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Pregnancy


Regardless of how far along your pregnancy is or if you have just been successful with the Natural Fertility program, Claudette can assist you throughout your pregnancy, in preparation for birth as well as post-natally. Comprehensive advice and printed material are given for every stage of pregnancy with a view to optimising the mother’s and developing baby’s health. This includes diet and lifestyle advice, nutritional supplements, prenatal testing, labour preparation as well as for post-natal mothers and babies.

Claudette has remedies for all common pregnancy-related conditions such as morning sickness, nausea, fatigue, headaches, cramps, fluid retention, heartburn, constipation, haemorrhoids, anxiety, depression, mood swings. Claudette also provides specialised treatment programs for women with a history of miscarriage and other pregnancy traumas.

Claudette will refer you for medical tests as required or work with your chosen medical professional as well as having a broad source of allied health practitioners to refer you to as necessary such as acupuncture, massage, osteopathy, rolfing, physiotherapy, childbirth educators, doulas, midwives, lactation consultants, obstetricians. With her prior experience as a Doula, Claudette also has unique insight, depth of knowledge and experience in the requirements for labour and the post-natal mum and baby.

Although Claudette no longer practices as a Doula, please see information below regarding the work of Doulas at births.

What is a Doula?

Doula is a Greek word meaning "woman's servant" or a woman who provides continuity of care for the birthing woman and her partner at the birth of your child. A Doula's main role is to work along side other healthcare professionals to ensure a satisfying birth experience and to provide the best support possible. Doulas have a passion for the birth process, and have developed the skills required to "hold the space" for you during the amazing process of birth, and support you and your family at home following the birth.

Many studies in the USA have been conducted and report that a Doula is now an important part of the Birth Support Team, employed by hospitals. This is not yet the situation in Sydney, but more and more women look for extra support their partners just can't always give them. That support leaves your midwife more available to care medically for you and your baby. This service fills an important gap for the women and their caregivers. It has been developed to respond to the ever increasing requests from women to have more support before, at, and after the birth of their children.

Benefits of having a trained Doula
  • 50% reduction in the caesarean rate
  • 25% shorter labour
  • 60% reduction in epidural requests
  • 40% reduction in induction or augmentation of labour
  • 30% reduction in analgesia use
  • 40% reduction in forceps delivery

Information was obtained from Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter Easier and Healthier Birth, Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus (1993), USA.

"If a Doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it!' Suzanne Arms in video Giving Birth: Challenges & Choices.

Birth Assistant Package
  • Includes a free consultation to get to know your Doula and decide if they are suitable.
  • Two visits of 1 ½ - 2 hours to help you decide what matters to you, to formulate your birth plan, discuss any fears, practice your pain management techniques.
  • On call 24 hours/day, two weeks either side of your due date and provides phone support if required.
  • Support during birth - at labour ward/birth centre/your home.
  • Will work with you at home in labour (if you wish), until it is an appropriate time to go to hospital.
  • Will then transfer to the hospital (unless a homebirth is planned) from active labour until the baby is breastfeeding. Alternatively, your Doula can meet you at the hospital.
  • One postpartum visit once you are settled of approximately 2 hours to check how you are going at home.
  • Can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone and will decide with you, at what time she should come to your home or wait for further change.
  • Except for extraordinary circumstances, your Doula remains with you throughout your labour and birth.
  • Your Doula usually remains with you for an hour or two after delivery, unless you are comfortable and your family is ready for private time together.
A Doula does not have any clinical responsibility and does not do any of the following:
Blood pressure, foetal assessments, vaginal examinations or take the client's temperature (even if qualified to do so) and cannot make decisions for you.

