The best decision I made throughout pregnancy for me and my baby was hiring my doula. I say hiring, but by the end she was simply a family member, the missing link between my pregnancy worries and the NHS.
My partner works away constantly and my doula was the most wonderful, supportive, welcoming and totally positive ray of light when I was stressed or worried. For anyone who has ideas of a doulas as a “hippie” idea, think again. My birth was far from planned and far from natural (as was born under general c-section), but my doula kept me going and knowing that she was there for my partner took a load off my mind as well. Always there for me no matter what time of day or night, no matter how irrational I may have been and no matter how many times I had her sitting by the phone, convinced I was going into labour!
To sum it up I think every woman should have a doula!
I found the post-natal help from a doula to be really valuable. I wish I’d known about doulas with my first child. I was able to relax and have some down time. A new baby is a big responsibility and I needed some time off. This was especially important for me because I don’t have family nearby.
Having a doula also helped me to enjoy being a parent more,because I wasn't always trying to take care of the baby and do other jobs at the same time. I could give the baby to the doula and then quickly and efficiently do many other things, such as groceries, making dinner, and even spending time with our older child.
My older child appreciated having some time alone with me. The new baby was a big adjustment for him and he asked for more time alone with me. It was nice to know he missed me! Having a doula allowed me to give him some undivided attention. My husband is really glad we have a doula.
He is very busy with work and often comes home exhausted – not really in the mood to play with a new baby, or do laundry or make dinner. Having a doula helped me stay on top of all these things and gave him a break too. I especially appreciated it that the doula could play with my older child as well as the baby. The older child felt like he was having a special visitor and really appreciated the adult attention. The doula was also great at pitching in with odd jobs around the house. She helped with laundry and cooking and even buying groceries sometimes. When the doula arrived, I often felt like I’d hit the bottom and was barely managing. By the time she left I’d sort of been picked up and dusted off, ready to go again.