The Doula Birth Package
As your doula I will provide you with a tailored, personalised and professional service throughout your pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal journey. This will consist of extensive and knowledgeable guidance in a non-judgemental, relaxed and friendly manner in your home to suit your particle birth, your personal needs and to compliment any other antenatal classes you might have attended.
I have nine years of doula experience and enjoy working with a variety of women; first pregnancies, IVF, multiple pregnancies, caesarean sections, older mums, single mums, VBAC's, water births and women who have had a previous difficult first birth.
In the early stages of labour I will be with you at your home offering calmness and support before accompanying you to hospital (or staying at home for a home-birth). Once at the hospital support and guidance with any type of pain relief you might wish to consider including epidural. Then finally assist you to breastfeed effectively and offer flexible after care for you and your baby once home from hospital.
What's included in the birth package
Myself and my doula buddies Julia, Lucy or Nike (see the Shared Care page) start with an initial visit at your home meeting you and your partner usually in the evening. This is free of charge and with no obligation at all. For us to be effective as your doula it is essential that we all feel happy and comfortable together. This meeting gives us all the chance to meet in person, to discuss our role and most importantly to see if we gel.
Two ante-natal visits
These two and a half hour visits are important, relaxed and usually quite fun. They are with the expectant couple and both myself and Lucy or Nike (see the Shared Care page). They give us the opportunity to get to know each other better at the same time as preparing you for labour and then life at home with a newborn.
On the first visit around 34 weeks we cover the physiology of birth. This includes discussing and helping you to write your 'Birth Preferences' - we will have emailed you some useful drafts. You may have clear ideas about the type of birth you are considering, or you may be confused by a plethora of conflicting advice from well-meaning friends, relatives, health professionals and the media. Discussing this with us will help you clarify for yourself the birth experience you really want, and it will give us the opportunity to guide you through the hospital system allowing us to fully support your choices. In this meeting we also cover the partner's role especially during early labour, coping mechanisms, birthing fear and pain relief options including visualisation, aromatherapy, massage, TENS, hypnobirthing, breathing, movement, relaxation, pethidine, pool, gas and air, epidural.
On the second visit around 37 weeks partners tend to come into their own, as we focus on their involvement however small or large this may be including coming home with your new family. Often it's just the time to leave for the hospital and the logistics of the journey but it is important to cover if it puts their mind at rest. Quite often, once we get chatting other worries arise. We will also finalise your birth preferences, discuss your decision to breast or bottle feed and go into this in further detail (antenatal expression of colostrum, signs baby is feeding well, feeding complications that may arise). In addition, we will help you organise your hospital bags, guidance on swaddling, baby handling, nappy changing, bathing and the early days at home.
From booking I support you 24/7 and like to keep in regular contact with you by email/text or even whats app. This contact can be about anything: from updates after all midwife/doctor’s appointments to what muslins to buy! I enjoy these updates because it gives us all a real feel how you and your pregnancy are progressing and I do get asked some interesting things!
Support through labour and birth
The midwives attending you during your labour and birth will come and go with shift changes. Whether you have a low-intervention home birth, or a high-tech hospital birth with all the latest technology, my role is to be with you continuously offering emotional and practical support throughout the whole experience. I will stay from beginning to end, no matter how long or short your labour, and even a little longer if I can be of help!
I can act as your advocate with health professionals, listen to your concerns, support and encourage you when you need it, calm and reassure nervous partners, or just answer the phone to friends and relatives awaiting news of the new arrival. Whatever it takes to help you achieve the best birth experience possible, I’m here to support you at every step in a non judgemental way.
Two postnatal visits
The first few days with a new baby can be daunting as well as exciting. During the postnatal visits I offer support with adjusting to parenthood, Encouraging you to trust your natural mothering instincts as you settle into life at home with your precious bundle. I offer (paced) bottle feeding and breastfeeding support which includes sterilising, postioning and attachment, checking the latch, coping with engorgement and signposting if necessary to a qualified lactation consultant. I will also cover winding positions, swaddling, bathing or any other concerns and we debrief the birth in its entirety and then simply admire your new baby.
Frequently asked questions
What's included in the Birth Package?
- Initial visit with my colleagues
- Two 3 hour antenatal visits
- 24/7 email & text support
- 24/7 on call ten days before your due
- 24/7 continuous support at the births
- Two postnatal visits
My charge for all of the above is £2,250.
'What are your payment terms?'
Upon agreeing on the Doula service, both the client and I sign a Birth Agreement. This isn’t a legal document but a a personal commitment between the client and myself outlining the exact agreed arrangements.
Payment of a non-refundable deposit is required upon booking this confirms that I will be completely available for the whole on call period, which is 10 days before the due date and then 2 weeks after. The balance is paid at the beginning of the on call period.
'When should I book a doula?'
I suggest booking any time from the second scan around 18 weeks but I am also happy to take last minute bookings if I am available - don't hesitate to get in touch!
'What hospitals do you cover?'
I cover several hospitals but my favourites are Chelsea & Westminster and St Georges. I am also happy at Kingston, St Helliers and St Thomas’s plus really advocate home births as a wonderful experience for the right people.
My purpose as your birth doula
I have spent a lot of time with many new mums and listened to their birth experiences. From listening I've realised that many women in labour lack both the confidence in their own abilities and also adequate support. Plus they are often bewildered by all the advice they receive. I hope to ease this pressure, making the experience much more enjoyable and calm. I think it is really important that the 'new mum to be' is without fears, is relaxed, has faith in her instincts, is well informed and has confidence in her birth partners. A birth doula present has been shown to ensure the birth goes more to plan and may even shorten* the labour.
I arrive when you need that little bit of extra support and I disappear when I see you and your new family are smiling and relaxed. I will 'walk' beside you in a non-judgemental way, giving empowerment, encouragement and strength during both pregnancy and the childbirth journey. I am happy to support you with whatever type of labour is preferred, water-birth, home, hypnotherapy, VBAC, epidural etc., and with as little or as much medical intervention is wished or needed.
A mum-to-be and I at St Thomas' Hospital
A happy dad, and baby too!
"Kayla supported me and my husband through the labour of my first daughter. I was scared of the labour and with no family support at the time. Kayla was truly amazing in the weeks leading up to the birth, during my natural labour on the labour ward and specifically postnatally (as I had a retained placenta and consequently struggled to breastfeed). Kayla was a calming influence at times which could have been very stressful and guided us so beautifully through a foreign health system and our first few weeks of parenthood (she prepared us as no one else could!)."
Normal Delivery on a Labour Ward - Clapham