“When enough women realize that birth is a time of great opportunity to get in touch with their true power, and when they are willing to assume responsibility for this, we will reclaim the power of birth and help move technology where it belongs–in the service of birthing women, not their master.” – Christiane Northrup
I am mum to three wild ones (11, 8, 6) who all entered the world very differently and whose births have been a huge part of the blueprint that makes up my practice today.
I have often heard it said that being a Doula is a vocation rather than a career choice and this has certainly been true for me. I think the work definitely chose me; working as a Doula was a natural transition as I came to understand the real need there is for quality, consistent support for child-bearing women.
Until the birth of first son I had just thought that child- birth would ‘happen’ and I would know what to do (or maybe I would be asleep and a baby would magically appear next to me in the morning, no pain, no worries) However, upon finding myself pregnant I suddenly realised how little I really knew about any of it and sadly experienced poor support in my own early pregnancy. I was desperate for information and really wanted to feel held and guided on my journey. It took much research and many classes until I found the support that was right for me. As a result I feel so strongly that women should have access to good support throughout their pregnancy and labour and also understand the real difference this can make to their state of mind.
Birth is not just a medical process (as many would have you believe) but it is a spiritual, ancient, instinctive and sacred process. I believe every woman has a right to plan and own her birth journey, whatever that may be. And remember, there is no right way to birth!
I believe that birth can be an empowering experience but in order for this to happen a woman has to feel safe, secure, loved and supported on her journey. It is an honour as a Doula to be able to help put these supports in place.
Part of being able to feel safe and in control is through being kept informed. I can help you find information as your pregnancy progresses, help you to understand the implications of any complications and empower you to make the choices that you feel are right for you and you baby. I can guide you through active birth techniques to aid you labour and hope to sprinkle a little birth confidence throughout your pregnancy so you are ready to face the big day! Even if your birth journey takes an unexpected turn if you have the chance to be ‘heard’ throughout then often the process remains a positive one. I will protect your wishes throughout your labour acting as your voice and your advocate, allowing you (and your partner) to birth peacefully.
Everybirth is different! I will always listen to your wishes and be guided by you. Often just having someone to talk it through with can help you find your way. There are no silly questions, wrong ideas, or set ways to do things. I have supported at home-birth, hospital birth, water-birth and VBAC. Whilst I bring my experiences with me, your birth will write it’s own story.
I like to think I am a warm and intuitive person. I am passionate about ‘mothering the mother’ during her greatest time of need however that role develops. I will offer practical, emotional and caring support throughout. This will range from simply a listening ear through to massage and alternative therapies during labour and even cleaning up the kitchen postnatally!
Not every Doula will be well-suited for you, it is really important you do your research and find someone who fits with you and your family. As a Doula I take a holistic approach to your care using natural remedies as part of my practice to help you physically as well as support you emotionally.
Me in a nutshell: I live in organised chaos, feel before I think, value time with my family above all else (except maybe chocolate), love to bring a bit of make-believe into our lives and you'll often find us all outdoors exploring. I hate spiders (luckily you won't find many in labour rooms), being told what to do (that's why I'm my own boss) and injustice (phew a biggy!). I believe every job should be done properly, or not all, so you won't find me undertaking anything half-heartedly.
If you would like to meet for an informal discussion I work across Wiltshire and within a 1 hour radius of Swindon. There is no job too small and I am always available just to chat if you need some advice or are not sure if using a Doula is the solution for you.
I would also encourage you to contact my local colleagues Emma Glover,Sam Bounds, Kathryn Beal or use the Doula Uk pages to find other Doula's working in your area.
A typical antenatal package will include me being available to you for phone-calls and emails from the time we decide to work together.
There are usually two prenatal appointments, roughly two hours long each. Whilst sometimes I work with women as their sole support, where Dads are involved it is a really important part of the process to work together as a unit. I work with both you and your birthing partner during these sessions to help you both to feel confident about and involved in the birth process. As part of these sessions we may talk about your previous birth experiences, your fears and anxieties and how to release these, learn active birth techniques and discuss your birthing plan.
I am always on the end of the phone and available to answer questions via email and I can attend medical appointments with you if you feel you need some additional support (additional fees may apply).
I will be on-call for you from 38 weeks-42 weeks. Although if your baby should arrive outside of this time I would always do my best to be there!
I will attend you during your labour from the moment you call, until a few hours after the birth, when you feel ready for me to leave (I usually leave you and your new family tucked up and gazing lovingly at each other).
Once your baby is here I will visit once or twice (depending on your need) to make sure you are all on track, listen to your birth story and support with any postpartum issues.
You also have full, free access to my birth pool, library of birth and baby books, herbal teas and remedies throughout pregnancy and birth.
As a postnatal Doula I would usually visit you in blocks of 2-3 hours (up to 6) and can help with a wide variety of tasks.
I can help with your day to day routine, support breast-feeding, look after other siblings, do the shopping ,cooking, light housework, be just an extra pair of hands (particularly useful with multiples) or simply provide a cuppa, hug and listening ear when needed. I am happy to support evening sessions too helping out when babies can be most unsettled.
Every family is different and I am there to support the whole family as well as mum and baby. I have a can-do attitude and will muck in and do whatever it is that is most helpful within your family unit. With our parents and grandparents often living far way having a newborn in the home and no-one there to support can sometimes be hard. There are somedays you just need reassurance, someone there to tell you it's all fine and that you are doing a great job!