World Doula Week 2021
This week is World Doula Week, which it is a week to celebrate and empower doulas and the support that they provide for families across the world.
We have quite a number of doulas across Northern Ireland, some of which can be found on the Doula UK website, but also through chatting to the teachers at your local pregnancy and baby classes.
There is one lady that has really struck me - her determination to work with women across Northern Ireland has been inspiring to say the least.
I want to share her story with you...
"I'm happily married to my best friend for 27 years.We have 3 sons wonderful sons 24,22 and 20 whom I home schooled them from pre school to GCSE level. We moved from South Africa 12 years ago and Northern Ireland had been out home ever since.
Where it all started. You know, you can look back over your life and you see a common thread running through the tapestry of your life. My mom fell pregnant with my brother when I was 13. The following year at school we had to year to complete a really big project on pregnancy and the first 3 months of baby's life for home economics. It was amazing doing that project with having my mom just being pregnant. It opened my eyes into the wonder of creating life. I used to be a health a beauty therapist and lectured for 5 years at a college. The students needed to do a dissertation each year. One student did her first dissertation on hydrotherapy, and the second one was on water-birth. I'd never heard of this before, and a few years later when I fell pregnant, I knew I wanted to try this. I was successful and ended up having 3 water births. When it was getting closer to my sister in law's birth, her hubby didn't think he'd manage to support her, so asked if I'd be prepared t to help out. This sounded amazing! Supporting women was my jam! I was up for that. A few years later i discovered that supporting women in childbirth was actually a thing-a doula. I knew then that that is what I was called to do. It would only happen many years later. And so my passion grew, and i suppose life prepared me for where I find myself today-Loving the opportunity to serve, nurture and care for women as they transition into the incredible journey of motherhood.
How did it help you as a mother? I don't think being a doula now helped as a mother then. Probably the other way around.... Being a mother helped prepare me to be the doula I am today.
What are you working on at the moment? With Covid I've had to pivot as mums aren't reaching out to doulas because of hospital restrictions. Fortunately restrictions have loosened a bit, so we are able to support mums and their families again. I was reading and hearing of very sad, often traumatic stories of dads being turned away at hospitals, and mums having to labour without their partner. Sometimes dads missed the birth of their baby. It was heart breaking. So I created a handbook for supporters that is almost ready to launch. It is to prepare the birth partner for what labour looks like, how to address fear-as this is the biggest hindrance to birth, how they can make decisions, and obviously had comfort techniques to use on their partners. I've also created a couple of free resources-birth and postnatal affirmations, and The Postnatal Pantry. They should be on my IG page in my bio (@doula_nicola_jayne)"
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