Postnatal (Recognised since November 2020)
Birth (Recognised since September 2019)
Lives in: London N5 1
Local info and availability:
North, East and Central London
I have worked in breastfeeding support since 2009
Hello, I’m Alice, welcome to my page. Originally from Cambridge, I have lived in North London for over 26 years and am a mum of four young people born between 1998 and 2005. My eldest was born in hospital on a very hot bank holiday weekend, and the younger three were born at home. My first home birth was a BBA, ‘Born Before Arrival’ – with the midwife arriving after my new daughter. It made me very aware of how your environment can influence birth in a positive way and this is something I carry with me in my work now. Feeling in control of my own choices and experiences made an enormous difference to me. As a breastfeeding specialist, working on hospital postnatal wards, understanding what new parents had gone through and listening to their stories, I felt sure there had to be another way. Another way to support those parents so they could feel held, and heard. Another way to make sure their wishes and knowledge were at the heart of their care, with each decision fully understood. This is why I became a doula.
Outside of my work, the things that sustain me are spending time with my family and friends, walking and cycling, seeing new places, watching films and listening to music. I am a positive person, not easily fazed. Navigating maternity services at the moment can be challenging (far more so than it should be) and it is a privilege to stand alongside families-to-be and new parents at such a formative time.
I would love to support you to have a positive birth and postnatal experience. Pregnancy and birth can be unpredictable, whatever path you find yourself on I will listen, help you to explore your options, provide evidence-based information, and be there for you, helping you to trust your instincts, and feel secure and relaxed. My birth package includes at least two antenatal sessions, the 24-hour-a-day on-call period from 38 weeks until your baby is born, birth support, a postnatal visit, and unlimited email and WhatsApp contact from time of booking. For a free, no-obligation chat (on the phone or face-to-face in person or via Zoom/WhatsApp) to find out more about me and how we can work together, do get in touch.
I can also be booked as a postnatal doula, to help with anything you need in those early days and weeks. It is an amazing, but frequently overwhelming, time. If you need feeding support, a chance to rest, time to explore and debrief your birth experience, help with an older child as they adapt to their new sibling, or someone to take on some cooking, laundry, housework, or cake making (cake is very important) please let me know.
You can find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alicemdoula/
Training and experience includes: Breastfeeding peer supporter Helper (2009) and Supporter (2011) – I have been working in this role continually since I trained, on hospital wards, in the community and at home visits; Birth Companions volunteer (since 2012) supporting vulnerable women and their babies at birth and postnatally; Biomechanics for Birth with Molly O’Brien; Human Rights in Childbirth (with Birthrights); SANDS training – Supporting families through loss; Tongue tie study day and update sessions; Rebozo training; Solihull approach training, supporting families with containment and reciprocity; VBAC course with Carmen Rocha & Kemi Johnson; Sleep workshop (with Islington CAMHS); Perinatal mental health (with Whittington Health); Paediatric first aid; From Pregnancy to Lactation – a Physiological Continuum, with Michel Odent; Alternative methods of feeding; Child Protection Level 3; Safeguarding adults; Supporting women with interventions; I ran a postnatal group at a Children’s Centre for two years (until funding ended), a calm, supportive space for new mums and their babies up to crawling age.
‘Alice was at our birth and we are so overjoyed that she was there. My partner and I often turn to each other and say that getting a doula was the best decision we made and that Alice was a true angel to us. My mother died the previous year and my good friend who I had hoped would be at my birth was out of the country. I really wanted to have some female energy at my birth which I had hoped would be at home. Having a doula reduces the chance of a hospital birth and of a c-section so I saw it as money going towards the birth I hoped to have. Alice was always there when we needed her; before, during and after the birth of our baby girl. She was available in person, by phone and on WhatsApp in the antenatal and postnatal period and really helped calm any anxieties or questions we had. At the birth she arrived so quickly and supported my partner throughout the birth which meant that we could be present together throughout and he wasn’t having to remember everything from the NCT classes we had attended. She worked closely and easily with the community midwives and helped me in those initial moments to start my breastfeeding journey, as she is also an experienced breastfeeding specialist. As I had a difficult start to breastfeeding, this skill was invaluable. Like so many before me, I was wary of whether I wanted someone I didn’t know very well at my birth – but honestly, Alice was the perfect balance of being in the foreground and in the background when I needed her to be. She was a calm, strong, kind, benevolent guiding presence that made me feel utterly supported and at ease. I was in safe hands and I am sure that her presence was part of my surprisingly (as it was my first) fast 8 hour labour. I will never forget the delicious tea and toast with peanut butter she made me after I had given birth to my baby girl and the placenta at home. In the early hazy days where we didn’t know what we were doing and inevitably came up against other health care professionals that gave differing advice, Alice was there and reminded us to take our time and consider all the options available to us. She remained impartial throughout, guiding us to make the decisions that were right for us. I cannot thank Alice enough for her help and support, such a guiding light.’
