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It's common for women now to feel anxious about birth. But not so long ago, someone newly pregnant would have been surrounded by women with experience, helping them to understand what to expect and how to prepare. By contrast, a new parent-to-be can today feel very alone, short on loving care and reliant on birth information that can feel abstract and not particularly helpful.

‘I hadn’t anticipated the effect hearing a good birth story in detail would have on me. My plan had been to go with the flow, to see what happened on the day. But after contacting a couple of mothers and hearing their stories, I could see it paid to be proactive. One had had a waterbirth, the other had chosen to be on a labour ward. But both had really informed themselves and had all sorts of tricks up their sleeves for getting comfortable. Neither had felt overwhelmed during labour, and with just a few emails, they shared how I could take charge in the same way. ‘ Francesca

If you would like reassurance, some everyday wisdom on how birth will be and what you need, get in touch. Drawing on my experience as a doula, I can write back to you. Perhaps you are wondering what comforts to use; or you had a previous traumatic birth and are wondering how to feel confident again; or maybe induction is being recommended and you want to decline. I can offer ideas and information or if it's more appropriate, connect you with a mother so that you can be in direct touch. Complete the form here if you'd like support, and note that as our site is run on a voluntary basis, we kindly ask for a donation using the drop-down Paypal page. Even a small contribution helps the site to keep going.