I truly believe that doulas are the unsung heros of the world; the work they do in supporting mums and dads in bringing their babies into the world is truly magical.

The thing is, until you’re pregnant, it’s quite possible that you will have never come across the work of a doula and might not even know what they do. So as part of my mission in helping women prepare for a fear free birth, I want to help bring awareness of those people you can call on for support during your pregnancy journey so that you can enjoy and treasure your birth experience. The birth of your baby is so much more that your experience, it’s your partner’s and your baby’s too.

One question I’ve been asked time and time again by listeners who have emailed me is this: What does a doula do? And I have to be honest, I think defining the work of the doula is not straightforward. Supporting a family in bringing their little one earthside can entail such a huge range of tasks that to list them out would be pretty hard. Every woman is different and every birth is dfferent. Every mum will have different needs and things that she needs support with. But, also every doula is different. The work of a doula is incredibly personal, after all, she is supporting you through a hugely intimate and transformational life event. So it follows that doulas can vary massively from what they bring to their work and the ways in which they can offer you support on your pregnancy and birthing journey.

So for me, I think the best way to better understand the fabulous work of doulas is to talk with them so today I’m chatting to Nicola Goodall, doula and birthkeeper. Nicola also runs Red Tent Doulas an organisation which trains and develops doulas so she is wonderfully placed to talk about the work of doulas. As the founder of Wyse Women,  which is a space for women to connect and share stories and wisdom about all things that affect women, Nicola is a huge advocate for creating a supporting network for women, inspired in part by her own life experience, which you can hear more about during our chat.

Nicola also recently did a TEDx talk calling for a change in how we think and talk about birth. her talk, Reframing Birth talks about the negative portrayal of birth in the media is taking away the magic of what birth is all about. It’s fab talk and at just under 10 minutes, well worth a quick watch. She too calls for us to petition the makers of TV and film to help change the narrative and storytelling around birth. I started a petition here in the UK for Channel 4 to portray childbirht in a more balanced way; if you’d like to find out mroe about it or indeed sign it, you can find out more about it here.

YouTube video

During our we of course chat about the work of a doula, but also

  • how doulas help and support women
  • what they’re not trying to be
  • when a woman might want to start speaking to a doula during her pregnancy
  • the role of ritual and blessings during pregnancy and childbirth

and so much more!

I hope you enjoy!



Alexia Leachman
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