Pregnancy, labour, and postnatal support during the covid-19 virus restrictions

Pregnancy and birth support in Somerset

The current pandemic situation is disrupting most people’s plans for birth, and many families are contacting me with questions. The guidance is changing daily so please check with your local maternity unit for up to date information. Here is what the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College or Midwives have published.

Families are now finding that they may only take one birth supporter into hospital, and may not be able to give birth at home if the hospitals do not have enough midwives to provide safe levels of care. Independent midwives and doulas still want to be able to support people through this difficult time, and can do this in a variety of ways. Most are available for a free quick chat, some provide a longer one to one session by skype, zoom etc. and some are still able to be on call to provide birth support virtually. If you are planning a homebirth your doula or midwife may self-isolate for a couple of weeks before attending your birth.

Currently many doulas and birth workers are offering their services for a reduced fee, to cater for people who are in hardship due to the current health crisis. Often these doulas and their families have also been affected financially, so please offer to pay if you can.

Please contact myself or one of the doulas listed for support and information in pregnancy, for early labour support, or help parenting a new baby. They can help inform you of your rights and choices, provide online antenatal classes, and much more. Currently all support is advised to be on line if possible, to reduce the risk of spreading the corvid-19 virus whilst people are not showing symptoms.

Giving birth without a midwife

As a midwife I am unable to endorse birth without a health professional, but I do acknowledge unassisted birth as an empowered choice for some families. In these uncertain times many families are considering this option if their homebirth plans have to change due to staff shortages. I would advise doing as much research as possible if you are considering an unassisted birth, rather than just leaving it to chance on the day.

For anyone who is not planning an unassisted birth, but may be worried that a midwife or ambulance might not reach them in time, I have written an online course to help you and your birth supporters cope until help arrives. It is called giving birth without a midwife or doctor, and will help you prepare for a fast birth at home before a midwife can attend, or if baby arrives en-route to a birth centre or hospital.

This is my most popular course currently as it helps prepare you for many different labour and birth scenarios. This course is not intended to be used instead of professional support. Learn more or enrol here

Support I currently provide

Pregnancy -During these difficult times you may feel in need of more support and information in your pregnancy. Contact me for online support sessions to discuss your rights and options, to talk through a previous birth experience, and prepare for a healing birth this time, to write a empowered birth plan, or to get a professional second opinion. Join my weekly online pregnancy group for support and information here.

Antenatal Courses – I provide antenatal classes monthly via zoom. I also have many on-line courses that you can do in your own time here.

Labour. During early labour you can call me for support by phone or zoom. These calls do not take the place of your maternity care. I cannot advise you when to go to hospital, or call your midwife, but I can help you with calming breathing techniques, and supply you with information and options so you can make empowered choices. These sessions need to be booked in advance so I know when to be on-call. In person labour support available from June 2021.

Postnatal – Book a support session to talk through your birth, for practical information and tips on caring for yourself and your new baby, or for emotional support or information to hep you navigate this new territory.

Consultations cost £60 per hour by phone, skype, or zoom.

Contact me on 07939247462 for a free 15 minute chat or email midwife@birthjoy.co.uk for further information.

Local doula support

Jady Mountjoy – Doula in Somerset. Phone 07737 688718

Sarah Harcombe – Doula in Somerset. Phone 01278 733650 website

Phyllida Warmington – Student doula in Somerset. Phone 07784 628982 website

Chaya Tagore – Doula in Bath. Phone 01225 482216 website

Mel Scott – Doula in Somerset specialising in Baby loss . Phone 07851539288 website

Amber Strong – Doula in Somerset. Phone 07967951686 website

Sarah Gichie – Doula in Somerset Phone 07849 592127 Website

Michelle Weeks – Doula in Bath. Phone 07791039670 Website

Victoria Gazzard – Doula in Somerset facebook website

Joy Horner – Professional birth supporter and former midwife in Somerset.

Phone me on 07939247462

Out of area Support

Carla Walsh – Doula in Dorset. Phone 07860579199 Website

Alix Thorpe – Doula in Bristol website

Antenatal classes

Agata doula in London website

Joy Horner – Former Independent Midwife and NCT trained Antenatal educator website

Relaxation and hypnotherapy

Eleanor Copp Midwife, Hypnotherapist and Bowen therapist

Natal Hypnotherapy CD’s and downloads – Maggie Howell.

Call me for a free 15 minute chat on 07939247462

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