Kate’s perspective: I first decided to look at hiring a doula to help us plan childcare for our two year old son so that if my partner James needed to look after him I would still have a birth companion. After a rather long and medicalised hospital birth first time around I was also attracted by the idea of having someone experienced on my side to provide support if and when I needed to make choices. In trying to plan around these anxieties I honestly didn’t give too much thought to the prospect that things would go well! However Mars not only helped us manage the practical issues, she also enabled us to have a wonderfully positive birth experience.
Mars’ qualities that stand out for me are her calm and determined attitude, and her commitment to providing support in any circumstances. At our first meeting she made me and my partner feel very much at ease, this was the start of a journey for us that led us from initially thinking of a hospital birth to eventually having a wonderful home birth with a birthing pool. Mars never once tried to lead us in this direction but she gave us the space and confidence to consider and explore it.
As this birth was so different from my first I had no idea how it would actually work to have a doula present. However Mars was great; she knew when to be by my side and when to stand back, she was sensitive to whatever the mood and moment required and she worked very effectively alongside James and the midwives. Mars supported me in decision-making during labour when this was needed but was never pushy, and in general made me feel very well looked after. She stayed with me until I was settled with the baby and we had successfully completed the first feed – which in this case was in hospital since we went in for some precautionary monitoring after the birth – and followed up with us to check that things were going alright over the next few days.
I would definitely recommend Mars as a doula, she did a great job and played a very important role in helping the birth of our second child to be a smooth and joyful event.
James adds: I found Mars friendly, approachable and helpful. She was very keen to involve me in the process. As such I felt included and confident throughout.