The patient had had a difficult first labour and chose to have a Doula with her when she gave birth to her second child. This is her story:
“I had a horrible and traumatic first birth with an extremely detached and unsympathetic midwife who nearly ensured that my first child was my only child! After that experience a Doula was an obvious and very necessary choice second time around.
“Naava’s calm and confident manner rubbed off on both me and my husband as soon as we met her. Knowing that she was there to help and advise us and that she would support me throughout the birth really helped me to let go of fears and anxieties generated by memories of my first birth, allowing me to actually start to look forward to the birth.
“I really don’t think I would have managed a natural birth without Naava. From the moment she arrived she talked me through everything that happened which helped enormously. She was great at knowing exactly what stage I was at in each contraction and was able to tell me how many more deep breaths I needed to take before the contraction ended. She helped me by counting through them and was a huge help in making me feel that I was in control and could actually manage to get through the labour.
“Naava held my hands (which I gripped so hard I’m sure I hurt her), offered constant reassurance and encouragement and was absolutely brilliant. She was also a great help in so many small ways – such as asking the midwives to turn off the sound on the heart monitor and keeping the lights low; all of which made a difference.
“Being there also helped my husband a great deal – he had felt totally overwhelmed and helpless during my first labour. He was greatly reassured by Naava’s calm and knowledgeable presence and found her suggestions – such as to massage my legs – very useful.
“After the birth, Naava was there to encourage me to breast feed immediately (which we did very successfully), kept a watchful eye on the baby while he was being weighed and dressed – including shielding his eyes from the very bright light right above him on the examination table which the midwives didn’t seem to see as a problem. She also distracted me from the unpleasant sensations involved in having stitches and held the baby while my husband came with me to help me take a shower.
“I so wish that I had had a Doula with me for my first birth – I already knew about Doulas, but naively thought that as I would be giving birth at a Birth Centre and would have my husband with me, I wouldn’t really need one. Naava is a mine of knowledge and information and gave us lots of useful recommendations. It was great to have her there with us to share the first few hours of our baby’s life and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her – I will certainly ask her again if I have another baby!”