Giving birth is an extraordinary life-transforming experience so having the right birth team by your side makes a world of difference. It is well known that women who feel supported and safe in labour are more likely to have better outcomes and a smoother recovery. For centuries and in most cultures women are assisted by a doula, or elder, who knows the process of labour and what is required to keep the woman safe and calm so she can do the deep work of birthing her baby.
As a doula, I am your and your partner's support person during pregnancy, labour and post-birth so you can experience an empowered birth. Every pregnancy and birth is different. As your doula I will assist, support and guide you and your partner with my experience and knowledge and make sure you and your family feel strong, nourished and well informed at all times.
A doula is a nonmedical birth assistant who supports women before, during, and/or after childbirth, as well as her spouse and family, by providing physical assistance and emotional support.
I have worked as a women's health naturopath (nutrition & herbal medicine) since 2010 in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and I have guided women through their pregnancy and motherhood journey. I specialise in making sure you are nurtured both nutritionally and emotionally. My work covers the cellular health including blood testing and nutrient screening, as well as emotional support and education.
Women who work with me feel strong, nourished, supported and informed. In the post-partum period, I offer recovery and lactation support.
Examples of what a doula does before birth:
- Meet with you several times to connect and build a strong and caring connection, so you and your partner feel supported by me.
- Speak with you about your wishes and hopes for your labour, birth and postpartum.
- Help you write your birth plan if you choose to have one.
- Answer your questions as they arise, no matter how many - I am here to answer them.
- Show your partner how you are best supported during labour (massage, positions etc.).
- I can lend you books and DVDs so you can educate yourself further and learn more about birth and the post partum time.
- Debrief previous births, if this is not your first birth.
- Explore your birth options.
- Help you with your health and nutrition.
- Talk and help you with your worries and anxieties.
Examples of what a doula does during birth:
- Massage, hip squeeze, rebozo, make you a bath etc. to make you as comfortable as possible
- Support you and your partner and answer all your questions as they arise
- Keep you hydrated and fed (with the right foods and drinks) during labour
- Guide your partner (and other family members) to best support you
- Keep you moving and resting according to your need and stage in labour
- Help you stay in line with your wishes and goals for your desired labour
- Notify and update our friends and family of your progress if you wish
- Stay with you after the delivery of your baby to ensure you baby has begun breastfeeding
Examples of what a doula does after you have given birth:
- Help you with breastfeeding and baby care at home.
- Help you settle into the new way of life.
- Answer your questions.
- Debrief the birth.
- Support you through potential emotional changes.
- Show you slings and belly support as needed.
My doula service package:
We always start by having a complimentary 1st meeting to see if I am the right doula for you.
- Two pre-birth visits in your home. I will help you write your birth plan, speak to you about all things birth and health-related, and ensure you get all your questions and worries answered
- Frequent phone and email/text message contact
- On call from 38 weeks
- I supply you with the Labour TENs machine, so you don't have to rent one.
- Birth (unlimited)
- Two post birth visits inc. lactation support and nutrition support
How much does my doula service cost?
Basic Birth Doula Package: $1,500 (2 pre and postnatal visits and on call from 38weeks until birth)
Naturopathic Doula Package: $2000 (all of the Basic's plus thorough nutrition support - ask for details)
- Can be paid in instalments. Private health fund rebates available.
Additional doula services (add on's):
- Baby blessing ceremony
- Placenta encapsulation
- Lactation advice
- Herbal medicine and nutritional consultations (this is included in the Naturopathic doula package)
- Books and educational material
- Post Partum food delivery (Mum and Bub food to help you recover and support milk production. Nutrient dense and nourishing)
You can start by completing the enquiry form below - I will then be in touch shortly so we can have a chat and see if we are a good team together.
Most midwives and hospitals encourage the presence of a doula, as it offers more support for the birthing mother and allows for the medical team to attend to their duties of admin work and looking after other birthing women.
Having birthed my own three children (one in a private hospital and the other two in a birthing centre) with the assistance of a doula, I know how wonderful it is to have a good birth team, and what a difference it made to have continuous support before, during and after birth.
Every mother who allows me on her journey is a gift to me, I am grateful to be there in this unique and transformative time.
My mission is to make you, the pregnant woman feel nurtured, cared for and to ensure your optimal health. A birthing mother is immensely strong and powerful, yet vulnerable, and as a birth doula, I work to hold space for you to feel supported, safe and grounded. Breastfeeding and recovering in the postnatal period is a job best done with a caring community and my aim is to offer as much guidance as possible (and as needed) by educating and supporting you as a new mother.
A father's testimonial:
Before meeting Anna Maria, I was completely unaware of the concept of a doula and what role they had to play in child birth. Since it was our first time, we were obviously quite nervous and unsure of what to expect from the whole process of labour and child birth in general.
I found that impending fatherhood brought with it a huge range of emotions and questions for me personally. Part of this consideration was obviously in regard to the actual birth itself - how I would feel, act, re-act during this exciting but potentially stressful period!
When Alexis mentioned and explained the idea of being accompanied by a doula, I was initially slightly unnerved. My initial reaction was that I wanted the birth to be intimate and personal and having an outsider present may negate this! I also worried that my role at the birth would become less important and that I would end up taking somewhat of a back seat while the doula took control.
On the contrary, having Anna-Maria present unquestionably enhanced the experience significantly. Her insight and constant re-assurance during the process gave both Alexis and I a sense of calm throughout and the extra support of a professional cannot be underestimated.
The key thing I found was that Anna-Maria understands the balance required between supporting but not being overpowering during the birth. She maintained a constant presence but also gave us the space to maintain a personal closeness.
Because she has been through this a number of times previously, Anna-Maria had prepared for every eventuality both in pre-labour and at the hospital. This took so much of the pressure off of me, this may sound selfish but when it's your first time the whole experience can be quite daunting for a man regardless of how much you have prepared!
The important thing is that my partner Alexis was so much happier with the doula support, this is really the key for me.
If we decide to have another child, we will 100% be availing of Anna-Maria's service again.
-Paddy, new father of baby girl Vivienne