Jewish mum denies press reports she is going to be Meghan Markle's doula

Lauren Mishcon laughs as she tells the JC: 'The more I deny it, the more people believe it'


Forget Brexit, antisemitism in Labour or Trump’s State Of The Union address. The real story leading the news this week is Meghan Markle’s birth plan. More specifically her alleged plans to hire a doula.

Described as "breaking with royal tradition", a doula is a non-medical professional present at childbirth who offers emotional and practical support to a woman or couple before, during and after the birth.

According to reports, the doula that she and Prince Harry have picked is Jewish mum-of-three, Lauren Mishcon.

The Sun reports she “has had an active role in preparing for the birth, giving Prince Harry advice on how to support Meghan during labour”.

Hello! adds that “it's a nice coincidence that Lauren even has a royal connection, since she's married to Oliver Mishcon – the grandson of solicitor Lord Mishcon, whose law firm handled the divorce of Princess Diana and Prince Charles.”

But Mrs Mishcon has told the JC she is “not Meghan Marke’s doula”.

“It’s the result of a Facebook joke on my personal page and a very tenuous connection between my husband’s grandfather and Princess Diana,” she told the JC, laughing. “The more I deny it, the more people believe it.”

However, as a doula with eleven years’ experience, Mrs Mishcon said she would recommend a doula’s services to the Duchess of Sussex. “It’s certainly not just for princesses – even Jewish princesses.”

She said: "Meghan is a now a Royal, but she is also still just a woman who is about to become a first time mum and may understandably have all the same common concerns surrounding her birth as anyone else... 

"She may feel that she would like someone experienced in childbirth to provide some non-medical emotional and physical support to guide her and Harry through the process."

According to Doula UK, there is evidence that having a doula can reduce the risk of an instrumental birth, shorten labour and increase the likelihood of successfully establishing breastfeeding, as well as showing an “increased parental satisfaction with the birth experience”.

Mrs Mishcon added: "When I started out in 2007 hardly anybody had heard of the word doula. Now, I have grown busier every year and due to the fact that as I can only take on one or two clients per month (as I am on call 24/7 for the month surrounding the due date) I have often had to turn people away despite working with my Jewish doula partner Nina Forman."

She also noted that "having another woman with you while you give birth is not a new idea".

Describing herself as a “bog standard, mainstream, Zara-wearing woman” in an attempt to de-mystify the service, Mrs Mishcon said: “It’s not an alternative thing, it’s not even a middle class thing. 

"I see single mums as well as couples and have an access fund for those unable to afford a doula”.

Doulas range in price depending on location and experience, starting at around £500 for a mentee doula (doula in training) or up to £2,000 for an experienced doula in London.

“Doulas aren’t just there for the mums,” Mrs Mishcon said.

“I get more thanks from first-time dads than from the mums; after all they’ve never done it before and they’re expected to be the perfect birth partner.”

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