An experienced birth attendant acts as a consistent, stable and normalising presence during your labour and birth. Your birth attendant will provide you with the emotional and physical support to guide you and your partner through.

What is a Birth Attendant or Doula?

An experienced birth attendant acts as a stable and normalising presence during your labour and birth. Your birth attendant will provide you with the emotional and psychological support to guide you through. They can help you negotiate the unfamiliar and sometimes daunting territory of labouring and extend your resources for achieving your birthing goals.

Your birth attendant provides non-medical support to help you through the challenges of birth. All provide skilled physical and emotional support and each brings different capabilities and personal qualities so you can choose just the right combination of skills and personality to suit you and your partner.

What are the benefits of having a Birth Attendant?

In a review designed to assess the benefits of Continuous Support for Women in Childbirth, the main results showed that women who received continuous labour support:

  • were more likely to give birth ‘spontaneously’, i.e. give birth with neither caesarean nor vacuum nor forceps
  • were less likely to use pain medications
  • were more likely to be satisfied
  • had slightly shorter labours
    (Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C, Weston J. Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD003766. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub3.)

Earlier research show similar findings. Following their review of this evidence Klaus, Kennell and Klaus (1993) itemised the positive effects of birth attendant care as:

  • 50% reduction on caesarean rates
  • 25% shorter labour
  • 60% reduction in epidural requests
  • 40% reduction in syntocinon use
  • 30% reduction in analgesia use
  • 40% reduction in forceps delivery

What does the Fertile Ground Health Group Birth Attendant Service offer you?

Our birth attendants can complement your birth team, providing continuous experienced support and information to enhance your birthing potential. Their services include:

  • Minimum of 2 prenatal meetings, allowing time to get to know you and your partner, explore and discuss your wishes for the birth, concerns, birth plan preparation and time to share information, research and plan how we are going to work together. Each visit is usually 1.5 – 2hrs
  • Telephone and email contact throughout the pregnancy
  • 24 hour on call period from 38 weeks until the birth of your baby
  • Support for the full duration of your labour and the immediate period (1-2hrs) after your baby is born
  • One post-natal visit at your home to ‘debrief’ after the birth
  • Access to a “back up” birth attendant if needed


FGHG Birth Attendants
Fiona Harrison

Birth attendant fees


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