Doulas provide non-medical support to women and can be invaluable in providing knowledgeable and emotional support for families during labour and childbirth, and the postpartum period.
Most first time mothers find the prospect of childbirth extremely daunting. The fear of the unknown and knowledge that births aren’t always straightforward lead many women to attend childbirth preparation classes or employ a doula.
Health Services Authority (HSA) offers a free, eight-week educational series called ‘Parent Craft’. Classes are held on Monday evenings, 5.30pm-7.30pm at the Women’s Health Centre located at the Cayman Islands Hospital. There is no charge or need to register in advance. Led by experts in the relevant fields, topics include, among others: Nutrition for Pregnancy, Labour and Delivery, Knowing your Baby, Breast Feeding, Infant CPR, Alternative Methods of Delivery and Immediate Postnatal Care, Postnatal Care at Home, Safety, Immunisation and Family Planning, Relaxation in Pregnancy, Motor Development in the First 12 Months and Genetic Screening. If you miss any classes, you may make them up during a subsequent eight-week course cycle. Please call (345) 244 2649 or (345) 244 7627 for more information. You can also visit www.hsa.ky/parentcraft.
Doctors Hospital offers free Antenatal Classes that are an hour long and run for three-consecutive weeks. Topics include what to expect when you’re pregnant, pregnancy complications, health and nutrition, the four stages of labour and recovery, choosing a paediatrician, breastfeeding, mental health and newborn care. You will also be offered a tour of the maternity ward. Tel: (345) 949 6066.
RVC Rehab Services offers courses, both group and private, in the Lamaze method of childbirth. This is the most common type of birth class and approaches childbirth as a natural and healthy process. They neither support nor discourage the use of medicine or medical interventions during labour and delivery. Instead, they inform mums-to-be about their options so that they can make decisions about their own birth plan. The course consists of four two-hour sessions with a maximum of eight couples and is often a great way to meet other parents-to-be at a similar stage of pregnancy. The course covers topics such as comfort measures for coping in labour, breathing and relaxation techniques, birth plans, coping with challenges during labour, breastfeeding and infant care. Private classes and refresher childbirth classes, doula and lactation services are also available. Tel: (345) 949 6024.
Ariel Grace is a registered Doula, pre and postnatal Pilates instructor and founder of The Mom Method. Ariel teaches childbirth education and focused pre and post-natal Pilates classes. As a birth doula, Ariel offers one-on-one individual physical, emotional and educational support sessions throughout pregnancy and childbirth. You can find Ariel on Instagram at @arielgracewellness or www.arielgracewellness.com.
Candice Langford is a pelvic health physiotherapist at Align Wellness Studio. Her sessions help empower and prepare women for childbirth. Tel: (345) 640 5050.