The evidence speaks for itself: continuous one-on-one support during labour and delivery is associated with improved patient satisfaction and a statistically significant reduction in the rate of cesarean delivery. [Read more evidence]
If you’re curious about doulas, Maddie McMahon, a local doula, doula trainer, breastfeeding counsellor and good friend of Cambridge VBAC Friends, has written a new book Why Doulas Matter. It gives you an insight into the work these wonderful women do; and why those of us who’ve been ‘doulaed’ rave about them! (Did I mention all four of the mamas who run Cambridge VBAC Friends had doula support for their VBAC pregnancies?)
Continuity of care, or continuous one-to-one support, can be a challenge for women planning birth after caesarean with the NHS. Depending on where you live, you may see different midwives for your antenatal appointments and if you have your baby in hospital, it’s unlikely you will know the midwife attending your birth. A doula is with you every step of the way; a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear for your worries, someone to chat through your options, a woman who is experienced in caring for mums, babies, pregnancy and childbirth.
Women have been turning to a ‘lay woman’ from outside the family during childbirth since the beginning of time. Today’s doulas hone their skills in active listening, practical and emotional support and signposting to trusted sources of information to support you to make informed choices.
Why Doulas Matter takes you on a journey through pregnancy, birth and post-partum, and there’s a lovely theme weaving through the book about connections; with our instinct, our babies, our loved ones and our communities. Certainly one of the most powerful connections I’ve made as a parent is learning to tune in, listen and trust my instinct.
If you are planning a VBAC, HBAC or CBAC, an evening or two spent reading this book (it’s only 140 pages!) will not be wasted, it’s a little gem. And Maddie’s kind, gentle, empowering words will reach even more women and families this way. It’s available from Pinter & Martin.