“A doula? I had never even heard of the word, let alone knew what a doula did. So I was a bit unsure when my partner suggested that we ask Tami to come and help us prepare for, and be present at, the birth of our son.
I had a such strong image in my head (largely drawn from cinema’s made-up world) of how a pregnancy should be. Woman straining from a bed, with legs wide open. Man standing next by, with sympathetic face and damp hand towel. How on earth would a third person come into this? What would the man’s role be if a doula were there?
But – thank goodness – Tami added to our experience of childbirth rather than replacing anything. We met her a couple of times before the birth, and spoke about what we wanted from the day; it was particularly helpful for my partner, as she wanted a natural birth if possible, and Tami pointed out how best to achieve this. These chats really helped build a bond of trust. Should there be any complications or fears or worries during the birth itself, we were confident that Tami would be able to work with us (and the midwife) to get through it.
While she emphasised the importance of relaxation and calmness, it was without any spiritual or vague concepts. Indeed, Tami started by explaining her background and knowledge of physiology, and this reassured me greatly – I really didn’t want anything that sounded vague and airy-fairy, and that might not make sense in a medical context. My partner also pointed out some persuasive statistics – women with a doula are a lot less likely to have a cesarean operation, and the medical procedures that entails.
When the day of birth finally arrived, Tami knew exactly when to get involved, helping my partner through the most painful moments and giving gentle suggestions. And she knew exactly when to stand back, encourage me to help my partner as much as possible. It never felt invasive; she was a trusted person during the event and it was great to know her. I’m very glad she was there with us.”
– A happy dad –