Birth experience

Here is the a word from mothers who gave birth with doula in London. It is good to hear mother’s voices.

This will be added at any time.

★My labour was a long windy road as the baby did not arrive until after 42 weeks and the situation at the hospital was changing every day due to the coronavirus outbreak in theUK. My wish to use the birth centre wasn’t fulfilled as we passed 42 weeks, and my husband and daughter could not join me at the labour ward as they started limiting the number of visitors at the hospital. Nevertheless, it was great to have Junko around as she provided mental support andcare during a somewhat intense time throughout the birth of our second daughter. As previously having an emergency c-section my wish was to have a Vbac natural birth this time round. For both my birth experiences, confronting general statistics and practices has been a stressful challenge (e.g both my kids were born 42w+ but without any issues from meconium etc) but Junko always listened, advised based on my personal circumstances and supported my decision which provided a huge relief and confidence. The actual labour was a whirlwind as I was 9cm dilated by the time we got to the hospital and after a few of hours of pushing, my daughter was delivered through forceps in the end. Although I went through an operation in the end, Junko was there throughout for us and her providing updates to my husband was a relief for our whole family. If you practice yoga during pregnancy, how did it helps during pregnancy and actual labour ? Attending and practicing yoga was helpful during pregnancy for me to relax and also readjust my body. It also reminded myself the importance of breathing whilst in labour which was a great help. The only regret is not been able to perform yoga/physical relief during the actual labour. (S.F UCLH)

★She started her labour during the evening, and it was extremely helpful to have Junko available to visit the house and ultimately accompany my wife to the hospital for the birth, so I could look after little daughter. Receiving the updates particularly after the birth was brilliant, as since I couldn't
attend, it was reassuring to know that S and the baby were both safe and generally well. (S.F husband)

★ Having a doula would undoubtedly help in this situation, however having Junko at my side was an incredibly moving and magical experience. From the moment we met in a cafe across The Portland Hospital, we connected as women and I knew that I could trust her with such an important and vulnerable
time in my life. I opened up to her and shared my traumatic past experiences in giving birth to our eldest daughter and subsequently to twins and Junko listened and understood all of my fears. She gave me not just her moral support and much needed encouragement that I needed but more importantly she shared with me her invaluable experience as a doula and gave me a vision of the kind of peaceful and magical birthing experience that I was deeply hoping for but thought was beyond my reach. Junko helped me to understand that the birth of our 4th child was to a large extent within my power and capability to control rather than seceding that control to the consultant that I had chosen. Armed with this knowledge and support, I was able to go into labour with focus and peace of mind. My husband was there for the delivery
of our baby holding my hand whilst Junko was holding the other. Junko was exactly what I had needed and wanted at my side during labour; she took initiative with the midwives and guided me into positions that eased the pain during labour without being intrusive. Her confidence was inspiring and kindness felt throughout the entire prenatal and postnatal experience. I’m eternally grateful for having met her and for her being such an essential part of what is one of the most powerful, intimate and important times of my life. Thank you. (B.G Portland)

★Having not come across the idea of a doula previously, Iwas a little sceptical of the idea. After the support andguidance we received during my wife’s labour, I’m a bigadvocate, and would highly recommend using one. My wife
was much more relaxed, during labour as a result of havingsomeone speak her native language and explain what washappening, and what to expect to happen next. It must bedifficult to give birth in a foreign country, when all the doctors
and nurses speaking in the local language, so havingsomeone there who is a native speaker, and understandsand explains everything. Junko was also I great help andsupport to me, and I would highly recommend her!
(M.F husband)

