Postnatal (Recognised since May 2023)
Birth (Recognised since September 2023)
Lives in: Belvedere DA17
Local info and availability:
London Postcodes starting SE or DA, other postcodes by arrangement or by virtual/online means
Languages spoken other than English:
British Sign Language
Babywearing & Carrying Consultancy, Chestfeeding & Breastfeeding Support, Psychotherapy, Perinatal Mental Health Therapy, Bereavement Counselling
Hi, I’m ‘The Doula Manda’. I support families of all constellations to grow and thrive through pregnancy, birth and the immediate postpartum period. I offer birth preparation, birth attendance, and postnatal doula support. I also have breastfeeding/chestfeeding, babywearing, and perinatal mental health qualifications.
As your Doula it is my job to increase the likelihood of a positive birth and fourth trimester experience by providing bespoke support to you and your family. I work with you at every stage to ensure you are aware of all your available options; we make space to focus on your family’s unique needs and hopes, and I support you to make informed choices that really feel ‘right’ for you. Every family, every woman, and every birthing person is different. I passionately want you to have a ‘good’, empowering, and joyful birth experience, but I have no preconceptions about what ‘a good birth’ would look like for you – that is for us to discover together!
About Me. I am a warm, creative, adaptable and open-minded person with a diverse professional background spanning academia, technical theatre and various psychotherapy and mental health roles. I am a mum to three girls, one of whom I gave birth to and two of whom I met when they were a little older, co-parenting in a polyamorous family in Bexley, London. I trained as a Doula because I passionately believe every birth is a life-altering experience and yet many of us are encouraged to spend more time researching and debating which pram to buy then where and how we want to birth our baby! I saw how many of us, particularly first time parents, yearned for traditional support structures and wanted a robust set of skills to step in and help families and birthing people at this profoundly important (and sometimes a little overwhelming!) time. I am fiercely committed to offering all families non-judgemental and evidence-based information alongside plenty of love, wisdom, and a respect for the profound significance of birth. Oh, and tea. Lots, and lots, of tea!
My Support. Pinning down exactly what my support will look like can be tricky as the relationship will naturally differ from family to family and from birth to birth. More examples of the support I can provide can be found on my website www.thedoulamanda.co.uk but might include: – Signposting evidence based information to assist you in making confident, informed decisions around pregnancy, birth planning, contingency planning, and 4th trimester choices. – Providing practical and emotional support planning for and adapting to life with the new baby, be it a first baby or a new sibling joining the family constellation. – Providing practical and emotional support during labour; perhaps through massage, position changes, encouragement or other comfort techniques we identified in advance as appropriate and supportive for you. – Post-birth support at home, which may include breastfeeding / chestfeeding support, supporting you to develop practical skills for example holding, feeding and changing your baby / light housework or food preparation by agreement.
All Welcome. I work with all families but specifically welcome the opportunity to support LGBTQ+ families, including same sex parents, polyamorous families, trans and non binary parents, solo parents and single mothers by choice. I am dedicated to receiving ongoing anti-racism education and I commit to spending at least 50% of the CPD required by my awarding bodies training with teachers from the global majority My study to date includes cultural competency training for those supporting Black and Brown birthing people and individual CPD aimed at white practitioners for both Black Breastfeeding Week and Black Babywearing Week.
Feedback: “Manda was incredible during my labour and birth, she was such a warm, soothing, encouraging presence, and seemed to know instinctively what I needed, whether it was hugs, encouraging words, counter pressure, a change of position or an empowering reminder that I could use my voice and some gas and air when things got more intense. I felt so supported and safe which meant that I could let go and let my body do what it needed. I found Manda’s depth of knowledge and commitment to evidence-based information really reassuring. She brought to my birthing experience a wonderful combination of kindness, empathy and acceptance, along with being a total badass who you know wouldn’t be afraid to stick up for you if the situation required it. At a time when I felt both intensely powerful and intensely vulnerable, Manda was exactly who I needed by my side.” ~ H.S-L.