How can a doula support you before, during and after birth?

Virginia Maddock from Natural Beginnings is here to tell you more…

Introduce yourself in 50 words or less…

Hi. I’m Virginia, otherwise known as “Muuuuuuum!!!” to 2 boys (6 and 9yo) who were born naturally at home. I have been a doula since 2006, and am also a herbalist and nutritionist, so I am passionate about the natural side to everything in life. I am equally passionate about human, women’s and animal rights which infuse into everything I do.

How can you support women BEFORE birth?

I support women before birth by filling in any gaps in their knowledge about the process of birth; by making them aware of ALL their choices including place of birth, antenatal medical testing, hospital policies, and pain relief alternatives. I help them with writing a birth plan to reflect their vision for how they would like to be treated in the birthing room and what choices they have made for their labour and birth, by helping them to face and overcome their fears, giving them tools to manage pain so they can cope with the intensity that labour brings, and giving them techniques to create the space needed for their baby to engage in an optimal position for birth. By the end of their pregnancy women should be optimistically anticipating the rite of passage that will be their labour and birth instead of dreading its arrival.

How can you support women DURING birth?

I support women during birth by giving them the knowledge in my head, the compassion in my heart and the warmth in my hands. I help to create the ideal internal and external environment to eliminate fears and help women feel safe during birth, help with pain relief and endurance with warm touch, massage and natural alternatives where warranted, and help support their voice to advocate for their ideal vision of birth when interacting with health professionals. I also offer birth photography as an add-on to my package if women would like to capture their precious birthing and baby memories forever. My service is designed to give women the comfort, compassion and control they need to birth their babies with confidence.

How can you support woman AFTER birth?

I support women after birth by being an empathetic ear to listen to their birth story, by bringing my experience as a mother if they need some guidance, a shoulder to cry on when things feel overwhelming, or I can help facilitate referrals to other specialists when things feel too complicated. I also offer a ‘closing the bones’ ceremony to complete the birthing process and help the transition from a pregnant and birthing woman to mother. As an add-on to my services I offer placenta encapsulation to help women feel fantastic in those early days, new family photography to forever capture that delicious newborn period which will otherwise quickly fade into a fuzzy memory, and traditional postnatal belly massage to nurture the well-deserved, post-birth body.

What are the main benefits a pregnant (or recently given birth) women could gain from your services?

In the modern world where pregnant women can feel isolated and overwhelmed, hospital policies can be very impersonal, and birth is seen as an emergency waiting to happen, the benefits women receive from my doula service are evidence based birth education, knowledge about all her options, feeling heard, gaining trust in her body, her baby, and the choices she has made, and having the hands on support she needs to birth her baby with confidence.

What do you love most about your job?

I love watching couples change from hesitant and fearful to bold and empowered. I love seeing women make a smooth and amazing transition from maiden to mother, and the look of admiration and pride on the dad’s face when he witnesses the power that his partner has within her. Seeing new life emerge is the icing on the cake!

If you could give pregnant women 1 piece of advice, what would it be?

Know your options, face your fears, trust your intuition and find your voice. And don’t birth without a doula, especially in the hospital – you need someone to hold the space and be in your corner!

What’s your favourite quote/mantra?

This is not exactly birth related, but it applies to everything in life and is what drives me to be an activist, especially for health, birth and animal rights… “Never, never be afraid to do what is right, especially if the wellbeing of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” ~ Martin Luther King

Please provide details of your business

virginia maddock photo

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