Lives in: Bristol BS4
Local info and availability:
Bristol and surrounding areas
Hypnobirthing (private & group classes), mother blessings, trauma support, postnatal & motherhood groups, Maternal Journal. Volunteer Mama Companion with Project Mama.
My name is Carmen and I’m a doula, a hypnobirthing teacher, mama companion, and matrescence advocate living in BS4. I have worked closely and compassionately with women, mothers, and families for many years, and my decision to train as a doula was rooted in the realisation that all roads lead to birth. I see birthwork as a form of activism really, and what excites me about being a doula is imagining a world where everyone feels in control of their reproductive choices and bodily autonomy, where babies are born by birthing people who feel fully informed and empowered, and where pregnant people and mothers feel revered and valued.
If you are looking for someone who will:
~ be your cheerleader and who will support you to step into your own power as you navigate pregnancy and birth on your terms;
~ someone who believes in your bodily ability to birth and who will be a champion for your rights in labour;
~ someone who knows how special it is to journey through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, and who will celebrate this passage with you;
~ someone who is there not only for the antenatal education and the birth planning, but also for the juicy conversations about becoming a parent;
~ someone who is skilled at working relationally with families and who knows how important it is for your birth partner(s) to feel included and valued too;
~ someone who sees birth as a rite of passage and who wants you to have not only a powerful birth but a powerful matrescence.
then I cannot wait to work with you!
My interests intersect in a venn diagram of reproductive rights & feminist activism, reclaiming the traditional arts of women’s healing, and holding therapeutic space. What unites these interests is a passionate love for mothers and motherhood – I see my work as a doula as primarily being about mothering the mother and I hope that my support will not only help you out practically but also help you to know how incredible you are.
I see birth as a rite of passage – magical in its own right, and the beginning of a great transformation. I believe that how we birth, how we are cared for during our postpartum, how we feel during this time, and what messages we receive from those around us, have a huge bearing on the mother we become. I am fascinated by the transition of matrescence, the bio-psycho-social-spirtual-political transformation of becoming a mother, and I absolutely believe that if women become mothers feeling powerful, feeling confident and strong, feeling seen and held and valued – then the impact on children, families, and society at large is nothing short of radical.
My love of birth as a rite of passage is bolstered by having a degree in Anthropology, and it will be my mission to make sure that you feel revered and nurtured as you emerge into motherhood, whether that be through bringing you nourishing foods, helping you rest, holding space for you to talk, or celebrating you with a mother blessing.
I am particularly interested in perinatal mental health and am passionate about “normalising normal” when it comes to postpartum. I have worked therapeutically with mothers and in the context of maternal mental health for many years, in both the public and charitable sectors, and I firmly believe that there is no shame in needing additional support. I also know that knowing you’re not alone is at least half the battle. Whatever it is that comes up for you during your postpartum period, I will be there to hold compassionate space for you to feel the feels without shame or judgement. Having set up the local Maternal Journal group in Bristol to boost maternal wellbeing in my community, as your doula I also hope to help you build your village too.
As a continuum doula, I offer an extended package of support which typically includes 6 x antenatal sessions and/or 6 x postnatal sessions after birth. This means that during pregnancy I can really get to know you and your family to understand your hopes and any fears you may have, and during postpartum I can be fully available for you so you feel securely held and supported as you slowly emerge into your new role.
Please get in touch for a free connection meeting to discuss more how I can support you.
Relevant training and experience:
~ Doula training with Continuum Doulas – October 2022
~ Hypnobirthing training with The Birth Uprising – August 2023
~ Cultural Safety training with Project Mama (as part of my volunteer Mama Companion role)
~ PG Certificate in Systemic Family Therapy (intermediate level)
~ PG Certificate in Person-Centred Counselling
~ PG Diploma in Psychosocial Trauma Response
~ Msc in Relationship Based Social Work
~ BA in Anthropology
~ Extensive experience working with vulnerable women, families, and communities, both internationally and in the UK, in the context of maternal mental health, trauma, and psychosocial wellbeing.