S4, Ep 3: Lindsey Bliss: What Does a Doula Do?

Today we welcome renowned child-birth coach and author Lindsey Bliss. Lindsey is co-founder of doula agency Carriage House Birth which has assisted in more than 1100 births across the US and is mother of seven including two sets of twins! As Naomi has been pregnant with twins for all of lockdown, Lindsey was the perfect person to speak to about the role of a doula in supporting people through a momentous but often stressful time. Anand had been taught to be suspicious of doulas at medical school but speaking to Lindsey was transformational and totally turned around his understanding of exactly what a doula does.


Lindsey shares how her own birth experiences made her want to support and empower others going through the same situation to make their own choices and have their voices heard through their birth journey. We discuss the challenges of the medicalisation of birth and the differences between the UK and US systems. Lindsey stresses the impact of race on the care you might receive and recognising the role of a doula to bear witness and even hold healthcare professionals and the structures responsible to account.

 

As Naomi has found, there can be a lack of continuity during pregnancy, nevermind lockdown, and seeing a different midwife or doctor each time makes building trust and relationships with healthcare professionals hard and can ramp up the uncertainty. In these situations, as Lindsey tells us, the regular support of a doula throughout the pregnancy can bring a real sense of relief and allow for someone to advocate for your choices without imposing their views. In this impassioned, wide-ranging interview, we discuss the issues that worry new parents the most, trying to change the language of pain that imbues standard conversations about delivery and how to retain your identity and sensuality as a new parent.


Lindsey’s book The Doula’s Guide to Empowering Your Birth published by Harvard Common Press is available from Amazon, Waterstones and all good independent bookstores.

Read more about her work and agency, Carriage House Birth here and catch up with her on Instagram @doulabliss.


CW: Childbirth, medical problems in delivery

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Social Media:

Lindsey Bliss: @doulabliss

Naomi Sheldon: @NaomiSheldon1

Anand Patel: @therealdranand

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