“We believe that there should be a doula for all women. Each woman should be able to look within her own community and culture, as well as beyond, to find her doula. It is a very special and intimate time, so becoming a woman’s doula is a privilege.”
The word doula, pronounced “doo la”, is often called a “birth companion” or a “birth keeper”. It originates from the Ancient Greek word to mean a female who serves.
Doulas are with women before, during and after childbirth offering practical, emotional and informational support. They are non-medical and support you in your choices. Doulas do not make decisions for you. They help you to dig deep and to walk alongside you as you discover and develop the natural instincts you have within.
The Cochrane research says women who experience continuous support during labour and more likely to birth without the use of instrumental help (forceps or ventouse).
Women are less likely to use pain relief and less likely to need a caesarean. They may be more likely to be satisfied with their birth and have a shorter birthing experience.
"Doulas provide continuous support for the whole family through pregnancy, birth and the early days of parenthood. Filling a role that new mothers and families have always needed, we are there to listen, give confidence and not judge.
Offering flexible, practical and emotional support we work in women’s own homes as well as in hospitals throughout the UK. Doulas are usually experienced women who have completed some basic training. We do not offer clinical skills and are not medically trained." - Doula UK
Lina Duncan is a recognised Birth doula and mentored Postnatal doula based in South West London.
Having trained as a midwife in El Paso, Texas, Mexico and the Philippines, Lina then spent five years in HK working in Hong Kong with residential communities coming off substance abuse. Following HK was the incredible India adventure where Lina set up her own business and supported families from vulnerable communities.
Immersed in different cultures Lina learned about the many and varied traditions, religious ceremonies and customs passed down generations. The extended rest period and new beginnings of a MotherBaby in those early weeks were different for every family.
Now returned to England, she has chosen to train and work as a doula and focus on the change in roles that this brings.
As well as her native English, Lina speaks Hindi, Cantonese and some Cebuano.