Not everyone has a family that supports them through pregnancy and childbirth; Step into the doula, a modern day Mary Poppins that every parent can benefit from

It is a sign of the times that in the two years since my training as a doula the reaction to my telling people what I do for a living, “what?” to “oh cool!” When I first told friends and strangers that I was beginning the transition from fashion journalist to obstetrician, the most common reaction was a puckered nose and a questioning look, “A jeweler? A dealer? “Not quite, but a global pandemic has a way of realigning priorities and has seen the doula seep to the surface as childbearing families seek the support denied by the lockdown.”

A doula is a non-medical obstetrician trained to support and care for parents primarily: to guide them through pregnancy and provide answers and resources; prepare her for birth and her first few days and weeks with her new baby; and holding her hands physically and metaphorically through the biggest transition of her life “It became more and more obvious that we were at the height of the second wave before giving birth,” says Mia, who chose to rent a doula when she and her Partner Baha Prepared to Welcome Their First Baby “In ‘normal times’ when you are out and about, it is impossible for people not to give advice when they see a bump. Not just friends, but colleagues too, folks at the Bus – everyone Since we were mainly at home, I felt like I was standing alone before the birth ”

Across the pond, doulas are likely a decade ahead of Britain in terms of prevalence and awareness – and this is arguably a movement started by the support of celebrity A Who’s Who of Mothers of the A – The list – including Meghan Markle, Christy Turlington, Heidi Klum, Jessica Alba, Ashley Tisdale, Amy Schumer, Anne Hathaway, Kate Hudson, January Jones, Nicole Kidman, Doutzen Kroes, Alicia Keys, Mandy Moore and Mila Kunis – has been in the past Worked with Doulas for ten years and was thrilled with the difference their support made. Most recently, models Gigi Hadid and Elsa Hosk shared the positive impact their doula had on their childbirth experience and prompted their followers to consider the option for themselves as well

Postnatally it was found that women who work with a doula have more confidence in their abilities than mothers

With such a starry background, doulas may seem like a new trend or fad, but in fact all ancient societies had their version of a doula women, usually those who already had children would assist other women in the work of the village , as babies were born and families grew – and if we were still living as intergenerational and collaborative as this, renting a doula might not be necessary.Instead, the pandemic further isolates our independent, small family structures as friends and family members banned each other saw, travel, or even visit “I knew none of my family members could have my daughter,” says Megan, who is from Waco, Texas, but lives in London knew that an experienced birth partner would give me the confidence that I needed to accomplish this. My husband and I both agree that the decision to have a doula with us was the best decision we made in preparing for and going through the birth ”

Megan and Husband Erol Are Far From Alone Specialized search engines like The Doula Directory saw a massive more than 50 percent increase in inquiries over the past year as new families seek to compensate for the absence of loved ones who serve them Normally Support It is easy to assume that this shows a somewhat desperate search for additional support after being cut off by much-designed lockdown laws, but research supports the value a doula can bring, although that is not the only option Studies show that giving birth to people and women who choose to work with a doula are less likely to experience adverse procedures, including cesarean delivery and assisted birth have shorter jobs; are less likely to use analgesia or anesthesia; are less likely to have a baby that requires special care; and are less likely to have a negative birth experience Postnatally, women who work with a doula have been found to have greater breastfeeding success more confidence in their abilities than mother; and lower rates of postnatal depression

For the first time, much of that support was virtual – with prenatal sessions and even birth massage and breastfeeding support switched to zoom. “The doulas we represent at The Doula Association had to spin and spin like everyone else this year Find new ways of working, “says Kicki Hansard, CEO of The Doula Association, a nonprofit that supports doulas to support families.” Although continuity of care from a doula is vital, the pandemic confirms that the emotional support they receive while during pregnancy as well as during labor is just as important as physical presence ”

“Our doula was a great sounding board and voice of reason and definitely took on the role of therapist and friend as well as obstetrics,” Mia agrees. “Because of the limitations, we knew she would not be present at the birth anyway but the role she had to play was more of getting me into good headspace ”

Given the inventive new way of working many doulas in the face of the pandemic, the theme of this year’s World Doula Week is fittingly #DoulasFindAWay “We met our doula through Zoom and she helped us prepare for the first few weeks,” explains the Dutch first mother Heloise, who hired a doula because both she and the families of her German-Italian husband Luca were abroad “In the weeks before the due date, she contacted me quite often We met her at our house for the first time in real life two days after our son was born, and it immediately felt like it was part of our household.She went out of her way to help me recover faster and spending time with our new baby, such as housework and cooking, also took away many of the doubts we had as new parents and was able to support me tremendously in my breastfeeding struggles I’m glad the pandemic didn’t limit us to postnatal To get help from our doula These first two weeks are so intense for a young mother that I would have been lost without her ”

The World Doula Week takes place from 22 until 28 March instead of The cost of a doula varies widely across the country Postnatal assistance costs between £ 20-40 per hour, depending on the region and experience, with obstetrics starting from a few hundred pounds for supervised doula support to several thousand pounds for a doula with years of experience and additional skills

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Nicole Kidman

World news – FI – The rise of the doula: the birth leash of Meghan Markle, Christy Turlington and Gigi Hadid