Doulas 'complicating' birth process

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Pregnant women who hire birth assistants, known as "doulas", are complicating NHS care ...

... the helpers are complicating the level of care provided.

The Royal College of Midwives say "doulas" are taking over duties that should only be carried out by trained midwives.

But the helpers maintain their role is limited to providing their clients with emotional and practical support.

Bridget Baker, from Doula UK, and Denise Linay, from the Royal College of Midwives, spoke to Channel 4 News about the issue.

Bridget Baker said that doulas were important for those do not have pregnancy support.

"A doula is a lay person who is a companion during a birth and pregnancy and also works with a woman post-natally to support the mother as her own mother may have done if she was around," she said.

... We train doulas to accept that they have boundaries and they shouldn't overstep them."

Denise Linay from the Royal College of Midwives:" ... a lot of our members do give accounts of situations when the doula can be quite obstructive and quite antagonistic to the midwife by not allowing the midwife to speak directly to the woman, by challenging any advice that the midwife is giving.

"In one extreme case we heard in a home confinement the doula wouldn't actually let the midwife into the room ..."

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448