Doulas have been around for centuries. It used to be the women of the family or village who supported a woman in labour. In our 21st century society doulas are still needed. We advocate and support not just the woman but the partner and the family. Research shows that having a doula present at the birth, can reduced medical intervention and improve the mental and psychological experience of the entire family.
The package I offer as your doula is to be on call for a two weeks before and two weeks after the guesstimated birth date. But if you go into labour before this period, you still call me. I will be with you throughout the labour and birth and help supporting you in establishing breastfeeding and will only leave once you are all in your baby-moon phase.
I only take on 2 clients a month. So you can be reassured that you will be my priority when it comes to your birth. We will have 2 prenatal meetings prior to your birth, but in the lead up we will have regular conversations and a weekly text to check how you are doing. Also included in the package is a postnatal visit, approximately 7-10 days after your birth. In that period if you need any further support or advice, please call and we can make further arrangements.
I know how crucial that postnatal period is for settling into your new role as mother, so for the next few weeks you will text you weekly. Making sure you are ok and you must feel free to contact me if you need further advice. Or just to cry down the phone. You will not be judged. I have had three children myself and I know how difficult it is in the early days of mothering.
I am happy to attend your birth anywhere you want it to be: at home, in hospital or a MLU (maternity lead unit).
Through our meetings we will discuss the best course of action for your birth, bare in mind that adjustments and flexibility will be needed on the day. We will work through events as they arise.
Armed with a good play list, we will all be dancing, singing resting and enjoying this birth together. I believe most if not all women are mighty and have the ability to birth their babies. Feel your power and let it sore.
I have been a doula for over 24 years and still feel strongly that there is a place for a doula in the birth space. I have attended births in all environment and have extensive experience of working with first time mother, twins, VBACS and home births and in particular working with women who have had PTSD as a result of previous birth experiences. On the whole I can say that most if not all the women have had a profound birth experience with me walking alongside.
What is the fee?
Do you have to afford this all on your own? No a deposit of 50% is required initially and the remainder can be must be paid 4 weeks before the birth.
Asking for help from family and friends
If you feel you need a doula to support you; consider having a conversation with friends and family. Invite them to be part of this dream to have a doula at your birth and get the impartial support and advocacy that you need. They may be willing to gift or donate towards having a birth doula or postnatal doula. Grandparents, work colleagues and friends often struggle to find the right gift to celebrate this joyous time with the couple. Allow them to support you by donating towards having a doula.
A payment schemes is in place to make payments manageable. Spreading payment in the lead up to 6-weeks before the birth.
How long in advance can I book my doula? What deposit is required?
You can book me at any time? Yes a 50% deposit is required on signing of contract.
I Heard there is a Access fund scheme with DUK that is available to me?
I am not one of the Access Fund scheme doulas. There is a list on the DUK website.
How do I book a consultation with you?
Please book your consultation appointment through the book online page of this website.
I also offer to my clients Craniosacral therapy for you and your baby and pre and postnatal massage can be booked in at an addition cost to the above package.
Please contact Arlene: or phone 07976903003. www.doula.org.uk/about/arlenedunkley-wood
Do you belong to a governing body of doulas?
I have been a recognised doula since 2004 with DUK.
I am also a member of Abuela Doulas and Birthkeepers of colour, which works towards supporting a;; women to have an empowering birth experience.
In the EMBRACE report, there is clear evidence showing women of colour more likely to experience unconscious bias in labour and birth and there is a higher mortality rate for BAME women and their babies in the UK and USA.
I am dedicated to continual learning and as such attend regular peer support and CPD study days. I keep current with what is happening with local hospitals and have a good working relationship with health professionals. In the past, I have been a member of Maternity Liaison Committee in a number of hospitals situated in Barts Health – namely Queens Romford and Whipps Cross Hospital. I currently teach prenatal YogaBirth classes at The Barkantine Practice in Isle of Dogs, and Waltham Forest, Highams Park. Please follow this link to book your prenatal yoga and therapy sessions for these classes.
As an Active Birth Teacher, I also offer birth preparation workshops to couples as a separate preparation.
Go to the book online page to make your booking