(From a new Dad) ‘I felt totally at home with Alice from the initial meet ups we had, and really felt like we were in safe hands. From my own perspective, I felt as if she understood who I was, and what role I hoped to be able to play in the birth of our baby, so would be able to help and aid my own birth partner experience too. When the time came, Alice was so helpful on the phone when contractions began. Calmly reassuring me, and talking me through things gently – a real confidence boost. Then, when Alice arrived at our house (again, judging it perfectly) she was able to help my partner with her breathing, and I could finish running the bath and getting the birthing pool set up and ready too. Having an extra knowledgable person with us really helped. It’s no fun turning air pumps and taps off and on between contractions! The hours we had together were utterly magical, and I still to this day marvel at how precious and private everything felt, even with someone we hadn’t known for very long in the room with us. A testament to Alice’s ability to read the situation. One of the things I’d initially been worried about was whether there might be any issues between midwives and doulas. I needn’t have worried. When our midwives arrived, Alice seemed like part of the family, and everyone worked really well together. It truly was the most magical day of my life, and I feel so lucky to have met Alice and have her help us on our special day. I hope everyone gets to have an Alice, just like we did!’
‘After a difficult first birth with our eldest son, we hired Alice as a birth doula to help us prepare for the birth of our second son. I was heavily monitored but Alice helped us understand what were the options that were being presented to me for our second son’s birth, going above and beyond to provide information that would help inform our choices. During the birth, Alice was there for my husband and I, helped eased pain with acupressure, and once again helped us ask the right questions which allowed me to make the right decision for that birth and our family (including eventually to have a second cesarean), making the process an empowering experience. Alice was warm, friendly, supportive and always available in the early days and weeks. She is hugely knowledgeable on breastfeeding, and provided hours of support and ideas. Alice is also extremely good at just slotting in to family life, which in pregnancy, birth, and in the early postpartum days is a blessing. I could not imagine having gone through that second pregnancy, birth, and post-birth period without Alice.’
‘There are no words we could use to recommend Alice more as a doula: we felt really lucky to have found such a nice, warm and professional person to accompany us in this important time of our life. Alice offered us the greatest support as a postnatal doula by being at the same time an expert regarding our baby and the recovery from giving birth, and in the meantime deeply reassuring and caring.’
‘Alice was the first person my partner and I were able to talk to about the trauma of my birth experience and I knew immediately she was the perfect person to help us in the first few days of parenthood: empathetic, kind, and a calming presence at a sometimes difficult time. Not only did she help us to process the emotional impact of what we had been through, she also gave me valuable advice on how to physically recover, and enabled me to rest as much as I needed in the first few weeks. I found her breastfeeding advice invaluable. She helped me get the hang of it at the start, and later on taught me new positions and techniques that made the whole thing feel less daunting. Crucially, she was non-judgmental when so many other people around me had strong opinions. I felt completely comfortable having Alice in my home and she was brilliant at seeing what help we needed before we did. I can’t recommend her highly enough as a postnatal doula and would welcome her back with open arms if I had another baby.’
