Birth (Recognised since January 2004)
Lives in: E17 4EJ E17
Local info and availability:
I work within 30 mile radius of central London. Covering East London, Central London, Greater London, Essex boarders, Docklands and out towards Greenwich, Lewisham & Brockley.
Active Birth Educator, YogaBirth Pregnancy & Post Birth Yoga Teacher, Pilates Mat and Reformer Teacher, Mizan Women's self care Abdominal Massage; Pregnancy & Postnatal Massage; Counselling & Birth Trauma Recovery Sessions; Craniosacral Therapy, Pre & Postnatal Birth Doula. Doterra Wellness Advocate.
My name is Arlene Dunkley-Wood and I am married with three wonderful children. I live in Walthamstow – North East London.
I have been a doula for more than 2 decades, since 1993 but member of DUK since 2004.
I birthed my first child in 1989, and was so blown away by the experience that I felt drawn to working with women. I trained as a Active Birth Teacher with Janet Balaskas in 1990-93.
In my mentorship period I attended a number of births and realised how vital this role was for supporting women and their partners to achieve the birth they wanted to welcome their baby into this world. This period in history was the late 90s; there wasn’t a lot of choice in the birth place for women – especially where the use of water was concerned. Janet Balaskas and her then husband Keith Brainin designed and pioneered the promotion of the use of water as a tool to help create a calm and relaxed birth. I was one of those women who used the fibre glass pool at my home for my first birth in 1989 and then again 1991 and 1995. Hard to believe when now we have at least 2 birthing pools as the norm in most birth units up and down the country.
It wasn’t until 2004 that I discovered that the birth support I had been doing for 11 years already was know as “handmaiden or Doula”.
I joined DUK in 2004 as a recognised birth doula. I was a mentored birth doula for a couple of years and also East London Regional Representative for DUK.
I have attended a variety of births; mostly pretty straight forward; some more challenging. I have supported women from all backgrounds and cultures. My experience covers home and hospital births alike as well as first time mothers and women who have had quite traumatic experiences and wanted a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Caesarean secion often ask for my services) birth.
I currently live in Walthamstow in the North East of London with good local transport system, which allows me easy access to most London hospitals. I have been a member of Whipps Cross Hospitals Maternity Services Liaison Committees, and Queens MSLC in the past.
The doula has not always been welcomed by midwives or healthy professionals, so we have had to go that extra mile and be on MSLC, volunteer for breastfeeding cafes etc. But in general we work towards creating a safe and healthy relationship with the woman health professional, which is conducive to a speedier, calmer and more sensitive birth environment. My remit is always to the woman, her partner and her baby.
Birthing your baby with the best support around you can help empower and embolden the women at her most vulnerable time, whilst also in her moment of power.
I was a doula mentor for DUK for a couple of years. Which I really enjoyed, bringing on the next generation of doulas. I am joint regional rep again for East London with Lina Duncan. I will be holding regular meetings for local doulas in this area. Due to the Covid19 Pandemic it may have to be online for a period of time.
Hobbies and interests:
Cooking and baking bread & cakes, reading, swimming, dancing and I am also a beekeeper.
I believe in life long learning and always on the look out for good CPD’s relating to my work and interests. I also love going to Italy to practice yoga with my yoga guru Sandra Sabatini.
I have been blessed to have had 3 very positive birth experiences. I would love all my women to feel the empowerment that birthing and motherhood brings. But also know that births do not always go according to the best plans, so always open to bring positivity to all situation and respecting the mothers wishes at all times.
I believe in the physiological process of birth; but often find that the mental process gets in the way of a woman finding her power, trust of her instinctive self. My job as a doula is help her engage with that power and help her gain that trust again.
When a potential client contacts me, we will have a brief phone chat, after which she can book a (paid – which will be deducted from final invoice if booking has taken place) consultation with the woman & her partner, at a time that works for everyone.
At this session we will discuss the needs and expectations of the couple, this is a non-obligatory session. I hate the phrase “to see if we are a good fit.” Because neither of us are an item of clothing. We are negotiating and working out if we can work together. You are getting the right team around you to work towards that end. Through our further meetings we will build that bond and trust.
You would have already received pricing and package by email, so if you have any variation to that package, there is room for a full discussion.
Once engaged I will be on call for two weeks before and two weeks after the expected due date. But that doesn’t mean that if you happen to go into labour earlier or indeed later than that period that I won’t be available for you then.
I only take on max 2 couples per month, so that you feel completely confident that I will be there on hand, when you need me. I do have a colleague who we may do some shared care together and if you want that package their will be an extra investment, so that we can both make this work for you.
Included in the package are 2 prenatal visits and one postnatal visit. I won’t go into the full details of all the package, but suffice it to say that I never leave you until you and your partner and baby are completely happy and settled.
Additional service: Closing the bones, pre or postnatal massage or Craniosacral therapy, counselling & birth trauma recovery process, prior or after the labour and birth.
I qualified in 1993 as an Active Birth Teacher/Antenatal Teacher/YogaBirth Teacher. I bring the knowledge and training and pracitical experience into supporting the women as a doula. As part of the preparation for birth, I would whole heartedly encourage mothers to prepare their bodies and minds with yoga/aquanatal or some gentle regular exercise. I would also advocate that they join a birth preparation workshop in the last month leading up to their birth.
I qualified in Therapeutic Massage at the College of Holistic Medicine in 1987. I offer massage to women during pregnancy and the postnatal period.
I qualified in Counselling and Psychotherapy in 1995.
I am a trained Yoga Therapist and have been a member of the Association of Independent Yoga Practitioners (A.I.Y.P) since 2000. I teach prenatal yoga, aquanatal and aqua yoga therapy as well as Yoga for healthy backs and general Scaravelli Yoga classes. I have currently completed the BWY Intergrated Yoga course Level 4 (2014)
I am a registered Craniosacral Therapist (CSTA) since 2005.
As a therapist of over 20 years, there is a role for preparation for birth and post partium care using complimentary therapies. I have a thriving weekly practice which offers massage and craniosacral therapy to pregnant women, mothers and their family. I am also a trained fertility yoga instructor, trained with birthlight in 2013.
Currently I am also a IPC for doTERRA CPTG essential oils. The power and purity of these oils will help keep you calm and relaxed and help you prepare for your birth and labour. Also useful for after the birth to calm your baby and help digestion. I offer Aromatouch massage sessions using doTERRA CPTG.
November 2018 I underwent a training in Trauma Recovery Process which is a conversational based rewind of birth trauma, so that the client can let go and more forward with this birth. If you feel you need this session, please contact me.
Throughout 2019 I retrained as a pilates and reformer teacher, so I will be offering this service also to clients. I run regular Yoga and Yoga Nidra workshops and classes.
I feel really lucky and blessed that I can do the work that I am passionate about. My USB is a deep trust of the birth process and the woman. In the birth arena I bring, calmness, understanding whilst utilizing my training as massage and craniosacral therapist; sometimes using homeopathy in birth if the couple requires. I will support most women but seem to get invited to a number of VBACs, twins, home births. I trust the woman and the amazing process. My remit is to the woman and her partner only, whilst also respecting that sometimes the best made plans may have to alter according to what is presenting. The health and well being of the mother and her baby are paramount. With knowledge and guidance the couple will make the best decision for the woman and her baby. My role is to help them in their decision making.
I am also very passionate about supporting women to breastfeed. Breastfeeding issues often occur in the first few days, if not weeks after going home. So if you need that support we can arrange for this service to be part of your package.
Due to the pandemic I am able to offer services through a remote medium. Using zoom, Skype or FaceTime.