Image by freestocks

I offer different antenatal and birth support packages to meet your needs and your budget.  Check out what’s included in each package and if you'd like to know more, get in touch to book your complimentary consultation.

In person services available in Sligo, Leitrim, parts of Donegal, Mayo and Roscommon

Antenatal packages

Chose from a couple of options for support during pregnancy 

Birth Support

Want caring professional support throughout your labour and birth? Check out my birth support package

Mini Services

Short consultations tailored to your needs - in person or online

Antenatal Packages

Comprehensive antenatal support package:

  • Complimentary phone consultation to help you figure out if I’m a good match for you

  • 2 private prenatal sessions (approx. 2 hours each) in the comfort of your own home. These will be tailored to your needs, looking at:

    • Exploring your desires, wishes and needs for labour and birth

    • Looking at any assumptions, anxieties, or fears around birth

    • Understanding common birth interventions

    • How to draft birth preferences that support your desires

    • Making decisions on interventions and medications offered during labour

    • Stages of labour – understanding what’s happening in your body during labour and birth

    • How to support early labour at home

    • Exploring your own inherent coping strategies for labour

    • Comfort measures for labour including massage and counterpressure techniques

    • Breathing techniques for labour

    • Mindfulness practices for pregnancy and labour

    • Creating your own physical toolkit of items to have with you for labour and birth

    • Your partner’s role in supporting you and advocating during labour

    • Preparation in case of a caesarean birth

    • Creating a post-natal plan for when your baby is here

  • One zoom call/phone call of approx. 30 minutes approaching your estimated due date

  • Phone, text and email support from when you book right up until birth to address any questions that arise in between scheduled sessions

  • Two post-natal phone calls to check in with you after the birth and discuss any questions you have, including advice on breastfeeding* and information on additional supports relevant to your needs

  • 1 birth de-brief visit of 1.5 hrs (in person or online)- a chance for reflection on your birth experience, to chat about how you’re adjusting to life as a new parent and any other questions you have

  • WhatsApp or text support for 3 months after birth for any questions that arise in those early weeks and months of motherhood

This package costs €580

No-frills antenatal support package:

  • Complimentary phone consultation to help you figure out if I’m a good match for you

  • 2 private prenatal sessions (approx. 2 hours each) in the comfort of your own home (can also be done online if preferred). These will be tailored to your needs, looking at:

    • Exploring your desires, wishes and needs for labour and birth

    • Looking at any assumptions, anxieties, and fears around birth

    • Understanding common birth interventions

    • How to draft birth preferences that support your desires

    • Making decisions on interventions and medications offered during labour

    • Stages of labour – understanding what’s happening in your body during labour and birth

    • How to support early labour at home

    • Exploring your own inherent coping strategies for labour

    • Breathing techniques for labour

    • Mindfulness practices for pregnancy and labour

    • Creating your own physical toolkit of items to have with you for labour and birth

    • Your partner’s role in supporting and advocating during labour

    • Preparation in case of a caesarean birth

    • Creating a post-natal plan for when your baby is here

  • 1 zoom call/phone call of approx. 30 minutes approaching your estimated due date

  • 1 post-natal phone call to check in with you after the birth and discuss any questions you have, including advice on breastfeeding* and information on additional supports relevant to your needs

This package costs €360

* I can offer general advice and information on breastfeeding as a birth doula, but I am not a lactation consultant or breastfeeding counsellor (but I do know some great people and groups and can refer you on if you need additional support).

 
 

Birth Package

Deluxe package- antenatal support and birth support

  • Complimentary consultation (in person or via zoom) to help you figure out if I’m a good match for you

  • 2 private prenatal sessions (approx. 2 hours each) in the comfort of your own home. These will be tailored to your needs, looking at:

    • Exploring your desires, wishes and needs for labour and birth

    • Looking at any assumptions, anxieties, and fears around birth

    • Understanding common birth interventions

    • How to draft birth preferences that support your desires

    • Making decisions on interventions and medications offered during labour

    • Stages of labour – understanding what’s happening in your body during labour and birth

