Meet Wayne
Bournemouth’s first Male Doula!

Yes! Believe it or not I happen to be a man and just also happen to be a doula!

When people find out I am a doula, I generally get one of two responses:

“You’re a what-uh?”
“guys actually do that?”

Yes! I am a Doula and Bournemouth’s first male one at that!

I strive to uphold the definition: unbiased support, affirmation, and education for families during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. While the word doula is on its way to becoming commonplace, it’s not quite there yet, and people who do know what a doula is automatically think “woman.” If you didn’t already know that male doulas exist and are definitely a thing, it might surprise you to learn that there are people out there who would actually prefer to hire a male doula than a female doula.

Why did you choose to become a doula?

I first worked with pregnant ladies when I lived in Cornwall and worked at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in 2012. I instantly realised that it was a calling for me. Since then I have worked in the NHS supporting midwives and I have to say the general reception I receive is positive. The birth of both my own children was an awakening for me as I welcomed them into the world, it was a moment I will never forget. The immense emotions. an incredible moment in my life. Utterly beautiful. One of which was a moment of clarity for what I may be able to bring to families preparing to do the same. Especially as a partner, I realized that the birth world is rife with women telling other women how it should be done; That isn’t something I agree with.

I believe in guiding families to do it the way they want it to be done. And a large portion of that is bringing a greater focus and inclusion to the partner.

A midwife focuses on the birth of the infant from a medical point of view. Yes they are there to help you in other ways as well but their priority is to help you birth the infant safely. A doula focuses on your emotional wellbeing and supports you in the simplest of ways such as getting you a drink, changing the music or wiping your forehead.

After the initial shock of finding out that I am a MALE doula, the most common follow up question is…

Don’t partners worry about being replaced by you?

The reality is, frequently as doulas we find ourselves supporting the birthing person’s partner just as much as, if not more than, the person in labor. My lack of an empathetic understanding of what going through childbirth feels like is somewhat exchanged for a sympathetic understanding of the partner and their role.

I get it. A tall, bearded dude may not be your first thought of supporters some may want at their birth, but when that second thought rolls around some might just find it the perfect fit.

Male doulas may not be for everyone, but we are definitely the perfect choice for some.

What is a doula?

Doula is a compassionate experienced person who offers emotional and practical support to a woman (or a couple) before, during and after childbirth. A doula will do everything in their power to take away any worry, doubts and stress away from their client with a caring and professional attitude. That, therefore enables a woman to have the most satisfying and empowered time that she can during pregnancy, birth and the early days as a new mum. A doula understands the physiology and emotions of birth and stays by the woman’s side all throughout labour. One of the doula’s primary goals is to care for the mother’s emotional health and enhance her ability to have positive birth memories. This type of support and reassurance also helps the whole family to relax and enjoy the experience. ​

Research has shown that having a doula present:

  • Shortens first-time labour by an average of 2 hours
  • Decreases the chance of caesarean section by 50%
  • Decreases the need for pain medication
  • Helps fathers participate with confidence
  • Increases success in breastfeeding
  • Helps to experience birth in a positive way
What do you do?

As a doula, I believe that childbirth is a normal part of life, therefore everyone should feel safe, comfortable and in control when giving birth. No matter where and how you choose to do it, I am there to think ahead and deal with some situations for you so that you are empowered and secure to do what feels right for you in the moment.
Whether you are:

  • at home
  • on the labour ward
  • at the Birth Centre
  • having a Caesarean birth.

As your doula, I am there to support and encourage you every step of the way and point you to the right information when you need to make a choice. I will accompany you (and your partner) through the process of preparing for birth and support you during labour, birth and bonding.

I do not interfere with medical professionals but I can assist in examinations & be in attendance as a support & chaperone.

I cannot and will not make decisions for you but I can act as a spokesperson for you and rely your wishes (which you would have expressed to me prior to labour) should you wish me to do so.

You are in control, my role is to be led by you, providing the support that you may need along the way. The kind of support I give is often emotional, practical and informational, and will be offered unconditionally and without judgement. You are in charge and it is my mission to ensure you are comfortable during (and immediately after) your pregnancy. I tailor the services provided individually depending on your wishes, experience and preferences. It might be helping you navigate the NHS system; providing in-depth teaching on physiology of labour and birth; leading breath and relaxation sessions; helping you understand and process any feelings you have around birth and parenting; aid with writing your birth plan; pointing you towards relevant books and articles; sharing recommendations for local services and specialists; assisting with the shopping for the baby and packing the hospital bag; arming you with the information on caring for your newborn. The list can go on and on, until you feel “all set” both in the emotional and practical sense.

