Anne Glover, Hypno Doula.
Anne Glover is a certified birth and Postnatal Doula supporting families in Northern Ireland. Anne trained with Nurturing Birth in June 2015 and is registered and recognised as a Birth and Postnatal Doula with Doula UK, the leading network of doulas in UK, and a Doula Mentor. She is also a certified HypnoBirthing Childbirth Practitioner.
Anne is the first person I connected with when I decided to start on my path as a Birth Photographer and is at the heart of hypno birthing in NI.
She is warm, full of knowledge, wisdom and kindness. Anne was eager to help when I reached out to find out more about her work and her experience of birth photography in NI. We spent the longest time chatting over coffee, but it felt like no time had passed at all! Her name, Mother Doula could not be more apt.
Here's a little interview to find out more about Anne, the role of a doula and how she could help you.
What is the role of a doula to you?
Well I couldn’t sum it up any better than what a client had engraved on a bracelet for me - ‘my calming presence’.
What led you to become a doula?
I came across an article in a magazine years ago about a postnatal doula, and thought it would be rewarding to do something like that when I was older - so the seed was sown! I also had been lucky enough to be a birth partner for my sister and was blown-away by the whole birthing experience. I believe this experience and my own births shaped my passion to researching about doulas. I also talked to some people connected in midwifery, and then decided to go ahead with the training and see where it would take me!
What did you do before becoming a doula?
I’ve worked in many jobs throughout my life: banking, social care, administrative, PA, childminder. Just before I trained as a doula, I was working as Admissions Director in an International school in Tbilisi, Georgia.
How do you assist at birth?
This is an interesting question, as I’m not going to give away my secrets! Really there is no straight forward answer and the way I assist at a birth depends completely on what the birthing mum wants. Sometimes it’s hands on with massage, hip squeezes, effleurage, and sometimes it’s just a quiet whisper of reassurance or HypnoBirthing techniques. I also look out for the partner to ensure they are fed and watered, or maybe simply words of reassurance.
How do you assist postpartum?
As a postnatal doula I would agree an individualised plan with the mum beforehand. I offer support with the new baby such as feeding, crying, sleeping, babywear; support with pets, cooking, light housework, helping with older siblings, and sometimes mum just wants some emotional support. Signposting to other professionals, support groups or evidence-based resources is also part of my role.
Why is a doula helpful / needed in the labour process?
There are various reasons why a mum employs a doula to be with her during labour and birth. Sometimes she wants another female who has experience of birth to be with her and her partner to offer practical and emotional support. Sometimes a mum feels she needs someone to advocate for her with her medical team.
What are the current restrictions for your role because of Coronavirus? And how are you working around these challenges?
Some Trusts are restricting mums from having more than one birth partner, and if they consider a doula to be a birthing partner, then that rules us out unfortunately. I have been lucky to be able to attend all births so far, both at hospital and at home. Teaching HypnoBirthing is mainly now done via zoom, but it’s working out just fine and I’ve been able to reduce the cost to clients as there are no travel expenses :)
Every birth is different, but what do you do without fail in every labour with your clients?
I tell every birthing mum how amazing she is, how strong her body is, how beautiful she is - because every birthing mum is!
What is the main reason that your clients give for hiring you?
The main reason is because they had a previous traumatic birthing experience :(
What top books would you recommend to expectant mothers?
The Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill. Birth like a feminist by Milli Hill. Why doulas matter by Maddie McMahon. HypnoBirthing by Marie Mongan. The Bump by Kate Evans. Any book by Ina May Gaskin.
What part of your job do you most enjoy? I'm sure it's hard to pick just one!
The best part is when I know mum is about to meet her baby - it’s the best feeling in the world!
You can contact Anne by email: firstname.lastname@example.org