What is doula?

“Doula” originally comes from the Greek and means a woman who helps with childbirth. Especially in the United States and the United kingdom, the number of pregnant women who brings doulas to their births has increased. Doula’s have a wealth of knowledge and experience in childbirth and support pregnant women from pregnancy to postnatal without a medical position. A doula’s main key role is the emotional support for the pregnant women and her family in order to improve mental health and practical care.

-Why do you need a doula when you have a midwife?-
The main reason for the demand for doulas are the changing births. When children were born in any country of the world, it was natural for woman who had already given birth to help pregnant women and take care of there children. However due to changes in the modern community and family structure, it is no longer possible to receive the support of one’s mother and neighbouring women as in the past, especially in the developed countries. In addition, unlike the past, it has become difficult for midwifes to take care of a pregnant women from pregnancy to birth because it has become the norm for births to take place in hospitals rather then homes and delivery is now being systematised as a medical institution. Especially in the UK hospital system, it is unusual to see the same midwife for every maternity check (it's not be the case for the portland hospitals at MLD or caseload case). Even if you start contraction and go to the hospital, you will be taken care by a midwife who you may have never seen before. It is also common for midwives to change whilst attending your if their shift ends. Unfortunately, even if midwives would like to take care of the woman from start to end, the medical practice in Britain and most of countries will not permit this.

Most of the medical staffs that works at hospitals in London know about doulas. In my experience, midwives have often shown me gratitude. (Comment from a midwife: The midwife, husband/partner, the doctor (when needed during birth), and doula all work as one team and each person takes care of the pregnant women using their individual skills. This is what I think of at a birth “Everyone is different therefore everyone is great!”

~Every childbirth is different~
When people come together, whether it's in a hospital or in society, the norm is that each person has a different opinion. Especially when it comes to London, there is a mix of people from various backgrounds and cultures. The same goes for childbirth. In the UK, there are guidelines for childbirth based on scientific evidence so that everyone can make the same decision. Opinions may differ slightly depending on each hospital or doctor, but the guidelines, which are created by many medical professionals who continue to research and discover the latest scientific evidence, are very important when making decisions.

At the same time, we must not forget that “it is the women who gives birth" and "babies are born" are non-medical matters, and is a mystery that has continued since ancient times. This is also the same for wild animals. The pregnant women, feeling the life of their baby in their womb every day, knows what’s best for the baby, more than others.

A doula works closely with the mother, providing information at every stage; from pregnancy to postnatal, so that you can ultimately make the final decision about what is appropriate for yourself. Pregnant women are not patients unless they have a chronic illness or disease. Pregnant women are equal to all medical professionals and play the leading role in childbirth!

With the help of a doula, you will get through labor at home. Then, when your labor progresses, the doula goes to the hospital and the doula, who is familiar with you physical and mental state, stays close to you and continues to focus on you and your family from home. Sometimes, the birth may not go as planned. In that case, while keeping in mind of the current situation, and making sure that you are still satisfied with each stage of your childbirth, I will make an effort to make sure your birth journey going through the best time with your agreement.

-Pregnant woman feel at ease-
The first importance for a smooth delivery is for the pregnant women to feel at ease. Research show that births accompanied by a doula will shorten the delivery time, lower the caesarean section rate, fewer medical interventions and a lower incidence of post natal depression. For that reason, the need for a doula’s support has increased. Doula can listen to anything a woman wants to ask before childbirth and a doula will help you have your birth without anxiety on the day.

Doulas are often attend the hospitals in London, so medical staffs knows about doulas and midwives are often thankful for having a doula. Midwives, your husband/partner (doctor if necessary), and your doula will become one team and each person will take care of you from their respective positions and they will help you give birth in the best environment with a peace in mind so that it will leads to a safe birth.

Doula’s role

★Resolving anxiety
You may be worried about going to an unknown world. You may be worried more if you give birth second, thrid time. Moreover if you decided to give birth in the UK, you may be worried with the language barriers, cultural differences, and difference in the medical system between Britain and your country. One of the things I can do as a doula is to be a your partner who can talk to you about anything at any time. I will answer your questions, give correct information and help eliminate anxiety one by one.

