they still have a doula?

 

Of course! I think it’s important for these women to have support!

I feel that there’s a lot of support needed in the lead up to an elective caesarean… especially if the Mum feels it has been a difficult decision for her, or if she feels that she is “missing out” on a vaginal birth due to her choice. A doula can be a supportive ear during this time.

Personally, I know the feeling that many of these Mum’s are going through, having chosen an elective caesarean myself at one point. I don’t judge. I understand. And I support in the way a Mum in this situation needs.

A doula generally isn’t allowed in for the birth at a caesarean birth unless the Mum gets special permission from the doctor performing the surgery (which can happen, but needs to be organised and agreed to in advance), however if the Mum doesn’t have a partner and so the doula is the sole support person, then the doula is generally allowed in and can support the Mum the entire time.

Otherwise it is just the before and after support that a doula can offer.

A caesarean birth is still a birth and it should still be treated like one. Doctors and nurses should treat it just like any other birth… with excitement, happiness and like the sacred event that it is when you meet your baby for the first time.

It’s such a special event and you can plan for it in that way too. Have a birth plan. Have everyone know their roles. Choose your care providers accordingly.

A doula can help you navigate through all of this, so you can have an amazing birth experience.

 

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