The Support Of A Doula
Doulas are trained and experienced in childbirth, though not within a clinical role like midwives and other medical staff.
A Doula supports the whole family, ensuring as positive an experience as possible for everyone.
We believe in mothering the mother; empowering her to enjoy her journey into parenthood; throughout her pregnancy and on to the birth; the 40 days following; nurturing her recovery and helping her find her feet as a new mum.
Following a difficult first birth that ended in an emergency caesarean, my wife Lucy and I decided that we should have a doula to support us for our second birth.
From the moment we met Georgie, we knew she would be the perfect person to help us achieve the vaginal birth we so desperately wanted.
She was so kind and reassuring and we felt so at ease with her. There was never a moment in which we felt she was intruding or doing anything but making the situation easier and less stressful.
It was hugely beneficial to have Georgie there with us in the hospital acting as an advocate for our wishes. In some cases Georgie would ask for things we wanted, in others her presence gave me the confidence to ask for things myself. She was really instrumental in our achieving so much of the birth we wanted.
Ultimately, following a natural, drug free labour to full dilation we required another emergency caesarean section, this time under general anaesthetic, which meant I could not be present. I walked back to the delivery room devastated that we had come so close to the vaginal birth for which Lucy had worked so hard, only for it to be snatched away at the last moment.
I have never needed a hug so much in my entire life, and I will be forever thankful that Georgie was there to provide it. I felt I could be emotional with her in a way I would probably hesitate to be with anyone but Lucy. I dread to think what it would have been like to wait in that room alone.
Our daughter Mabel required some special care following the birth and Georgie supported us through the difficult first few hours as we waited for the OK to wheel Lucy through to the SCBU to meet her.
Again, her presence was nothing but reassuring and helpful as she drove back to our house to retrieve some colostrum Lucy had expressed and ran to M&S to fetch us some lunch. Small tasks, but they enabled me to stay with Lucy and concentrate on making sure she was OK.
After a short hospital stay, Lucy and Mabel were both discharged with no lasting negative effects expected.
It wasn’t quite the birth we wanted, but it was as good as it could possibly have been and Georgie played no small part in that achievement. For that, we are both immeasurably grateful to her.
If you’re thinking Georgie might be the doula for you; hire her now, you won’t regret it!
We had known for a while that when we came to be expecting our second baby we wanted to have a doula. Our first (Caesarian) birth with our son had been a very difficult experience, and we hoped having a doula for our second birth would help us avoid a repeat of such a negative start to a long-awaited new baby's life.
I was very anxious at first about birth before meeting Georgie, but on our first meeting I knew she would make a world of difference to us. I didn't, however, realise at the time just how crucial her presence would be during our daughter's arrival.
During the pregnancy she helped me to regain trust in my body, and believe that I could birth my baby, as I doubted I could, never having experienced labour with our son. She helped my husband find the best ways to support me, and worked with me to ease my anxieties, encouraging me to listen to the Natal Hypnotherapy tracks daily.
When I went into labour at 39 weeks I was absolutely elated! From labouring at home to arriving at the hospital already 8cm dilated, between using the hypnotherapy techniques, some use of a tens unit Georgie had supplied, pressure techniques and emotional support from my wonderful doula and amazing husband, I felt strong and so supported, it was exactly as I'd imagined things would be.
We encountered a very rare complication at full dilation that meant we needed immediate delivery via Caesarian birth under general anaesthetic, and it is at this point I had reasons to be grateful for her presence I had never anticipated.
Knowing she was with my husband as we were separated was the only thing that kept me calm, she cared for him while she couldn't physically care for me, and when I awoke she made sure we had everything we needed and more, even driving home to retrieve the frozen colostrum I had harvested for our baby so my husband didn't need to leave my side.
After the birth she continued to offer support and guidance, always gently and with love.
Despite how our birth turned out I am still humbled and grateful for the experience, I had a beautiful labour, and I know we did everything in our power to give our sweet daughter and myself the best possible experience, Georgie was pivotal in this, and I will be forever grateful for her.
We were blessed to have Georgie with us for the birth and maternity help in the following months.
Thanks to Georgie my last few months of pregnancy were calm and full of excitement instead of worry. It was my third baby, I had had a tricky pregnancy and was especially tired.