    • How to support early labour at home

    • Exploring your own inherent coping strategies for labour

    • Comfort measures for labour including massage and counterpressure techniques

    • Breathing techniques for labour

    • Mindfulness practices for pregnancy and labour

    • Creating your own physical toolkit of items to have with you for labour and birth

    • A partner’s role in advocating during labour

    • Preparation in case of a caesarean birth

    • Creating a post-natal plan for when your baby is here

  • Phone, text and email support from when you book right up until birth to address any questions that arise in between scheduled sessions

  • On call from week 38 until you go into labour

  • Professional, in person support support and reassurance throughout your labour and birth **

  • Check in via text/phone call in the days after the birth for questions you have, including advice on breastfeeding* and information on additional supports relevant to your needs.

  • 1 birth de-brief visit of 1.5 hrs (in person or online). A chance for reflection on your birth experience, to chat about how you’re adjusting to life as a new parent and any other questions you have

  • WhatsApp or text support for 3 months after birth for any questions that arise in those early weeks and months of motherhood

Cost €860

* I can offer general advice and information on breastfeeding as a birth doula, but I am not a lactation consultant or breastfeeding counsellor (but I do know some great people and groups and can refer you on if you need additional support).

** In case of a long labour, a backup doula may be required. This will be discussed in antenatal visits. Backup doula incurs no additional cost to you.

Mini Services

Birth preferences consultation - €120

  • Pre-consult questionnaire so I can understand more about your wishes and desires for birth and tailor the consultation to meet your needs

  • Two-hour private consultation in person or online where we’ll cover:

    • Exploring your desires, wishes and needs for labour and birth

    • Understanding common birth interventions

    • How to draft birth preferences that support your desires

    • Making decisions on interventions and medications offered during labour

    • Your partner’s role in advocating for you during labour

    • Preparation in case of a caesarean birth

  • Review of birth preferences after the workshop

  • Free birth partner cheat sheet – tips and reminders for the birth partner during labour!

 

Comfort measures and coping techniques for labour - €120

  • Pre-consult questionnaire so I can tailor the session to explore the comfort measures and coping techniques that will support you best.

  • Two-hour private consultation in person or online where we’ll cover:

    • Stages of labour – understanding what’s happening in your body during labour and birth

    • How to support early labour at home

    • Comfort measures for labour including massage and counterpressure techniques

    • Breathing techniques for labour

    • Mindfulness practices for pregnancy and labour

    • Creating your own physical toolkit of items to have with you for labour and birth.

  • Free audio tracks- pregnancy relaxation and birth visualisation

 
Image by Alicia Petresc

Get in touch!

Book your free consultation or mini service today

 

About me

13.jpg

I’m Mairéad. I'm a Birth Doula, trained with DONA International. I’m a member of the Doula Association of Ireland and am fully insured and Garda vetted. I do regular continuous professional development to increase my knowledge and skills so that you get professional care that really makes a difference to your pregnancy and birth experience.

I’m also a yoga teacher, with additional training in prenatal yoga and trauma-informed yoga. So I understand how breathwork, movement, embodiment and mindfulness can support you throughout your pregnancy, during birth and as a mother.

Me, I’ve had one homebirth, and one birth in hospital. One really long, one really short. Both challenging and amazing in their own ways. 

I think birth is the start of the greatest adventure.  For some it’s empowering and beautiful. For others its daunting and challenging. Sometimes it's all of those things at the same time. For all of us, it’s really hard work!

 

As mothers we go into it alone, us and our baby. But the circle we surround ourselves with can help us feel confident in our own strength and our decisions around birth and motherhood. 

As your doula, I'm there to form part of that circle. To provide the support you need to feel confident and calm around the pregnancy and birth.  Confidence to ask the questions you need to and to make decisions that feel right for you and your baby. Calm to manage the strong emotions and feelings of pregnancy and birth. 

Always surrounding you and your family with positive support in this very special time.

Baby feet.jpg

Common questions about doula support

What is a doula?

