Ok, so I know I am only in the first trimester but I have already been thinking about the birth and how I would love it to be a positive, enriching experience. I've been wondering about using a doula. I would still have my husband with me at all times but I like the idea of an experienced, supportive woman being there too. I would particularly like a doula who could help me with relaxation and breathing techniques. I'm also thinking about taking a hypnobirthing course - I would like to combine these (i.e. use a doula who I have studied hypnobirthing with).

I asked my friend who is training to be a midwife about hypnobirthing and also doulas. She said hypnobirthing is great for shortening labours and minimising interventions - particularly if you have experienced a previous traumatic birth. She said that ideally women wouldn't need a doula as the midwife would act in this role. However, it does depend on your midwife and many women find a doula who they know useful at the birth.

What do you think? Have you used a doula at the birth of your child? Would you recommend this?