A SINGLE MUM is using her knowledge of birth and breastfeeding to start a new career.
Michelle Bromley (26) set up Snowdrop Doula Services to help women get better birth experiences, plus provide hands-on support when mums take their new babies home.
Mum-of-two Michelle, who also volunteers at the Family Tree Centre, in Brierfield, as a breastfeeding peer supporter, trained as a doula – someone who provides non-medical support to new mums – in May and now hopes to use the experience she has gained with her own children to help others.
“A doula mothers the mother,” said Michelle, who is mum to six-year-old George and three-year-old Naomi.
“I am not medically trained, but I support mums during the birth and also in the early weeks or months after the baby is born. Childbirth can make women feel quite anxious and frightened, because they often don’t know what to expect. But there is no need to fear birth, and in fact the whole thing tends to go much more smoothly when women are well prepared and well supported”.
Research shows that births where a doula is present tend to be shorter, result in fewer Caesarean sections and fewer requests for pain relief.
“I can help explain procedures or ask questions of the midwives on behalf of the mum if she doesn’t feel able to.
“Doulas are hired for all sorts of births, and by all sorts of different people,” she said.
For those on a low income who there is also a hardship fund available through Doula UK and Michelle also provides post-natal support.