The word doula comes from the Greek word meaning “woman caregiver”. Put simply, a birth doula is a person (usually, but not always, a woman) who provides non-medical care to a woman in labour. A doula is trained to provide emotional support, suggest and demonstrate comfort measures including breathing techniques, massage, and positions to make labour more manageable.  Doulas may also help with information gathering during pregnancy. A doula can act as a sounding board for questions you might wish to ask your midwife or doctor. When labour begins, while a doula can't speak for the labouring woman or the couple, but they are able to remind them of the discussions during pregnancy so that they can make an informed decision on the day. 

Why might I want a doula?

A recent Cochrane (a gold standard for assessing evidence in medical research) review of doula support (which encompassed reviews of 26 studies involving over 15,000 women) found that some of the potential outcomes of continuous presence of a support person include shorter labour, reduced likelihood of interventions including instrumental delivery and caesarean birth, less need for pain analgesia and greater satisfaction with the birth experience.  

Women and their partners often report feeling a sense of comfort and reassurance from the doula’s presence.

Isn’t a doula only for homebirth?

Not at all. Doulas accompany women in various birth settings. Doulas have accompanied births in maternity units throughout Ireland.

Won’t the hospital staff be there to provide the support I need?

Depending on several factors, the staff providing your medical care during labour may not be able to provide continuous support (in the review above it was the continuous aspect of care that made a significant difference to outcomes). A midwife may be looking after multiple women in labour and or there may be shift changes to deal with. The hospital staff will have as their primary focus the health and medical care for the woman and baby and may not always be able to give the emotional support they would like to. A doula is 100% focused on providing this emotional support.

Crucially, a doula will come to your home in early labour and/or be available on the phone to provide support (as well as in the hospital). In your ante-natal classes, you will likely be given an indication by the hospital as to when you should come in (usually based on the pattern and length of contractions). The work of labour usually begins long before that, and it can be enormously helpful to have a doula at hand to support you during that period.

I’m worried a doula would “take over” from my partner and make them feel left out.

During the pregnancy, a doula can meet with you and your partner to discuss both of your expectations around the birth. This can be helpful to allow you and your partner to explore your feelings and support needs for the birth and ensure you are both ‘on the same page’ regarding birth preferences.

A doula  will help your partner to provide support at their own comfort level- the doula may, in advance, demonstrate comfort measures, talk about massage, positioning and other measures that neither of you may have experience of. The doula can also remind and demonstrate these in labour.

Having a doula can allow a nervous partner to relax a little, knowing they and their partner have an additional support person present. The doula can explain the process of labour and reassure the partner when they are concerned – it can be very distressing to see the person you love in pain and discomfort.

And in a long labour a doula can ensure the pregnant woman is never without the emotional support she needs, even if the partner needs a break.

I’m planning to have an epidural or caesarean birth. Why would I need a doula?

If you are planning on having an epidural,  you may wish to delay the epidural until you are in active labour. In that case a doula can still support you at home during early labour, providing reassurance and comfort measures. Your doula can also help facilitate position changes on the bed when you have your epidural to reduce the likelihood of having an instrumental birth. In the event your epidural doesn't work 100% your doula can help you stay focused and calm.

In the case of a planned caesarean birth, a doula can still help to provide support during pregnancy, helping you to prepare emotionally, assisting with formulating your caesarean birth plan and acting as a sounding board for questions you might like to discuss with your midwife or obstetrician. The doula may also be able stay with you and provide reassurance immediately after baby has been delivered, assisting with skin to skin and breastfeeding.

 

The doula may also provide important practical and emotional support for your partner.

Wouldn’t it be weird to have this complete stranger there when I’m giving birth?

The reality for most of us is that there will already be complete strangers there (the clinical team ). The doula will be someone you have chosen and with whom you have developed a relationship and trust with, in advance of labour.  They are trained to be sensitive to your needs, and to support your relationship with your partner. They will have familiarised themselves with your birth plan, and your needs and remind you gently of any divergences from that. They will reassure and explain and empower you both!

 

For more information see:

https://www.cochrane.org/CD003766/PREG_continuous-support-women-during-childbirth

https://www.doulacare.ie/birth-testimonials/

https://www.dona.org/

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/lifestyle/features/and-doula-makes-four-a-look-at-the-growing-birthing-trend-923942.html