You would not just invite anyone to witness your birth. It is important to check whether there is a click before we start the actual Doula guidance. That is what this preliminary interview entails. During this interview I meet you, and if possible preferably also your partner. I explain what I can do for you (both), what you can expect from me and we discuss what your wishes are for my guidance. Of course, this meeting is free of charge.
We discuss among other things, how things have gone so far in your pregnancy, what led up to it, and how you experience being pregnant up to now. If you have previously experienced a birth, we will discuss this experience if you wish. But we will also talk about your wishes and expectations regarding me as a doula. On that basis, we will discuss which form of guidance would suit you best.
For my guidance you can choose between several packages. I am happy to explain what the possibilities entail and, what the costs of each package are. After the interview, we agree on a time period, within which you let me know what your decision is. There are no obligations after this initial interview. If you’re not sure which package you wish, we can discuss your needs and adapt as we go along.
The birth plan / Second Call
Giving birth is almost never what you expected. Therefore we make a birth plan so that the things you can plan, can be followed as much as possible. You can not affect the conditions in which you are going to give birth, but you can influence the way you experience them.
The birth plan will for instance include who catches the baby, who will cut the umbilical cord (if you want to cut the umbilical cord at all) and so on. It is best to be clear and concise so that the midwife or other health care providers can quickly understand what your wishes are. Of course I’ll help you with this and share all the possibilities. Furthermore, I can discuss opportunities that you may not have thought of, such as choices on pain management, what you will do with the placenta, whether the baby should have a hat etc .
When the birth plan is finished, I advise you to share this with your midwife or obstetrician, prior to your due date, so that they can take this into account. If you feel comfortable, I’ll join you on one of your visits to the midwife or obstetrician.
Preparation for childbirth / Third Call
In this interview we discuss how you can prepare further for childbirth. We talk about issues that you and your partner need additional information on. Perhaps you have no or few initial questions, but as my experience is that as the meeting progresses, there are enough topics that come up and that I can prompt you on. In any case we will discuss breathing techniques, the position who wish to give birth in, usage of a support such as a ‘birth ball’. We will work together to ensure that you are confident you can do it once your you labor starts!
Your labor begins. This can commence in various ways, such as your water breaking, or being induced in the hospital. When you think that your labor has really started, you should contact me and as you wish I will come and assist you. During labor I make sure that your wishes in the birth plan are respected as much as possible. I also support you with your breathing, in finding a pleasant position, and by giving contra-pressure on your back to help you relax. But most importantly, I make sure that you are confidence of your own body, that you are mentally strong so that you can focus entirely on your birthing process.
In addition, I of course support your partner. For your partner, the situation can be overwhelming; after not every day his child is born. I give him tips and tricks on how to support you and I make sure that he has confidence in you. I also make sure he does not forget to take care of himself, he also has to take an occasional break. I’m there for both of you! When your partner is self-confident, you will also be more relaxed.
After giving birth your baby is very alert. This is also called the golden hour. This is a wonderful moment to get to know each other, look into each others’ eyes, hug one another and kiss his head. Obviously during this time I will keep as much to the background as possible. If you wish, I can take photo’s of you (if you wish) and gather my stuff together. When we all are convinced that you will be okay on your own (usually after 2 or 3 hours), I grab my stuff and leave you happily behind.
From the moment that your labor begins, I make notes of my observations. All these observations help me write your birth story afterwards. During labor you will not be keeping track of what is happening at which moment. The time seems elastic. You’re currently busy enough with your own body, your own process. Afterwards you will be pleased that I have jotted down all these observations; it will help you complete your delivery in your mind.
About 4 to 5 weeks after giving birth I will send you your story and we can go through it together later. If you have chosen for a package including photography, you will receive your story in a wonderful book with the photo’s I took during labor.
In addition to the standard guidance, it is possible to choose additional packages. Here is an overview of all options, which can be combined:
- Complete Guidance: Besides the standard guidance I visit the midwife or obstetrician with you, I visit you shortly after your birth, and you may make free use of the birth ball from week 37 on, and use of the TENS during labor.
- Pamper Package: Within this package you extend your guidance with an additional appointment at around week 37, and I will give you a great relaxing back / foot massage. In the first week after delivery I will come along once at dinnertime with a delicious meal for your entire family.
- Picture Package: This must be my favorite option. I take photos of your delivery, choose the most appealing ones and edit these to use them to create a beautiful birth book along with your birth story. You will receive the photos on a USB-stick to use the photos further as you wish.
- HypnoBirthing: Besides being a doula I am a HypnoBirthing practicioner. You can expand your guidance by participating in a HypnoBirthing group course. Your birth partner can join in too, that partner could be your husband / boyfriend but also your mother, sister or a good friend. If you are single, I can be an acting birth partner from my role as doula. For more information on HypnoBirthing, read on, on my website.
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