You can hire a doula at any point in your pregnancy. Some people prefer to decide on their doula early in pregnancy in order to have lots of support and time to build up a trusting relationship and others might decide at the last minute that they want a doula. It is probably wise to meet or at least speak to more than one person so you can choose the person who is right for you.
It is up to you to decide how many antenatal meetings you would like but if possible I would advise at least 3 sessions (obviously you can have more than 3 if you want and many do). These sessions last as long as you need them to but usually are somewhere between 1-2 hours long. We can discuss anything you want, for example… issues in pregnancy, choices and preferences for your birth and the postnatal period, help to process previous birth experiences, work through any fears or anxieties, learn about birth and the medical system and work on relaxation and breathing techniques. I would advise that at least one of these meetings is with your birth partner as well. If you would like I can use birth art in any of these sessions. I can also show you both birth positions, massage techniques for labour and acupressure points for birth.
I am always available at any time during pregnancy for unlimited phone or email support and can refer you to up to date research, books and other resources you might need.
I will be on call for you from 38-42 weeks (obviously if your baby wants to be born earlier or later than that I am flexible!). This involves a lot of commitment from me and my family and very occasionally (this has never happened to me yet!) something unavoidable might come up like illness or an accident. In this case I usually have a back up doula who you can meet too so you feel comfortable, safe and supported.
When you go into labour I will come when you feel you want me and support you throughout your birth. I will stay with you afterwards for as long as you need to help you establish feeding and feel comfortable and settled.
I can offer as many postnatal visits as you want in order to help you recover, establish feeding, help you with getting to know your baby and his or her needs and offer support in processing the birth.
I am a trained birth-educator and yoga for pregnancy facilitator and run weekly yoga classes.
I can offer one to one birth preparation sessions for you and your birth partner which can include birth positions, teaching the partner massage for labour and acupressure points and discussing any questions you might have.
I have an inflatable birth-pool you can hire (birth-in-a-box) which I can explain fully to you or be in charge of filling and emptying.
I have a homeopathy birth kit and can offer some knowledge about herbs and aromatherapy essential oils that assist birth (although I am not a trained homeopath, herbalist or aromatherapist).
“After a traumatic first birth it was really important to get the right support for our second. Caroline was amazing, full of wisdom, calm, reassuring and very skilled. It was a joy to share our journey with her.”(H.S Edinburgh)
“Having Caroline with us for the birth of our son meant that I could concentrate on sharing the experience with my partner without having to worry about how the birth was progressing. We knew we were in safe hands and with someone we could trust.” (Father – A.T Edinburgh)
“Caroline’s involvement in my pregnancy and birth has remained so deeply placed in my heart…all the skillful pregnancy ad birth preparation was so healing, attuning and strengthening.” (D.B Allendale)