★Birth preparation to balance the body and mind
We will prepare your body and mind together with your husband/partner so that you can look forward to your childbirth. As a Yoga teacher I will use my experience in working with hundreds of pregnant women to teach you. You can prepare yourself to have a holistic balance and open mind in accepting yourself. (Please see the Yoga page for details) Also, you will prepare to increase your knowledge about childbirth. (Please see the birth preparation page for details)

★Stay by you completely
I will stay with you during your childbirth, constantly watching over you, encouraging you and creating an environment where you can expect a safe birth. I will suggest the posture and breathing techniques to overcome the labour pains, use massage, acupressure, rebozo and aromatherapy to help you maximise your power. If childbirth is prolonged I will try to use posture, bodywork, homeopathy to try and change the baby’s position if necessary. I will always support you even if it takes several days, considering your feelings. At the hospital I stand between the medical team and the family if necessary, and explain the medical terms that are unfamiliar so that you can concentrate on giving birth without worrying about English. I do not forget the husband/partner and children who are with us and encourage to improve our teamwork. After giving birth with gentle care, you will feed difinately feel yourself tender.

After delivery I will stay with you for a while to help with breastfeeding and support you so that the first step of child care will be smooth. It is my joy as well when you feel like the birth was satisfying and the best.

It is up to the mother herself to decide whether she had a good birth or not. Childbirth is a valuable experience that allows you to use your body and mind to the fullest, and at the same time a test for yourself. It is one of the divine works that allows you to live your life in your own way, and it is one of the biggest waves in a woman's life. It is no exaggeration to say that your life will reset after giving birth. I truly hope that you will be able to enjoy the precious moments that only a woman can have

★Support your new life with peace of mind
I am sure you will learn a lot in preparation for childbirth, but there are many things you will not know when you first raise a baby. I provide practical and mental support in various aspects, such as breastfeeding as wells as advices for concerns about childcare. This is support for the mother and father so that you will start happy, new life with your baby together.

★Mothering the mother
Doula’s work is sometimes called “Mothering the Mother”. Doulas are all experienced with births. Woman who have experience giving birth at least once can share their pain and joy and can come to understand the feeling of a mother. They are also used to taking care of their baby. Doulas builds a relationship of trust like a member of your family so she will be delighted for your birth from the bottom of her heart. A doula is the woman who can connect a woman to a woman.

When I became a doula and came to be closer to births, I realised the meaning of, “Mothering the mother” .
I feel affectionate towards you, watching you trying hard to overcome the labour pains and trying your best to bring a new life into the world. I try my best to take good care of you and your baby using my experiences, thinking and sensitivity. It is only possible for a doula to witness the gain of wisdom from the women, the strength of the life of a newborn baby and the bond of a family. I am really grateful to be able to witness this.

I gained my knowledge of childbirth in London for the last decade. I think it is only a doula that can tell you all about the NHS and private hospital circumstances in London. Also, giving birth in another country (if applicable to you) and language barriers and cultural differences. If you are a Japanese pregnant woman I think Japanese doula is indispensable.

Hospital I went so far as a doula:

West London:
Queen Charlotte's (NHS & Private), St Mary (NHS & Lindo)

Central London:
Portland, UCL, St Thomas

South West London:
Chelsea and Westminster (NHS & Kensington wing private),       
St Geroge's, Kingston, Epson, Royal Berkshire

North West/North London:
Royal free, Bernet, North Middlesex, Watford

East London:
Barkantine birth centre,Homerton, Whipps cross, Hillington,
Queen Elizabeth

Outside of Lonodon
Cambridge: Rosie

Oxford:John Radcliffe

Natural birth, Water birth, Home birth, Twins, VBAC (natural delivery after Caesarean section), Caesarean section, Breech, Induction, Single mother, etc.

You may have interest to look DOULA UK web site, the largest doula organization in UK, where I have been a member since I became doula.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to know the detailed service. I will send you the price and package contents by email.


tel/fax: 07973 830074