Chloe and her partner Jude are both in their early thirties and having just bought their dream home together, found out they were expecting their first child. One of Jude’s first concerns was the amount of plastic toys that might soon fill their home – while Chloe was obviously nervous about the birth itself! So she decided to kill two birds with one stone and set up a patchwork to fund a doula. That way she would get the support she needed and their family would know exactly what they could buy for them – avoiding all the plastic! We asked Chloe all about it.
Tell us more about why you set up a patchwork?
My partner’s sister introduced me to the idea of getting a Doula, someone who could answer my many questions and support us in the lead up to the birth.
After realising that the costs of a Doula can be expensive we both felt that the money our families would be eager to spend on tiny outfits and teddies would be better spent helping us feel prepared and confident about the birth and early parenthood.
After contributing to a friend’s honeymoon via Patchwork earlier in the year we thought we would create our own and family and friends could fund the help and support of a doula.
We knew that our families were eager to help us, so we wanted them to be able to do so in a way that was practical and useful.
What was the best bit about funding through patchwork?
It was lovely reading all the messages and made us feel so supported during such a special time and such a big change in our lives.
Although the birth itself didn’t go to plan, I have fond and positive emotions surrounding other aspects of the birth and labour and our Doula contributed massively to this. And memories last forever
How were you feeling in the lead up to your birth?
Being the first in our group of friends to venture into the new world of parenthood we were a little overwhelmed by all the things we needed to consider. As a mum-to-be I was eager to know about all my options but was overwhelmed by all the available information on the internet.
Why did you feel you wanted a Doula?
I wanted the continuity of care that a doula provides that unfortunately I feel is absent in today’s maternity system. Between my initial checkups the midwives would always differ from occasion to occasion and there wasn’t that feeling of having someone you know and respect to answer the many questions you will have.
That’s why having a Doula is such a magical gift as you have someone who can be with you along the whole journey who understands your concerns and worries and is able to make you feel confident and self-assured at a time of such importance. The relationship between me and my lovely Doula has continued to this day and my boy’s face always lights up when he sees her.
How did having a Doula prepare you for birth and parenthood?
The Doula answered my long list of questions over a tea at our home, she was a calm and reassuring presence. Although respecting the magnitude of the occasion she made birth feel as though it was an everyday occurrence – which of course it is!
Our time with her made us fully aware of our options in regards to the birth and during the hours after birth she was able to help greatly with breastfeeding and through the days that followed was a continual support.
Even now with our little boy being older I still attend a post-natal group my Doula runs, it is a relationship that I am sure will continue for many years to come, and with that in mind Patchwork enabled our family and friends to provide our new family with a gift that keeps giving.
Thank you Chloe, Jude and little Lenny for sharing your incredible Patchwork story with us. Inspired by their story? You can see more new parent gift ideas here.