- Worried about induction? Planning a homebirth
or natural birth?
A personalised session incorporating, birth planning, massage, acupressure, rebozo and positioning work, belly dancing, releasing fears and techniques to help you relax, release fears and tension and gently encourage labour to start.
A special introductory offer of £25
I've been a few days overdue in all three of my pregnancies but for my last, with twins, I was lucky enough to be cared for by my doula Selina. The medical profession get twitchy about "letting" twin pregnancies to past 38 weeks because of statistical increases in stillbirth risks so when I reached around 36 weeks, my blood pressure started to occasionally measure high and I had occasional proteinuria, even my pro-natural birth hospital consultant started to be concerned.
We agreed on expectant management of my BP but they also thought it might be good to try to "bring on labour" with a sweep soon after, which felt invasive and painful and only provoked mild braxton hicks.
As it was, with bed rest, home BP monitoring, regular monitoring of the babies and support from the consultant obstetrician, consultant midwife and Selina, I made it to 40+3 and natural labour. The night before I laboured Selina visited for a welcome massage, some reflexology, emotional support and fun as she had done many times during pregnancy.
As anyone who has been pregnant will know, when your due date comes and goes you can feel frustrated and disheartened but having had BP and stillbirth worries for a number of weeks on top of a difficult but normal "high risk" pregnancy, safe and "timely" labour feels all the more important!
On selina's last visit we joked and laughed, discussed labour and birth and belly danced around my living room until late in the evening. I was utterly amazed at how I could lift and move my huge 40 week twin tummy, that was so stretched all the skin had started to itch and inflame. I went to bed feeling tired but calm and was woken around 1am by labour pains, the twins were born shortly after 11am the next day.
Selina pitches her doula service as combining science and spirituality, research and intuition and I would say this is perfectly accurate. One thing I've learned from my experience in this pregnancy is the importance of this combination for labour. Labour won't happen and can't be forced if you are not physically ready, as seen by the ineffectiveness of the sweep performed at the hospital, which I made a fully informed decision about at the time but wouldnt choose again.
When you are physically ready for labour it is really important to be mentally ready for it too. Stress and fear are well documented to delay labour and to make labour and birth more difficult and prolonged, Selina's calm and supportive attitude as well as the massages she provides help relax you, and her knowledge and experience help you to feel confident and secure in making your own choices.
The third important part is positioning the babies for labour. Babies need to be in a good position to be born, throughout pregnancy Selina had been performing rebozo baby sifting to help the babies get into good positions, we did this the night before too. But what I feel really made the difference was the belly dancing, which I think helped the babies to position well and encourage labour to start. The fun and comprehensive emotional support she provided that evening also to helped me mentally prepare and relax ready for labour.