I now offer doula phone support, in the week (s) running up to labour, and during the labour itself. Issues like waters breaking prematurely, or being overdue, often cause concern and raise questions. A chat on the phone with a doula can really help gain perspective, give back some control, and help with decision-making.
When contractions start, it is often difficult to know when to take them seriously – when labour has actually begun. Again, by speaking on the phone, either with partners, and usually the mum herself, I can offer a lot of reassurance and boost confidence as to the best course of action.
It can be unsettling for a partner to see a woman’s labour accelerating, and this often leads to couples jumping the gun and rushing into hospital. The woman too, can sometimes feel overwhelmed when the contractions move up a gear, resulting in a loss of confidence and even panic. But a supportive word from someone who has had babies and attended many labours, has the affect of making it all seem a lot more normal – showing that what looks and feels ‘wrong’ is actually very right.
The doula phone support service is available day and night, from the week before due date until the baby is born. The cost is one hundred and twenty pounds and is arranged, by agreement, in advance. Even when partners have never met me, the effect of the phonecall can be very stabilising, so do please bear this in mind.
Here are some testimonials about my telephone support
“Natalie’s support was invaluable prior to our consultant appointment at 41 + 4. I was very apprehensive about this as I knew we would come under considerable pressure to be induced. She provided a much-needed confidence boost, reinforcing my instincts and helping me to develop a strategy for the appointment and beyond, so that I felt in control of what was happening and had a plan for the days ahead. My call with Natalie gave me the strength to stick to my guns, which eventually resulted in the birth we had hoped for of our gorgeous healthy 8.5 lbs baby in a pool at home at exactly 42 weeks.” Helen Cleaver
“When I hit a wall in my labour and began to lose confidence, it was just good to be reassured that we were doing well and not to lose heart. Natalie reminded me that it was only a day out of my life which really helped. More than anything she gave my husband the confidence to support me effectively and efficiently and thanks to her support we managed to have the whole labour at home, and arrived at hospital ready to get in the birth pool. Our son was born an hour and a half later.” Louise Nichol
“My labour started suddenly and quite intensely, and I panicked, doing the quick breathing you’re not supposed to do. I thought my baby was coming straight away, and I was too scared to get into the car to go to hospital. My partner phoned Natalie, and even though they had never met, with just a few words she gave my partner the confidence to help me through the labour. Just hearing Natalie’s voice on the phone calmed me down and set me straight for a good labour and birth. She talked me through my breathing, and it was as though I popped up from beneath the weight of the pain and fear, and could sit on top of the waves of contractions and ride out the rest of my labour – all nine hours of it! ” Ella Coleman
“I sent you a text when my waters broke at 0500 to say I was going to hospital. You called me straight away and told me not to. I will never be able to thank you enough for that short phone call that enabled me and my partner Rhys to spend the whole day doing lovely things like popping into my work to say ‘bye’ and having a walk round the park and a lovely lunch out and about. I was worried when you told me not to go but how different things could have been…. I went to the hospital 14 hours after my waters broke and Frank arrived 2 hours later. ” Beverly Waring