Today, I featured on a BBC Interview with Vikky, my former client and now good friend. The feature was about how doulas can help women who’ve suffered previous traumatic experiences, in birth or otherwise. We filmed it a couple of weeks ago and as always with these things, I had my fingers crossed the edit would be good and wouldn’t make me out to be a bimbling baffoon but the BBC did a great job and Vikky was amazing!
Home Birth After 2 Caesarians (HBA2C)
Vikky bravely and articulately told her story of how she had previously had 2 children by caesarian section. Both times, Vikky had been hoping for a natural birth but both labours resulted in unplanned caesarian sections. Vikky always felt the caesarians were both unnecessary and traumatic. Unfortunately, this is a common experience for many women. The trauma experienced can affect the start to their baby’s lives and to their parenthood. It can dent their confidence, cause self esteem issues, depression, anxiety, intrusive thoughts; the list goes on.
And yet we know that when women have the support of a doula, they are literally stacking the odds in their favour to be more satisfied with their baby’s birth. Evidence suggests women who use a doula are 50% less likely to have a caesarian, have 25% shorter labours, have 60% reducation in epidural requests and are 40% less likely to have a forceps delivery. This is incredible to me. Just having support from someone, usually a woman, who is not part of your medical team but also not part of your immediate family has this much effect on the outcome of your babies birth.
Baby Number 3
When Vikky was pregnant with baby number 3, her midwife suggested to her that a doula might be helpful. Vikky did some research and found the Doula UK Find A Doula online facility, where you can pop in your postcode and the profiles of all the doulas who work in your area come up. It’s really important to find the right doula for you. I cannot emphasise how it important it is to find the right doula. Just as there are all kinds of women giving birth, there are also all kinds of doulas and our backgrounds are always different too. There are always people who you’re going to click with and it’s so important you feel this from your doula. You can search for a Doula UK doula here and here is some more information about the organisation Doula UK.
Finding the Right Doula
Vikky initially hired me to teach her Hypnobirthing too as part of her birth preparation as she had heard how beneficial it can be and then she hired me as her doula so I could be with her through the labour and birth too.
As a doula, I have no agenda for birth at all. I simply want my clients to make the best decisions for them. In order to do this, it’s important for my clients to be aware of what options are available to them and the pros and cons of those options so they can work out which route is best for them. Doulas support women and their partners (if they have one) wherever and however they choose to birth; be it in a hospital, a midwifery led birth centre or at home.
I’ve had many clients who choose to opt to plan a birth at home although sometimes clients may choose that a planned caesarian is the right option for them. No way is right or wrong; it only matters to me they have made an informed decision. I support my clients no matter what.
Using the Acronym BRAIN can be really helpful when asking questions to help you make an informed choice about whether a course of action in labour or birth is the right thing for you.
B – What are the BENEFITS?
R – What are the RISKS?
A – What are the ALTERNATIVES?
I – What does your INTUITION tell you?
N – What happens if you do NOTHING?
We are all different and I strongly believe that the woman (with the support of her partner, if she has one) is the best person to make decisions about her care and what is best for her.
It is important to know that;
Sometimes not all options are presented and it is only when we ask questions that alternatives are put on the table.
Sometimes the benefits of doing an intervention is presented along with the risks of not doing an intervention. However, in order to make an informed choice we must know and understand the benefits and risks of the intervention as well as the benefits and risks of not doing the intervention. In addition, we need to know the the pros and cons of any alternatives that exist.
Many of us assume that whatever interventions are recommended must be the best thing but I think it’s important to know that different hospitals have different policies and different practitioners practice in different ways. There is rarely only one course of action that is the right thing to do.
Therefore, I invite you to ask questions, be curious. Work with your midwife or doctor so you can plan for the best birth possible.
This is your baby’s birth and yet sometimes, more planning goes into your wedding! Sometimes dads invest more time researching their next hi-fi or car than your birth options!
If you would like more information about learning KG Hypnobirthing with me or you’d like help planning or preparing for your baby’s birth, please do get in touch. Feel free to follow my facebook page Kati Edwards: Birth You In Love.
I work 1:1 either in person (within 1 hr of Greater Manchester) or worldwide over Skype and have TWO spaces for private clients just become available.