(Working as a shared care doula with Sherridan Stymest) ‘We had a shared doula arrangement, as one of our doulas was booked for another birth close to our son’s predicted birth date so we did a doula-share. It was a fantastic decision that made the world of a difference and made our birth experience very positive despite some surprises along the way. This was our first child, we were in the middle of Covid and didn’t have a lot of in-person information, and we were quite nervous without family close by. Alice and Sherridan visited us three times before the birth and were on hand for any questions leading up. They helped walk us through what was to come, in detail, and helped us make our birth preferences (not plans!). During my labour, Alice was “on call” and was a steady but very warm and reassuring presence. She helped us speak up at key parts during the birth, for example the transition from the midwife-led centre into the delivery suite, the quick decision to get an (unplanned) epidural, and the decision to use the kiwi cup. Straight after the birth, Alice helped me breastfeed our son without any challenge and this continued on for many months with ease. We also had post-partum care from Alice, and Sherridan visited the next day with a steady and calm helpful information and demonstrations. Myself and my husband would thoroughly recommend working before or after pregnancy, or during labour, with such fantastic, caring and steady women.’
‘Alice made all the difference to us as a post-partum doula, she is extremely knowledgeable and brought us a lot of confidence at such an uncertain time. She answered our numerous questions as we prepared our birth plan. She also helped us to make informed decisions during labour, and to look after our baby when we came back home.’
‘My husband and I decided to get a post partum doula for our 2nd baby as we had no support in London and a 3 year old to manage. Alice supported us in the first few weeks after birth and was the extra pair of hands and mental and emotional support that we needed at the time. She was happy to help with anything, from the day to day household tasks of folding laundry and cooking healthy nutritious meals, to listening to my worries / concerns and most importantly being a huge support on my breastfeeding journey. After having had a tough time with my first child, this was an area that I needed guidance and help from. Alice was the perfect person to provide that, she was caring and understanding yet hugely knowledgeable and instrumental in identifying my son’s tongue tie which was impacting his feeding. We are so grateful for all of her support and would highly recommend her to anyone looking for help during those first few weeks.’
‘Alice was the best decision we made in the lead up to the birth of our baby. Gentle and compassionate, Alice was a constant source of reassurance and guidance, while always respecting our wishes and making us feel 100% at ease. She provided a continuity that was lacking in the busy healthcare system and a thorough knowledge of maternity services which helped us to better understand our options. We felt so much more relaxed with her presence at the birth (for me her use of acupressure was better pain relief than gas and air!), and her readiness to answer any question big or small in those early, sleep-deprived days of parenthood was an enormous comfort, as well as enormously helpful. The breastfeeding support was an added bonus too. I cannot thank Alice enough for the special role she played in our journey to becoming parents.’
‘Alice was an incredible help during the first few weeks of our baby’s life, bringing calm, empathy and reassurance to our topsy-turvy new world. We struggled to establish breastfeeding and her deep experience in this area was a real benefit. I’d recommend her to anyone looking for postnatal support.’
‘The thought of having you by my side before the birth really eased my mind and helped me relax, be really positive about what was about to happen rather than feel scared.’
‘My husband and I hired Alice to be our postpartum doula to help after the birth of our son and it was one of the best choices we made. We would have hired her to be a birth doula as well if it wasn’t for the restrictions around birth partner numbers at the time due to fluctuating Covid restrictions. Feeling fragile after a somewhat traumatic birth, it was a salve to the soul to have Alice’s calm, wise, and warm presence and assistance. Nothing was too much trouble and she always seemed to sense exactly what we all needed at any given point in time, whether that was her looking after our son to give time to me & my husband to take a nap or doing laundry or dishes. We also both found very informally debriefing our birth experience with Alice to be really helpful. Most importantly, she was fundamentally important to the success of my breastfeeding journey with my son, something I am happy and confident about now though I was very anxious and unsure initially. There’s no way I would still be breastfeeding now if it hadn’t been for Alice and I have been EBF a (massive!) baby for over 4 months now, despite HVs and midwives suggesting that I would need to “top up” with formula to meet his needs. She identified a posterior tongue tie when even all the midwives and HVs missed it and having that revised made a massive difference to my breastfeeding experience as it was extremely painful before having this done but is 100% pain free now. I’ve also met all my personal breastfeeding goals with help from Alice, including expressing milk so my son can take a bottle and allow me out for a few hours here and there for errands. Plus I’m quite sure her wisdom also prevented me from getting mastitis as I was a bit overeager on the expressing front in the first few weeks after birth and would’ve caused an oversupply without her advice. I’ve recommended her to all local friends who are pregnant and I consider her to have been a really important part of my son’s first few months. Particularly after a traumatic birth, having a successful breastfeeding experience was very healing for me and also very bonding with my son and I wouldn’t have had that without Alice so I’ll always be grateful. The best advice I can give you is to hire her now!’
