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1. What is a birth doula?

Doulas are women, experienced in childbirth who support the birthing women and/or couple during labour providing emotional, physical and non-medical care.

2. What are the advantages of having a doula?

In nearly every culture throughout history, women have been surrounded and cared for by other women during childbirth.
Research has conclusively shown that one-to-one constant support throughout labour provides a woman not only with emotional support, so that she is happier and more likely to be relaxed, but also has a strong positive effect on the physiology and outcomes of labour. A doula is an addition to the team of midwife and/or doctor, not a substitute.

3. Questions you may like to ask a doula at an interview

What training have you had?

Tell me about your own experience with birth personally and as a doula?

May we meet with you to discuss our birth plans and the role you will play supporting me (us) through childbirth?

May we call you with questions or concerns before and after the birth?

At what point in the labour will you be able to join me (us)?

Can we meet you after the birth to talk over the birth?

Do you work with a back up?

What is your fee/ do we make a contract?

Can you provide references?

4. What is the role of a postnatal doula?

The postnatal doula cares for the needs of the family immediately following the birth of the baby for approximately six weeks. Her role is to help the mother adjust to motherhood, empowering her and strengthening the bond with her baby. Duties are flexible and can include light household chores, practical help with the baby, providing breastfeeding support and advice, shopping and cooking and helping with any other children. Postnatal doulas will work for a few hours a day. They charge between £10 and £15 per hour.

5. How do I go about finding a doula?

E-mail Millennia Doulas. A flat fee of £25 is charged if a suitable doula is found.

6. How much will it cost me to employ a doula?

Contracts are individually agreed between the doula and the employer. Employing a birth doula can cost between £250 and £400 for the whole package of care. A postnatal doula charges between £10 and £15 per hour.

7. How can I become a doula?

Millennia Doulas run an introductory training consisting of two full days, followed by further in depth workshops through out the year. In addition doulas may wish to gain experience by accompanying friends to their births and getting in contact with their local maternity provider in order to spend time with midwives and labouring women.

Doulas are encouraged to attend relevant study days by other organisations such as the National Childbirth Trust, The Breastfeeding Network, The Royal College of Midwives and the Health Visitors Association. Millennia Doulas also provides an extensive reading list and names of relevant journals.

Millennia Doulas offer a range of opportunities for working doulas to keep in touch with each other, including an e-group and regular workshops.