★ When I met Junko, I knew she was the perfect doulafor us. Her calm presence was so reassuring from thestart. Junko was always available, whenever I had aquestion or worry, Junko was always there to reassure me and sometimes remind me not to worry about the future but just focus on the present. Very important when it's your first pregnancy and your only benchmark is 'one born every minute'! Junko gave me the confidence and belief that a positive birth experience is very possible and that I could do it. When we made a birth plan together she encouraged me to visualise a magicalexperience and I was incredibly grateful that almost the whole vision
became reality on the big day. We celebrated the prelabour phase over breakfast as Junko immediately came over as soon as we told her the waves started and she was there to rub my back when needed and encourage me all the way until my water broke when it was time to go to the birth centre.With Junko on my side during birth, I felt such a big motherly love and care which gave me strength and the belief that my body is designed to do this. Junko stayed until after the baby was born and she came to visit a few days later to bring me my favourite pancakes and make sure we were all ok. Junko has become such a good friend and we still see her regularly for her wonderful yoga practice. I would highly recommend Junko to any woman who wants a
peaceful and spiritual birth! (D.G Queen charlottes)

★The birth experience was very overwhelming and I had no idea what an intense emotional journey it would be and how much I would depend on my husband. I was in early labor for three days before going into active labor after a sweep at the hospital. I handled this well with breathing and gentle yoga movements, but it was exhausting as it did not allow me to get much sleep before the real labor kicked in. I progressed really well at home with the support of my husband, Junko and nice warm baths. Junko encouraged me to lean into the contractions to help progress the labor. My water broke at home and unfortunately had meconium in it, which meant that we had to immediately go to the hospital and I could not have the water birth experience that I wanted. Junko and Chris did an excellent job however of supporting me in the more medicalised labor ward for a number of hours of intense labor. Unfortunately, the progression was not as quick as the doctors wanted given the meconium risk at which point they wanted to put me on a hormone drip. This was all rather emotional as I had wanted to avoid an epidural, but Junko and Chris supported my decision and importantly it allowed me to get some rest. I was still very much hoping for an active “push” phase to the labor once at 10cm. Junko and Chris supported me in moving around while on the epidural even though the hospital staff was not that keen on it as I knew that would help progress things. Unfortunately, at 9cm the baby’s heart rate was declining with each contraction and the doctors wanted to do a caesarean. This was very upsetting, but Junko and Chris both supported and comforted me emotionally during this time. Although our little girl was delivered via emergency section in the end, I felt I had done the best I could through the labor and unfortunately circumstances were just not supporting a natural birth. Our little girl was all that mattered and she was happy and healthy once delivered. It was still an incredible moment and I will never forget them bringing her to my chest in the theatre. (L.A Green UCLH)

Our son's birth was a spectacular experience! He was b born just seven hours after my contraction, so labour was pretty fast and intense. But I felt completely prepared-even excited-at the beginning of labour. We spent the first four hours at home labouring in the privacy and our bedroom by ourselves, and that was particularly special. Our son came imminently ounce we make it to hospital- arriving not five minuets after I entered the birth pool. I did the whole thing without any pain medication on intervention, and I am certain that I was alto to accomplish this knowing that story women like Junko had don this before me! The week after the with were the difficult for us medically, but Junko was a supportive presence throughout that time. I now look back on my son’s birth with nothing but fondness. (S.H Chelsea and Westminster)

My birth experience is like a miracle to me. When I entered hospital I knew I am going to fine, just didn’t know how. Pains are overwhelming. I don think music or anything can relieve the pain, but seeing my husband and doula gave me confident and standing by my side all the time. I somehow feel myself strong. (Sophie Chelsea and Westminster)

Before labour - Junko helped me to get ready for birth and motherhood, thinking through pregnancy and birth, and giving time to celebrate everything that lay ahead. She helped me to develop a birth plan, so I went into the birth with well thought through ideas about how I wanted things to progress and an
idea of what to expect from her experience. She was also a constant
supportive presence for cups of tea and at the end of the phone for any
thoughts and questions that came up. It was extraspecial also to have Junko’s experience in yoga and breathing, and to learn breathing techniques and positions for active birth.

