Eleanor is our third baby, but first time using a doula and I can say without a doubt how transformational it was to have Doula support this time. Carol Anne and Sarah helped me take back ownership of my birth and my body.
I still remember coming home from an appointment early on in pregnancy and being told that my potential birth plan may not be possible.
I was devastated. I emailed Sarah and Carol Anne and asked for advice. Sarah phoned me right away and we discussed an evidence-based plan that both supported my wishes, while also being respectful of my medical professional’s legitimate concerns. I was able to go to my next appointment informed and empowered with my plan – which was respected and well received by my medical professional.
My husband and I also participated in the Hypnobirthing classes with Carol Anne and Sarah, and it made a huge difference in how we both looked at labour and birth.
Hypnobirthing provided me with techniques I needed to be calm and centred, while it gave my husband tools to use to support me during labour and birth.
He said that because of the classes and practice, he felt the most capable in supporting me during Elle’s birth compared to the other two.
In terms of my actual birth, I didn’t get to do plan A, but having Carol Anne to support me through difficult decisions made me feel that I was making the best, most informed choice for delivery and birth. I ended up having a third c section, but what a difference this was compared to my last two. Carol Anne and Sarah taught me that this was my birth, my baby, my choices. I was able to share exactly what and how I wanted Elle’s birth to go, and it is exactly what I got.
What was the biggest difference that I felt however, was the postpartum doula service we received.
Carol Anne immediately suspected a tongue tie (which there was!) and encouraged us to have that looked after. She came to our home and was able to provide one-on-one breast feeding support, because even after kid number three, it wasn’t any easier. Now, Eleanor is my chunkiest and feeding is a dream. I really do believe it was because of that early intervention and support we received.
Most importantly, I didn’t experience the same level of postpartum anxiety as I did with my other two.
In fact, after baby #2, I remember saying “I never want to do this again” (thankfully, I didn’t listen to myself). After Elle, I truly felt euphoric every time I snuggled and held her. I told my husband, maybe a week or so after birth, that I wanted to have all the babies. I was already planning #4. While the feeling has since dissipated, this experience was so profoundly more peaceful, empowering and engaging that my previous two, I wanted to do it all over again.
Because you are part of the Lifetime of Love Doula family even after your baby is born, I have taken advantage of baby classes and reunions. Anytime I mention an event, my husband gives me a worried look, knowing I will want all the babies as the beautiful memories of Elle’s birth come flooding back.
If you are ever on the fence, especially if you have done it on your own before, get yourself a doula.
I don’t think I have many close friends anymore that will be having babies, so I am passing this advice on to whomever may read it here – instead of registering for baby items, buy it all second hand (most things you will find have only been used for a few months because babies outgrow everything so quickly), and ask for family and friends to contribute to a “Doula Fund”. It is the best investment you will make for yourself, partner and baby.
My husband would like it mentioned, that at the delivery, Carol Anne brought him a coffee, so a 5 star rating from him too!!