I view labour as a life event where not only a baby, but also a mother, a family is being born. Being a Doula is one of the most rewarding and meaningful things for me as a woman and a mother...

Welcome to Doula Praktijk Rotterdam Zuid, where birth matters!

I am Finnish-Irish, mother of two, married to a wonderful Dutch man and living in The Netherlands since 2004. I speak English, Finnish, Dutch and basic French and besides my doula practice work as a visual artist, writer and a researcher at the Utrecht University. I am also the founding director of the international foundation m/other voices and work as a mentor for aspiring doulas during their work experience period at In Bloei, Rotterdam. This might sound like a lot, but the wonderful thing is that each of these activities beautifully supports and complements each other. I get to manage my own time and do what I love. I feel very lucky to have managed to create a working life that I am truly passionate about. 

I trained as a doula (2014-2015) with Opleiding tot Doula in Utrecht, recognized by the Nederlandse Beroepsvereniging voor Doula's. Besides the thorough and grounding training, this offered me the opportunity to become an active member of an international community of doula's, midwife's and other birth professionals. Having such a network of knowledge around me is something I value tremendously and that I bring with me when working with clients.

Working as a Doula is one of the most rewarding and meaningful things for me as a woman and a mother and it is a role that beautifully combines all of my other interests and roles, both private and professional. I am passionate about the interactive movement between the birthing bodies of mother and baby, as well as the partner present at labour. My wish is to guide, support and empower the mother-to-be through the emotional and physical stages of labour so that she can have a birth experience which is not only filled with the most up-to-date medical knowledge, but also love, care and respect. I view labour as a life event where not only a baby, but also a mother and a father are being born.

 

What Can I Do For You?

Each woman, couple, situation and birth is unique and different. Each client-doula relationship is unique and different. There is no one standard way to be a doula for all clients as each woman has different needs, desires and history. In my approach I always make the woman and her specific situation and history the starting point. The mother-to-be and her personal story are on the foreground and I take the lead from her. In other words, each birth relationship is personalised and starts from a commitment to work as a team with the mother and her whole birthing team.

 

Main elements of my role as a doula are: 

  • To prepare the mother (and her partner) for the birth process by educating and informing her/ them on the birth and to make her/them aware of the choices and available options.
  • I help the mother (and partner) to prepare a 'birth plan' in which she writes her wishes regarding the labour - birth- and - the first hours after birth. (Preparing such a document is a very useful tool in starting to visualising and mentally prepare for the birth.) 
  • I support the mother in whatever her choices and regardless of duration and place, whether home or hospital; natural or all medical, I offer the labouring mother continuous support. 
  • I guide, comfort and encourage the mother through the different physiological stages and psychosocial transitions of labour and support her in any way necessary during labour and birth.
  • I also support the mother's partner so that s/he in turn can give the best possible support to the labouring mother. 
  • I employ safe, non-invasive techniques to manage pain and assist the labouring mother in ways that help the birth to progress in a natural way. These techniques include birth education on the physiology of birth and how this translates into lived experience. I work with touch, movement, birthing positions, massage, reflexology, counter pressure, acupressure, South American Rebozo techniques, visualisation, breathing techniques, aromatherapy, birthing ball. Listening and being present as a woman and as a mother, simply guarding the labouring mother'sprivacy, wishes and space in a way that gives her the most optimum situation to birth.
  • In the postpartum period I offer support by giving the mother a space where she can process and integrate her experience.  

 

I offer my services mainly in the larger Rotterdam area, Capelle a/d Ijssel, Schiedam, Den Haag, Delft, Dordrecht, Sliedrecht, Ridderkerk and Breda. However, please feel free to contact me even if you live outside of these areas. Looking very much forward to meeting you!

Warmly, 
Doula Deirdre
Doula Praktijk Rotterdam Zuid

The word 'doula' comes from ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves"  or "caregiver". 

Today the word refers to an experienced woman who offers emotional and practical support to a woman and her partner before, during and after childbirth, guiding them through the various stages of labour.

Doulas work side by side with midwives and doctors, however their role is not a medical one. They are not clinically trained and do not make any medical decisions, although their training includes learning about the usual medical interventions and understanding the physiology of pregnancy and labour. 

A doula remains by the mother-to-be throughout the labour, offering emotional and practical support in order to empower her and to aid the progress of a natural labour. Doula's believe in “mothering the mother” and their focus is on helping the woman to go through labour feeling safe, loved and empowered.   

Some reasons for having a doula:

 

  • Continuos care, support and guidance during birth. It is often mistaken than when opting to give birth at a hospital you will have medical personnel with you throughout your labour. During the first part of your labour, which often is the longest part, the medical staff may go in and out of the room as they also have other patients and duties to attend to. Staff will visit you to perform clinical examinations in order to monitor the progress of your labour, but otherwise you will most likely be labouring on your own and with the help of your chosen partner. Similarly, when giving birth at home in the Netherlands, the midwife comes to your home to check the progress of labour, but she may leave again for several hours leaving you and your partner to deal with the early stages alone. Having a doula ensures that both you and your partner are supported and guided through each stage of labour physically, emotionally and practically. 
  • Fewer medical interventions such as caesarian sections, forceps, induction, pain medication and their accompanying side-effects.
  • Baby and you will be in better shape,  more receptive and alert after labour.
  • Your partner will also have a better and more empowered transition into parenthood. 
  • A more positive experience of birth due to loving, personal, knowledgeable attention and direct support.

 

Links:

http://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/114/Supplement_6/1488.full