Vicki Williams ?????

OK, more info...

I am a doula with experience in VBAC and a good working relationship with local maternity units in Lincoln and the surrounding areas.

Doula (δούλη), an Ancient Greek word, means female slave.

The term was probably first used in the modern age in Tender Gift: Breastfeeding (published in 1976) by Dana Raphael, an anthropologist who described experienced mothers supporting new mothers in breastfeeding and newborn care.  Marshall Klaus and John Kennell conducted clinical trials on the medical outcomes of doula-attended births and adopted the term to include labour support.  More can be read in their 1977 book Impact of Early Separation or Loss on Family Development: Maternal-infant Bonding .

A doula provides physical and emotional support to a woman leading up to and during her labour and birth, and in the immediate time afterwards.  A doula is not a medic or midwife, she is there as support and advocate for the woman herself.  Doulas are experienced in birth, usually they are trained, sometimes they are midwives too.

Doulas don’t give medical care, heart rate checks or vaginal examinations and they don’t give medical advice.   Doulas can help you interpret medical information and support you to make the decisions that are right for you, and then help you to make those choices a reality.  Doulas can also offer information on ways to cope with labour and to make your birth as pain free and relaxed as possible.

About me

I am a mother of 5 children, two straightforward births, one preventable caesarean, one home birth after caesarean (VBAC or HBAC) and one complicated emergency caesarean, a direct result of the previous CS.  I have successfully breastfed all my children and I am also an NCT breastfeeding counsellor.  In addition to my supporting women 1:1 as a doula, I am a birth researcher and campaigner for woman centred maternity care.

What can I offer you?

I can support you in your labour and birth, regardless of where you have chosen to have your baby.  That way you get consistency of support for a home birth, a labour at home before heading for a maternity unit or birth centre, a planned hospital birth or even a planned caesarean section.

I also offer telephone and email support, antenatal preparation, postnatal visits and breastfeeding support.

The exact service I offer you is decided between us, depending on your wishes.  My primary role is to be your support and advocate and to help you make your birth an empowering and positive experience which sets you up well for being a new parent.  I can help you make informed decisions, support you with research if you need and advocate for you when your mind is deep into labour.
I also act as support for your partner to help them to support you effectively in whatever way works best for you as a unit.  Partners are rarely experienced in birth, and often need support and a confident ally during the emotional journey to being a new parent.  Sometimes partners don’t feel comfortable with the idea of being present at the birth, and sometimes women don ’t feel it is right for them to be there.  It rarely helps if partners are there unwillingly, feeling they have no choice.  Somtimes it is not logistically possible for a partner to be at the birth.  In those situations a doula can be an invaluable alternative source of comfort.  As a responsible doula, I always support and encourage your partner in their support style rather than replacing them.

I actively encourage women to be in control of their pregnancies, as this has been shown to give the best physical and emotional experience for mum and baby.

I’m articulate and in control, so why do I need a Doula?

Well, have you ever tried to lick your own elbow?  Pregnancy and birth is a time of huge hormonal change and those hormones serve to make us fall in love easily with our baby, which is the evolutionary mechanism which ensured our survival to the 21st Century.  The other effect of these hormones is to make us emotionally vulnerable and to seek safety and shelter, again to ensure that our precious newborn is not eaten by predators...  Nowadays we don’t have those risks, but the biology remains and women often find themselves increasingly vulnerable and in need of support.  This is not a sign of weakness, but an indication that your body is doing a perfect job of bringing your baby into a safe environment.

During labour your hormones will shut off the areas of your brain which deal with rational thought and switch on those areas which are much more primitive and ensure that the instinctive behaviours of birth and nurturing have the space to work properly.  This is perfect, but it does mean that your ability to discuss, to reason and to think on anything but a very instinctive level is reduced, or amy be gone altogether.  Anything which drags your conscious and rational brain into play, such as answering questions or interpreting information, can interfere with labour as your body tries to switch gear, and in doing so reduces the labour hormones (primarily oxytocin.)

This is not the time to be trying to explain your birth plan to a midwife you have never met before, no matter how supportive and caring she is.  In fact, the very act of doing so may well be the primary cause of the slowing or stopping of labour so many women experience once they arrive at the maternity unit or when the midwife arrives at their home.  This is where having an independent and experienced birth supporter comes into their own, because they fully aware of your wishes and needs, and they have had the time to get to know your thoughts about birth.  They are able to advocate for you at the very time when you should not be trying to do that for yourself.

So, if you want to know even more, drop me an email to vicki@vickiwilliams.net and we can discuss your own very specific thoughts, desires and your ideal birth, and I can tell you how I can help you to make the best of your birth experience.

You only get one chance to give birth to this baby, a positive and empowering birth makes parenthood easier for you all!  Don’t you owe it to yourself to make it as good as you can?

Links

The Starfish Centre, a new venture looking at a different way of supporting birth.

First Families, a great blog looking at the process of birth support and what works.
 
   designed, maintained and supported by Vicki Williams                                                                                                                                                                                        © Vicki Williams 2010
vickiwilliams.net
vicki Williams, NCT breastfeeding counsellor
creative and articulate?
vicki williams, known as vicki bevan before her divorce in 2007
Vicki's Blog
Vicki's Blog