During labour and birth - I had a fairly long and difficult birth, as my daughter was back-to-back andafter 42 hours of natural labour we needed medical intervention, but still I walk on from the experience certain they were the most incredible days of my life thanks to the constant support of Junko as my doula. Despite the lack of sleep through two nights, Junko never left my side, providing constant encouragement to keep going. When I felt exhausted or in pain or anxious or all of those three at once, Junko reminded me how beautiful and positive this experience is, and she was right. I believe I would have given up on myself far earlier and felt I could not go on if Junko had not been there. As a result I had a birth I feel extremely proud of – she helped me to be as strong and joyful as I could be and it was therefore truly the most awesome experience of my life.Junko brought a confidence and experience to birth that put us at ease – I could rest assured that everything was ok, we were making the right decisions, as Junko could provide gentle guidance to us. Junko was able to get to know me and my beliefs and preferences so that she could represent my wishes to the medical teams. She supported these throughout. She was a gentle and peaceful presence and I am so glad and lucky she was there.

In the time immediately after giving birth - Junko showed us such love and care after Lola arrived. Her love of people young and old beamed through as she cared for both me and my daughter. After our experience of labour together, it was a joy to see Lola and Junko together. Despite being exhausted I am sure, Junko showed no signs of tiredness and still stayed with us.
Junko has a particular interest and expertise around breastfeeding and was
keen to make sure that feeding was established. As this is an area that can
prove challenging for many women this teaching was fantastic.

In the postnatal period - Junko stayed in close contact with us to make sure the first days and weeks went smoothly. It was a particular treat to have Junko come back to visit us, where we remembered the different stages of labour together and how Lola came into the world. Junko had written a very special letter for Lola to read when she is old enough. She had also taken lots of photos, which brought tears to my eyes to see and are a very special reminder

Overall - I can wholeheartedly recommend Junko as a doula to support pregnancy and birth. She was essential to me in getting through a challenging labour, and walking away feeling it was the most wonderful and meaningful experience of my life, where otherwise I may have felt it the most difficult. Any woman would be extremely lucky to have Junko by her side. (Laura - Queen charlottes)

★As I had regular communications with Junko, I became much more confident about the expected birth experience. She was always positive and extremely supportive. Whenever I had questions or hospital visits during the last stage of pregnancy, Junko was available to talk to me and calm me down. Because I knew I was in good care of her, I was able to relax completely and enjoy the pregnancy much more.

I called Junko when it was clear that I was in the first stage of contraction and she came to my home immediately. During the second stage of contraction, Junko helped me ease the pain by breathing together with me and giving me massage. She also supported my partner so he could be more involved.

I was comfortable staying at home as long as possible as I knew Junko would be able to detect when would be the right time to leave for hospital. During our journey to hospital, she calmly guided me for the best posture and let me hold on to her or explained if there was anything I could hold on to each time I had a contraction.

When we arrived at the birth centre of St Thomas hospital, we were told that I was 8 centimetres dilated but my baby was distressed. The midwife pressed emergency button and soon I was transferred from birth centre to hospital labour unit. However, despite the unexpected last minute complexity, I gave a natural and easy birth without taking any pain reliefs thanks to Junko’s support.

Immediately after birth, Junko stayed with me at the hospital for a while. As I was not fully aware of what had happened during birth, she and my partner helped me understand the situation before and during birth. She helped me with breast feeding of my new born and ensured I was ok before setting off for home after the sleepless long night.

Junko telephoned me regularly to see how I was doing and also visited me at home to help with breastfeeding. I talked to her regularly and on her second visit, she showed me and my partner how to bath and massage baby. She also showed me pelvic floor exercise and some exercises I could do to ease backpain.

Although my mother was supporting me during the postnatal period, Junko’s recent experience and professional knowledge of childbirth were of great help for us. (E.Y St Thomas)

Very helpful! Although labour was rather fast it was great having Junko there. Help with the breathing was especially useful and counting through the contractions. More hands-on massage and verbal guidance through the pain could have been a real benefit.

Very helpful! Although labour was rather fast it was great having Junko there. Help with the breathing was especially useful and counting through the contractions. More hands-on massage and verbal guidance through the pain could have been a real benefit. (KS Chelsea & Westminster)

★Forever indebted for your brave efforts. A miracle indeed! A big Thank YOU from all. (M.D ground father Queen Charlottes)
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