Choosing a doula
For couples who want to find continuity of care within a less formal medical setting, a doula is a great option. Rather than being a practitioner who cares for the mother to be and her baby, a doula guides the woman (or couple) through pregnancy so she can care for herself, continuing that support during the birth and into the early weeks of parenthood.
Some couples prefer to use a doula only after the birth for care and support during the first weeks of parenthood, when the mother is recovering, when mother and baby are settling into new routines like breastfeeding, and when the whole family is finding its way through new experiences.
Depending on your arrangement, a doula can be on hand full time or part time, for a couple of weeks or much longer if needed.
Finding a doula
There are doula training courses but choosing the right doula for you is a personal decision – a doula will act more like a well-experienced friend than a practitioner, so you need to feel you have met the right person to create this partnership with you.
Both www.doula.org.uk and www.britishdoulas.co.uk offer useful advice on what to look for when choosing the right doula for you.
Bear in mind that the doula can still be part of your care whether you are having your baby via NHS services or through a private clinic.
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