‘As parents-to-be, easily our best decision was to engage Alice as our post-natal doula. Alice was with us in the early weeks after our daughter was born, when I was at low ebb following a Caesarian section and rough overnight stay at the hospital, and we – as first-time parents – were most in need of some emotional and practical support. Alice was such a kind, calm and reassuring presence throughout. We were grateful for all her help and advice, and for the precious hours of sleep she granted us by sitting with our baby for us some afternoons. But most of all we would like to thank her for her support with breast-feeding. It would have been so easy to feel discouraged, in the early days especially, but with Alice’s many tips and words of encouragement, we have persevered and made a go of it. We have no hesitation at all in recommending Alice to you. She has made all the difference to our first weeks as parents; we honestly can’t imagine having lived through it without her.’
‘Alice is a wonderful doula. Her calm presence while I was in labour helped keep me calm and set the tone for the environment I wanted. She was an extremely valuable sounding board for both my husband and myself when it came to making decisions about the best way to move forward during my labour. Alice’s was cool-headed while being our advocate to the healthcare professionals and knew the best ways to productively interact with them to remove tension, and also assert our interest in an environment that was more about risk prevention defining labour than an ideal labour experience. Alice helped me to create the best labour experience I could have in the circumstances and to feel really positive about it, even when it didn’t go the way I had hoped. My husband and I were both very grateful to have her there. Having my baby during the coronavirus pandemic, Alice was completely flexible with adjustments we needed to make. I would very highly recommend Alice as a doula.’
‘We are so grateful to have Alice help us transition into the fourth trimester. As first time parents, we were uncomfortable with our new reality. It was, therefore, incredibly helpful to have Alice as our postnatal doula, guiding us along the way and empowering us to be confident parents. We appreciated her style – rather than telling us what we should do, she would observe what we did and shared recommendations on how we could improve. She was extremely helpful in helping me get back to my health, as I was recovering from c-section, by taking the physical and mental stress of maintaining a running household with homecooked meals. I am also incredible thankful to have a postnatal doula who is also a breastfeeding expert. I knew in my pregnancy that I wanted to breastfeed and understood that it could be challenging to get started. However, the challenge proved to be surmountable as Alice helped me with breastfeeding positions and tips to improve the latch. I am certain that I would not be as confident in breastfeeding and parenting right now, if we didn’t have Alice for the first couple of weeks. We highly recommend Alice as a postnatal doula!’
‘Alice was an invaluable support to us over the first few weeks of new family life. Her wealth of experience was clearly evident and her warm, friendly approach made me feel instantly at ease. Alice’s presence in our home made a huge difference to my postnatal and breastfeeding journey and I couldn’t recommend her more highly.’
‘Having Alice as our doula at the birth of our first child was the best decision we made. Alice met with us several times before the birth and listened to our hopes and concerns of the birth. She made it comfortable to talk about any issues that concerned us and would follow up with recent studies and research, to help us make informed decisions. She never imposed her own preferences but allowed us space to form our own views. Alice’s kindness and generosity reveal that this is more than a job for her, she genuinely cares for her clients and wants to see them thrive. We would highly recommend Alice as a doula. She was an asset in our birth experience; we’re so thankful for her support before, during and after.’ ‘Alice immediately made us feel calm, listened to, cared for. She was clearly experienced with birth and breastfeeding (despite being mentored [Feb 2019]), non-judgmental and warm without being obtrusive or over-bearing. A great balance.’
‘Alice gave up-to-date information backed up by research. She supported me completely in my wishes, going beyond my expectations in her commitment to me during labour and after the birth.’
‘It was a great experience having Alice to help us right after giving birth. Her calm and open-minded approach gave us a lot of comfort and reassurance. We learned a lot of new tricks and methods. She is an expert in the field and patiently answered all our millions of questions… even over the phone and via WhatsApp when we did not see her.’