Your guide to natural birth: choosing a doula in Singapore

Updated: May 5

If you are newly pregnant and wondering what your next steps are, talking to a doula first can point you in the right direction and provide you with different resources and recommendations for planning your prenatal and postpartum needs. A doula, especially one from the Doulas of Singapore, can also provide you with information about the local obstetrician you have chosen.


Obstetrician-doula relationship

If having a doula is important to you, asking your obstetrician if he works with doulas should be one of your first questions. Whether or not you decide to go ahead with a doula, the answer can also give you an idea of your doctor's birth management style. If you would like nature to take most of its course or have a doctor who would respect your birth wishes, it is likely you would prefer a doctor who does not actively manage (and work with doulas).


There are obstetricians who will only work with some doulas. Save yourself the trouble and ask these questions before hand.


If you have not decided on an obstetrician, that is great news. There is a list of obstetricians whom doulas prefer to work with (for the benefit of their clients) and you can be sure you will be on the right track to having the birth you want.


Where to find them

A great place to start looking for a list of doulas is the Doulas of Singapore listing because most hospitals in Singapore require the birth doula to be registered with them. There is a standard of practice that the doulas have to adhere to and each registered doula has a wealth of resources to consult for all your questions.


From here, the differences vary.


Your values

What we have left are doulas with differing certifications with a slight twang.

Childbirth International (CBI) - The only birth training organisation accredited with distinction in nursing training professional development. They pride themselves on being international and it shows in the sensitivity to cultural diversity in their training materials delivered online. At the heart of their training is reflective practice. CBI trained doulas have ingrained a reflective practice in order to progress from every experience, in the labour room or not. After all, what use is experience if not digested and pondered upon?


DONA - One of the originals, DONA doulas are required to attend in-classroom workshops and pride themselves on a detailed curriculum and continuing education for recertification.


AMANI - Dual Doula and Educator certifications with a strong focus on Islamic Values.


Extra skills


Would you like your doula to take you all the way from birth to the postpartum recovery? Would you like your doula to be able to apply aromatherapy during labour? Would you like your doula to by in line with Hypnobirthing practices during your labour.


Budget

You can expect to pay $500 - $2500 for a birth doula service with trainee doulas at the lower end of the spectrum. Doulas will be with you for as long as you labour, be it 2 hours or 36 hours, and until your baby is breastfeeding. She will also be at your back and call for 24 hours a day a week before you give birth. She will also be a valuable source of information and guide you in the construction of your birth plan.


Different doulas with different skills can also package up a nice deal if you purchase other services off them. It is a great way to have the same person of comfort from one milestone to the next and to feel very supported. Many doulas also provide comforts like tens machines in their fees instead of you having to source them on your own.


Language

Do you need someone who can speak Mandarin or French? Does the manner in which a person speaks affect you? These effects will be amplified during labour which is why, it is important to hear our voices!


The feels

Despite the differing certifications, doulas are generally on the same page on birth. How they go about it may be different however, Some are energetic and hands on, some are quiet and calm, some will pray with you and the differences vary as long as our personalities vary. You should definitely interview or have a look at their website.


Do not discount your birth partner's opinions. The doula and birth partner form your very own birth team.


Most importantly, you might need to define what you want from your doula. Just like an interior designer needs to know your style, doulas need to know your style in order to cater to your needs and yet be flexible enough to adapt should you rapidly change your mind. (This can happen and does happen.)



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