A Doula offers continuous support at the birth of your child
  • Emotional support for the labouring woman and her partner.
  • Provides reassurance and perspective; makes suggestions for labour progress and assists with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for comfort.
  • Becomes familiar with your plans for labour, birth and the immediate postpartum period.
  • A skilled set of hands "holding the space" for you at home and/or in the hospital.
  • Facilitates communication with medical care providers.
  • Nurturing and caring energy.
  • She believes in your capacity to give birth.
  • Has an understanding of the normal birth process.
  • Reduced risk of unnecessary interventions.
  • Does not try to influence you in any way.
  • Enhances the birthing woman's own strength and self confidence to give birth.
  • She is aware of her own capabilities and limitations.
  • Provides information on all aspects of pregnancy, labour, birth and & post-natal care for you to make your own informed decisions.

The wisdom and emotional support of experience women at birth is an ancient tradition The bag of tricks that we bring with us is our willingness to be with you, our understanding of the birth process, and our total belief in the power of women.

Dads and Doulas - Important Participants in Labour Support Team Many fathers want to experience the amazing world of the birth of their child. Dad wants to be actively involved, ease his partner's labour pain, welcome his baby at the moment of birth, and help care for his newborn at home. A labour Doula can help a father experience this special time, with confidence.

A father's participation in birth preparation classes or his presence at prenatal visits and in the delivery suite is a familiar occurrence. Yet, we sometimes forget that the expectations of his role as a "labour coach" may be difficult to fulfil. Sometimes it is also culturally inappropriate for an expectant father to be so intimately involved in the process of labour and birth.

The father-to-be is expected, among other things, to become familiar with the process and language of birth, to understand medical procedures and hospital protocols and be an advocate for his partner in an environment and culture he is usually unfamiliar with. A Doula can provide the information to help parents make appropriate decisions and facilitate communication between the labouring woman, her partner and medical care providers. A partner may not understand a woman's instinctive behaviour during childbirth and may react anxiously to what a Doula knows to be the normal process of birth.

With a Doula, a father can share in the birth at a level he feels most comfortable with. The Doula's skills and knowledge can help him to feel more relaxed. If the father wants to provide physical comfort such as back massage, change of positions and help his partner to stay focused during contractions, the Doula can provide that guidance and make suggestions for what may work best.

Many fathers are eager to be involved during labour and birth. Others, no less loving or committed to their partner's wellbeing find it difficult to navigate in uncharted waters. This is not about love, but about skill!

The Unpredictable Nature of Birth If you decide not to call your Doula because of a change of mind at the last minute, the full fee is still payable as the initial commitment still stands as your Doula has been on call for you 24 hours/day.

Should the need for a caesarean arise before your due date, your doula can still support you through that birth experience and can prepare you for the best outcome for you, your partner and your baby.

If the baby is premature, your Doula will make every effort to provide other appropriate services and/or the services described but if she is not able, will do her best to find you a back-up Doula.

Claudette is no longer practicing as a doula as she is so busy running her Naturopathic clinic. However, she still consults many pregnant women prior to and post-natally to help prepare them for labour and to ensure both mother and your baby & the family are well once at home.

Contacts:
As with all aspects of your pregnancy care, it is important to enlist the services of a qualified, well trained doula who suits your needs and plans as well as who will work well with your as a couple. I suggest the Australian Doula College, Ph: 9558 2500 www.australiandoulacollege.com.au, who will match you up with an appropriate doula or trainee doula if you prefer this.
Charlie - 2nd November 2007

We employed Claudette as a Doula for the birth of our third child.

Having employed a Doula for the birth of our second child, we had an idea of what kind of service to expect, but Claudette far exceeded our expectations. Claudette brought a wealth of practical knowledge along with incredible emotional and physical support throughout the whole process. Her knowledge of women’s health needs and how best to support those needs through the pregnancy and birth and beyond was a wonderful addition to her natural calm, kind and compassionate nature. Claudette was there for us every step of the way – from the initial visits where our two older children who were present at the birth could become acquainted with her, through a 3am false alarm, to the birth and post-partum. Claudette was always available, yet never intrusive. We can not imagine anyone better suited to the role of Doula. We feel very fortunate to have had Claudette help us bring our little Charlie into the world as naturally and calmly as possible.
Thank you Claudette!
Judith Hocking and Masahiro Takatsuka