I do not come between you and your partner but rather support both of you during birth. I am able to make suggestions for labour progress, help with relaxation, breath, positioning and other comfort measures. I needed, I guide the partner to help the birthing mother. If the labour starts at home, I will help you decide when it’s the right time to go to the hospital, will travel with you and stay with you all the way through. I will help safeguard your bonding period and help with feeding your baby.

What is covered in your Doula package and how much does it cost?

Every single birth is completely different and every lady has different requirements and expectations.
Therefore the price depends on what you would like to include in your Doula Package.
This is what you can choose to include in your package.

  • An initial free 30 min consultation to give us a chance to talk face to face and see if I might be the doula for you.
  • Four antenatal meetings with you at your home.
  • One-to-one Pregnancy yoga class (or classes) specifically tailored to help during labour and birth.
  • Unlimited contact by phone, whatsapp or email all throughout your pregnancy from the time of booking.
  • Help with writing a birth plan taking all your wishes into consideration.
  • Coming shopping with you for the baby or alone if required.
  • Assisting you getting the hospital bag ready or doing it myself if required.
  • A 24/7 on-call period from 38 weeks of pregnancy until the baby is born. Or earlier if you wish.
  • Attendance and support during labour & birth.
  • Help with bonding – typically a few hours after the birth but definitely not ending before the first feed.
  • Two postnatal sessions to de-brief the birth, help with the feeding or any other support needed (that can include holding the baby while you shower!).
  • One Postnatal recovery meal tailored to your diet. Yes! I come to your house and come cook for you while you rest! (Usually you would request this in the first three days of resuming normal routine)
  • 6 weeks of postnatal support via phone, whatsapp or email

Price: from £395

I offer an initial FREE 30 min face-to-face consultation to give us a chance to meet and see if I might be the doula for you. It is completely free with no obligation to book. In fact I purposefully do not take bookings until you have had time to think and reflect about your decision after meeting with me for a minimum of 24 hours. This is all about you and your baby (and partner of course!) It is essential to me that you are completely comfortable throughout.

Doula based in Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole
Treasure the Moments

Pregnant ladies were surveyed* and asked about their opinions on Male Doula’s:
*Abby Powell, Doulas of Memphis
"If there were a male doula in my area, I would hire one in approximately .5 seconds."
"I am happily married with a fairly conservative religious background, and nothing about hiring a male doula offends my sensibilities."
"When I was growing up, I had difficulty relating to girls. I was teased quite a bit and I found that hanging out with the guys allowed for me to be myself without the drama. It’s only recently in my adult life that I’ve been able to make deep and lasting friendships with women."
"A male OB/GYN delivered my last baby and he was kind, gentle, and never once did I consider his gender as something that would make him less capable or qualified."
"I don’t want a massage therapist to have to work around my clothes to do their job, so I generally go without. Never once have I questioned a massage therapist’s motives in their professional environment. They are taught draping techniques to protect the modesty of their clients and when I’m on that table, To me, a male doula is no different."
"Honestly, my husband probably needs a doula more than I do."
"Doulas are experts in supporting partners, and another male to help him and relate to his experience while I concentrate on labouring would be a huge plus for me."
"I don’t need a specific gender. I need a doula that knows what they are doing for emotional support."
"When I labour, I tend to draw inward and don’t want to be touched until I do, and then I want strong, capable hands to provide relief and counterpressure."
"When I hire a doula, I want someone there who is available to focus on me so that my husband can enter this new stage of parenthood with me as rested and refreshed as possible."
"I don’t feel that this role must exclusively be filled by a woman."
"As more male doulas enter the scene, I feel strongly that we should not view anyone as less credible based solely upon their gender."
"Everyone has preferences, and even if you prefer a woman to support you in labour, that doesn’t make a male doula less qualified."
"Male doulas take the same doula training that female doulas do, and while they may not have experienced birth personally, each doula does this work out of a desire to support birthing families."
"I encourage the birth community to welcome male doulas with open arms, ready to learn from their unique, fresh perspectives."