Time for another chat with a fellow Mammy, this time I’m chatting to the Niamh Mahon, AKA The Kildare Doula.
What’s a doula you might ask? Well they are basically these incredible baby-loving, mammy-supporting superheroes! And since recently watching Charlize Theron’s film Tully, I can safely say my awe-level for these amazing women has grown even bigger!
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1. I’ve always thought a Doula sounds like an amazing Fairy Godmother, but what do you really do on a daily basis?
As a Doula, I work with Mums supporting them through a massive transformation in their lives. I meet them during pregnancy to build a relationship before I support them through their birth. The day a baby is born a new mother is also born, which can be such an empowering experience if you have the right support. Its also a very fragile time so having continuous support from a Doula makes a massive difference. I provide information, emotional support and physical support. As I'm also a postpartum doula so I often continue to work with Mums after baby is born for a few weeks visiting them in their own homes and supporting them through any issues that come up, helping them with breastfeeding and bottle feeding. I do some household organisation and help with other siblings too. But our main focus is Mum, that’s who I am there for at the end of the day, if she needs to have a nap I can look after baby. Doulas aren't medically trained but if we feel someone needs more support than is outside my scope of practise I can offer referrals.
2. If you could give new mums just one piece of advice, what would it be?
Its hard to pick just one thing, but If I had to say one thing it would be to read your baby, don't worry about what all the books say. Pick up your baby and read them. They know what they need.
3. What is the one major thing parenthood has taught you about yourself?
I am strong. Since the day I found out I was pregnant with my son I felt a deep strength, its amazing what you can overcome when its for your baby. Be it birth, breastfeeding difficulties or long sleepless nights.
4. If you could take off your mummy hat for an entire day and just be you again, what would you do?
Oh that's a good question and something I do rarely as I love being with my son.. but if I did I would love to go to a hotel with a spa and just eat lovely food while its still hot and pamper myself!
5. Finally describe motherhood in 5 words.
The best chapter of life.