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What is a Doula and How Can They Support You?

As many of you will know, The Mitchell Hill Clinic – Acupuncture & Natural Health Centre is home to the Cornwall Natural Fertility Centre and, alongside Paul Adkins’ services as a Zita West Affiliated Fertility Acupuncturist, we are able to call upon some wonderful complementary specialists.

We are pleased to be working with Rachel McEvoy at the Clinic who, as a trained Doula, is able to support you in the latter stages of pregnancy and beyond. Here Rachel explains more about what a Doula is and how she can help…
The word Doula translates as “Mothering the Mother” and I truly believe that every woman deserves a Doula. A Doula is trained to enable her to provide emotional and practical support to a woman and her family during pregnancy, childbirth and the period of time following the birth. A Doula is not medically trained and works alongside medical staff acting as an advocate for you to enable a positive and empowering pregnancy, labour and birth experience.
I understand that each woman is different and therefore needs individualised support based on their circumstances and preferences. My aim is to help provide a supportive and safe environment for a woman to give birth. I will give unconditional emotional, physical and informative support to every woman and her partner regardless of her choices for childbirth. I truly want every family to experience pregnancy and the birth process as a safe, empowering and memorable rite of passage.
Research has shown that having a Doula present at birth can:

  • reduce the length of labour
  • decrease the chance of caesarean section
  • decrease the need for pain medication
  • help the partner participate with confidence
  • reduces the need for medical intervention
  • increases success in breastfeeding

Overall increasing a positive birth outcome bringing health benefits to both the mother and the baby.

Being emotionally prepared for birth is so important and during antenatal sessions we can discuss any previous birth experiences/fears enabling a positive future birth. Topics discussed include Birth Physiology, Optimal Foetal Positioning, Labour Signs, Labour Positions, Coping Strategies, Pain Relief, 3rd Stage and Birth Plans.

As your Doula during your pregnancy I can help you to formulate or review your birth plan and provide you with information and resources to enable you to make the right choices for you and your baby. I will be on call for you from 38 weeks (earlier if needed) and during your labour will remain with you supporting you and your birth partner emotionally and physically until your baby is born and will stay with you until you are settled and are happy for me to leave. This continuity of care is so important in making a labouring woman feel safe and secure allowing her to birth her baby.
I am also a qualified Breastfeeding Peer Supporter and help run a local Breastfeeding Group every week in Truro. I can therefore offer breastfeeding support and advise should you need it.I also work as a Postnatal Doula offering a very flexible support service. My aim is to support you and your partner in the day to day running of your home from the very first day and for up to 8 weeks after your baby arrives, allowing you precious time with your newborn.

I am the very proud mother of 2 gorgeous children. My daughter was born in 1996 and my son followed in 1997.

If you would like to find out more please feel free to email me or visit my website or call the Clinic on 01872 274774.

Rachel McEvoy
Nurturing Your Birth
Independent Birth and Postnatal Doula

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