An experienced birth attendant acts as a consistent, dependable and calming presence during your labour and birth. Our birth attendants will provide you with emotional and physical support to guide you and your partner through.

What is a birth attendant or doula?

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

Our birth attendants/doulas provide non-medical support to help you through the challenges of birth. All doulas provide skilled physical and emotional support to the table. They also bring different capabilities and personal qualities so you can choose the right combination of skills and personality to suit you (and your partner).

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What are the benefits of having a birth attendant?

In a 2017 Cochrane 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 or have a caesarean birth
  • were more likely to be satisfied
  • had slightly shorter labours
  • likely experienced lower rates of postpartum depression and;
  • experienced lower rates of negative feelings about their childbirth experience

Further to these outcomes, the babies also benefited from continuous support:

  • Less likely to have low Apgar scores (health at birth assessment).

Earlier research showed similar findings. Klaus and Kennell (1991) itemised the positive effects of birth attendant care as follows:

  • 50% reduction in 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

Other randomised control trials suggest continuous support in labour by a doula significantly shortens the length of labour (Campbell, Lake et. al J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs 2006) and another showed that the continuous presence of a doula alongside their male partner significantly decreased the likelihood of caesarean delivery and reduced the need for epidural pain relief. Women and their male partners were unequivocal in their positive opinions about labouring with the support of a doula.  (Mc Grath and Kennell, Birth. 2008).

What does the Fertile Ground Birth Attendant Service offer you?

Our birth attendants/doulas can complement your birth team, providing continuous experienced support and information to enhance your birthing potential and support you in the transition to parenthood. They provide emotional and physical support during your labour however you birth your baby at home or hospital. Their services include:

  • Your birth plan meeting, which allows time to get to know you and your partner and explore your concerns and wishes for the birth. They will also research and share information and plan how you can work together.
  • Phone/email support as needed
  • 24-hour on-call availability from 38 weeks until the birth of your baby
  • Early labour support in your home or hospital as needed
  • Attendance at your birth
  • A post-natal visit at your home to ‘debrief’ after the birth
  • Access to a “backup” birth attendant if necessary

Book your birth support attendant early

Booking doula services early means you’ll be able to get the right fit for your needs. Don’t wait until it’s too late to find a birth support attendant. Book now or contact us for more information. Let us help you navigate this momentous life event!

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What is a birth support doula?

A birth support doula is a professional who provides emotional support, physical assistance and education to a woman during pregnancy, labour, childbirth and postpartum.

What does a birth doula do?

Doulas work with you to create a plan that meets your needs and goals for your birth experience. They will provide information about different options for pain management, breastfeeding and newborn care.

Why would I need a doula’s services?

A doula will support you throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum. The evidence is clear on the benefits for improved labour outcomes – if you are interested in having a normal physiological vaginal birth, your best chances are with a doula by your side. 

What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?

A birth support doula provides emotional, physical and instructional support, whereas a midwife is in charge of medical and clinical aspects of birthing.

What kinds of birth do birth doulas support?

Birth support doulas assist in any kind of birth, whether it’s a vaginal delivery or a C-section. They are trained to provide emotional and physical support and education and advocacy.

When should I hire a birth doula?

You can hire one as early as you want, but we advise you to do so by at least week 20 of your pregnancy. Most doulas only support 1-3 birthing women each month so the earlier you book your doula, the better. It will give you more time to get to know each other as well. 

How does a birth support doula work with my partner?

A birth doula will support your partner and give them the tools to empower them throughout the labour and birth process. They will guide them to give you the best support possible. Partners are so grateful for this as supporting someone through labour is not always intuitive. Especially for men. If the labour is extended, it is very helpful to have a doula so your partner can be well rested, ready to support you and be fully present for you when the baby is born. 

Can a doula come to the hospital with me?

Yes! A doula’s services include coming to the hospital with you and providing support throughout your birth experience. They will often spend time on the phone supporting you in the early phases, meet you at home and help you decide when the best time is to transition to hospital. 

Will a doula be useful if I need medication or if I have a caesarean?

Yes! A doula can still be helpful in these situations. They will help you understand your options, and they can advocate for you and your baby.  Adding a doula to your health team can be really helpful when navigating medical decisions.

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