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8th October 2016

Doulas making a difference

I always arrive at the Retreat MOU with great expectation. Every day is different and I learn something new each time. I was on my way to the antenatal appointment area, when one of the nurses saw me and said that I should rather go to the labour ward directly.

As I walked down the corridor, I heard a women crying out. Going into the delivery room, the sister glanced up quickly and said: “I’m glad to see you, we are very busy and this patient needs some assistance.”  Walking up to the bed, I met Susan*.  She was not coping with the strong contractions and was screaming in pain. As soon as the pain subsided, I took her hand and spoke to her. She opened her eyes and looked at me. Helping her to regulate her breathing, she calmed down enough to relax a little before the next pain hit.

For the next 40 minutes I assisted her by rubbing her back, getting her a drink of water, cooling her with a wet facecloth and helping her to change position. She was able to rest between the contractions and focus on her breathing. One of the midwives stopped briefly to see how she is progressing and said that the baby’s head is still high. I expected to wait another hour or so, but the next moment Susan gave one mighty push and the baby’s head appeared. The next push delivered a little boy!

Meeting up with her in the ward the transformation was incredible. Her features were soft and smooth and her smile a mile wide. She took my hand and said: “Thank you for helping me today. I will never forget that you helped me when I was feeling very afraid and alone.”

*Not her real name

8th October 2016