The natal hypnotherapy gave me space to think about the birth in a free and relaxed way and gave me time to rest everyday. I learned valuable ways of taking myself away from noise and discomfort to visualise the journey through labour and the birth of my baby. I was able to use these techniques during the labour which allowed me to actually enjoy the experience and welcome the birth. I felt empowered by how my body and mind coped.
Georgie's presence in the hospital was reassuring for my husband and me and she was absolutely invaluable during the labour and post birth period in hospital. I feel huge gratitude to Georgie and believe, in some part, that we owe the sweet and calm nature of our baby to her. Her nutritional knowledge and experience with small children meant that the first few months at home with all the children together were much easier than expected. Georgie has become a much loved and cherished part of our family.
Thank God for Georgie! Having laboured alone and had an emergency caesarean with my first child, a 6hr, stress-free labour and a natural birth second time round can be attributed to the gorgeous Georgie Ruthven. The facts speak for themselves!
I can't tell you how different my two experiences were so if you are in any way anxious about your forthcoming birth, getting Georgie on board will be the best decision you make! Having been slightly traumatised by my first experience, my husband and I were particularly tricky customers (and we are quite awkward at the best of times!) and she made us so at ease; I even found myself positively looking forward to the birth and then did actually enjoy the birth! Frankly the whole journey with Georgie was a joy, so thank you!
Having a Doula made me feel prepared and less afraid of giving birth. My first birth had been difficult so I was quite nervous about the second one.
Georgie helped me keep my stamina and confidence up during a long and difficult labour. I was also getting a cold/flu and she gave me lots of natural remedies which whisked it away (ditto my husband).
Georgie ensured that despite a very intervention-heavy labour and birth (not what we expected), we had as much natural interaction with the baby as possible afterwards – skin to skin contact, privacy, encouraged to start breast feeding.
I would definitely recommend having a Doula to other women.
Georgie was a real trooper. She had to be at the ready for a full month as I was 2 weeks late, so this meant extra work for her. My labour was also very long (3 days), and Georgie was with us the whole time without fail and with the same positive attitude throughout.
I’m sitting here with my week old son lying next to me. He’s relaxed and quiet. Such peace.
I wanted to thank you for all of your help and guidance through Caspar’s birth. After my last birth experience, I really needed somenone to be in control of logistics aswell as take care of the spiritual side. You were so gentle and quietly took me through every breath. When we met and had that relaxing walk through the fields with your dogs, I knew we were of then same mind when it comes to things like birth interventions by doctors, visualisation and active birth positions.
I was so relieved to find you and then for you to say you would take care of me out of the goodness of your heart was more than perfect. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to help me through childbirth. (see Hardship Fund Doula UK)
You have been great about staying in contact with me and keeping our two schedules in sync. Being on-call at any time of day or night is difficult, particularly over a couple of months, but you were always easy to contact with any question or worry I had.
Jens really appreciated your coming over for a nice long afternoon of preparation on how we three would work together. You made him feel relaxed about the upcoming events and he didn’t feel like you were replacing him.
He knew you were there to give help that he couldn’t give and that helped him to find his own place in the whole thing.
The night of Caspar's birth you were a star. Coming to us in the middle of the night, saying just the right things to keep me calm and providing me with pressure massage to reduce the pain. Then came the exciting part of us all racing to the hospital. You were wonderful, working with the midwife at the Spires to deliver my boy safely with me.
The most priceless gift you gave to me for Caspar’s birth was peace of mind. Like the peace he has right now. Thankyou so much.
Our Natal Hypnotherapy sessions with Georgie were relaxing and enlightening, and helped me, as a first-time father, understand and prepare for what was happening. Up until then the imminent birth seemed rather abstract, and these sessions helped bring it into focus, and made the birth feel like a natural organic process. Georgie provides a way of experiencing the final stages of pregnancy and the birth which is enriching and spirited.
Georgie was absolutely wonderful throughout the protracted labour and difficult delivery of our first child. She provided continuity – we went through four mid-wives – and immense practical support through massage, labour positions, aromatherapy and hypnotherapy through a twenty hour labour without an epidural.
My wife found the Natal Hypnotherapy techniques taught by Georgie and practiced in the weeks leading up to the birth immensely useful. I absolutely credit Georgie with being key to the successful natural delivery of our healthy baby daughter.
I could never imagine not having you there for the birth of Xan - you were incredible and right there with me in every possible way - I felt soo supported and it would have been an entirely different experience without you....
It's amazing have Xan at home.... he's so fantastic!