Doula: An ancient Greek term meaning ” Woman who serves”. Today, the term doula refers to a trained professional who provides emotional support and information to the mother and her partner before, during and after the birth of their baby.
My name is Stacey Maloney McCall. I am a mother of five daughters and I have completed my training with the Australian Doula College. My own birth experiences are wide and varied from three vaginal births to a caesarean section delivery of our twins and a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean). I am particularily passionate about the support and care a woman receives before, during and after the birth of her baby. I believe women should have choices when it comes to birth, without fear or judgement.
My role as a doula
As a doula my role is to support the couple’s choices, remembering that sometimes that choice may change during labour. I am there to provide the woman with the care she needs to be able to bring a new life into the world joyously and confidently. My role is not to replace her partner, but rather, to support them so they can be a strong and informed carer for the birthing woman.
I begin my work with a family during the third trimester, providing information to enable a couple to make informed choices about the birth of their baby. I provide care and support, as well as being someone you can simply talk to about your hopes, fears and expectations. By the time labour begins, I will be a familiar person in that space, a person who knows and respects the couple’s wishes. I am there to provide continuous emotional support as well as an ability to offer natural forms of pain relief such as relaxation techniques, acupressure and homeopathics. But again, as your doula, I am there to support your choices.
Something I am very focussed on, as a doula, is the time immediately following the birth of a baby. No matter what “type” of birth a woman experiences, nuturing and supporting that initial bond between mother and baby is something very close to my heart. My role continues into the post-partum period, during which I offer lactation support, help with the newborn, as well as my understanding of how overwhelming being a new parent can be.
The knitting, well it keeps me calm. It connects me to home and family, and in the birth space it can provide a reminder that everything is going well.