©2018 by Annie Minnaar

“The whole point of woman-centered birth is the knowledge that a woman is the birth power source. She may need, and deserve, help, but in essence, she always had, currently has, and will have the power.” ~Heather McCue

I would like to help you find this power, and to help you navigate your Childbearing Year with confidence. I am a Birth and Post-Natal Doula, complementary therapist, and experienced massage therapist, who has a passion for supporting and empowering women (and their partners!) in pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. I offer practical, physical and emotional support and would love to help you to plan for the birth that best suits you. I have trained with Conscious Birthing and WellMother and am a member of the Scottish Doula Network and Doulas Without Borders.

If you are interested in why I chose to train as a Birth Doula, you are welcome to ask me over a cup of tea.

What is a Doula?

A Doula is dedicated to supporting and reassuring the birthing woman and her partner. She knows how important it is to keep the environment quiet and undisturbed, so that the birthing woman can fully tune into her natural, inner strength and power. The Doula understands how physical and emotional comfort can help a woman to connect to her own inner confidence and courage.

After the amazing journey to meet your baby, your Doula will encourage you to take your time with skin to skin contact, to connect with your new child and enjoy your first moments together.

Most of all, she wants you to feel cared for and listened to. She is here for you.

To find out more about what a Doula is, head on over to the Scottish Doula Network or Doula Uk.

“You are a birth servant. Do good without show or fuss. If you must take the lead, lead so that the mother is helped, yet still free and in charge. When the baby is born, they will rightly say: ‘We did it ourselves!'” – Tao Te Ching

What I can offer you:

As a Doula, I can offer you support during any stage of your pregnancy, birth and postnatal time. You may only wish to receive support for your pregnancy, and are happy to birth without me. Or you may feel that you need an extra pair of hands for the postnatal time while you recover and connect with your new baby. There are many options and I would be happy to discuss how I can best be of service to you. If you do wish to have my support and help for the entire journey, then below is a guideline of what I can offer:

  • 2/3 prenatal sessions  - to get to know you and your partner (if applicable), talk through any concerns, prepare your birth intentions etc. 

  • Available for phone, text and email support throughout the day if you need to talk through any issues, questions or concerns.

  • A prenatal session to show you positions and massage techniques to use during pregnancy and labour, for you and your partner. 

  • On call for you, 24/7 for 2 weeks before your due date to 2 weeks after. During those 28 days, I will be contactable and available no matter the time of day or night. 

  • Aim to come to you as soon as you ask, during labour. Typically, I will arrive before a transfer to your place of choice (hospital, birth centre etc.) or before the midwife arrives, if at home. 

  • Provide nurturing support for you (and your partner) throughout your labour (with small breaks if needed for long births, at appropriate times). Whatever you need from me, I am here for you while you birth your baby.

  • Stay with you until after your baby is born, encouraging you to enjoy skin to skin contact and helping to take care of your environment so that you can cherish the first few moments with your baby. 

  • Postnatal, I will visit you once to offer you the opportunity to debrief and share your birth story, celebrating your new baby and helping you to take care of yourself too.

  • As your postnatal Doula, I can visit you as much as you need during your first few weeks, helping you with your recovery by offering home cooked, nourishing foods, massage, light housework and anything else you need (within reason) to feel relaxed and supported. 

  • I am available in the Edinburgh and Lothian regions of Scotland, but can potentially travel further (and abroad) with appropriate arrangements (travel costs, accommodation, suitable fees etc.) This is available for any point in your Childbearing Year. 

Each working relationship will be unique, so I advise an initial meeting (free of charge) to say hello and discuss what it is you feel you would like. Hopefully I can help you, if not I can direct you towards a network of wonderful, skilled Doulas so that you can find the right one for you. 

I can offer guidance and direct you to resources, organisations and individuals that can help you through this journey.

These are just some of the things I can offer you while supporting you during your birth:

  • massage techniques to help manage physical sensations

  • physical comfort measures such as essential oils, guided breathing etc.

  • advocate for your birth intentions and boundaries

  • suggesting postures and movements to help the birth of your baby

  • dedicated support for you (and your partner)

  • reassurance, encouragement, care and respect

  • a presence who is calm and peaceful

After your baby is born, I can offer:

  • home cooked, healthy food to suit your dietary needs and your recovery

  • herbal teas to support your healing

  • sitz baths, body massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, belly binding and ribozo rocking for healing and support

  • home made herbal oils to soothe and heal

  • keeping an eye on baby while you take care of yourself, have a shower, be with your partner, sleep etc

  • collect other children from school, make a family meal, collect groceries and other light family chores

  • someone to talk to and listen to you share your experience, fears, birth story etc. A shoulder to cry on.

  • offer advice on infant feeding and sign post you to additional support if needed

There are many more and diverse ways that I can help you! It depends on what you need.

I look forward to speaking with you and wish you the very very best for this incredible journey.