Birth (Recognised since January 2020)
Lives in: Sevenoaks TN13
Local info and availability:
Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Hildenborough, Tunbridge Wells, Orpington, Bromley, Westerham, Wrotham, Kings Hill, Chelsfield, Rochester, Medway, Maidstone.
I'm an experienced hypnobirthing practitioner (Mongan Method, The Wise Hippo and The Calm Birth School) and offer 121 classes via Zoom or in your home.
Hello there, and thank you for taking the time to check out my doula profile.
I’m Charlie. I teach hypnobirthing and antenatal classes, I’m a birth doula, an academic researcher and mother of 3 (not necessarily in that order). I’m a member of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Maternity Voices Partnership (the working group that connects mothers and families with the Trust), and I’m a volunteer with AIMS. I’ve been supporting families in Kent and South East London since 2013.
I came to birth work in my early 30’s, after a successful career in marketing agencies and 3 lovely home births. I was very fortunate to be supported by the same two wonderful midwives for each of my pregnancies and births, and it was thanks to their reassurance and expertise that I had such positive pregnancy and birth experiences.
In March 2022 I submitted my MA research thesis ‘What do mothers seek to achieve when they write their birth plan’ to the Centre for Womens’ Studies at the University of York. This research looks at what birth plans are, and the context they’re made in, what mothers want from their perinatal care, and so how birth planning, birth plans and decision-making in birth can be refined and improved. The basis of my work is the tension between the material reality or women’s bodies in birth, the administrative structures of the NHS, the systemic effect of cultural attitudes to women’s bodies and mothers, and where the opportunities and challenges are as mothers and their partners navigate all this.
Being your birth doula My role as your doula is really determined by you. Sometimes what you want is someone who knows birth, who can ask you the questions you don’t know you want to ask, recommend resources and suggest options to you. My purpose isn’t to counsel you in one direction or another. The only person who can determine what’s right for you is you. I’m here to help you grow your knowledge about the processes and realities of birth (although I don’t think it’s your responsibility to know everything), to help you define what you want and why you want it, and to help you have flexible, realistic and appropriate plans.
Support means everything I don’t work alone. The Good Birth Practice is made up of me and my colleagues Ruth Pay and Laura Scarlett. While we’re an incredibly tight formation, and we’re also really quite different in our skills and expertise. That means that when you work with one of us, you really get the benefit of all 3. Having my doula sisters makes me a better doula by far. It simply isn’t possible to know everything, and we are certainly greater than the sum of our parts.
“There is no way I would ever have another baby without checking Charlie’s diary is free” – Joanna
“Thank you for giving me the tools for and faith in a positive experience. I never thought that I would have such an amazing birth” – Hayley
“This has re-set the bar for the rest of my life” – Priya
“Charlie’s support went way above and beyond, and we are so grateful that she was part of our special journey” – Lynsey
“Honestly we would have been lost without you & Charlie. Our gorgeous rocks that sat idly by when needed but never asked and then stepped up to be incredible support” – Rachel
“Quite simply Charlie is fantastic! …she was everything I needed and more. It was important to me to have someone I could completely relax with, and I was instantly at ease with her. Her enthusiasm and desire to support women is infectious – Charlie understood my concerns, listened and supported my wishes without judgement and during birth provided the most amazing encouragement and belief in me, all with her wonderful sense of humour and wit. … most importantly… she restored my confidence and belief in myself, which was lost after my first birth, empowering me to have a truly positive second birth that I didn’t think was possible” – Alison
“….I can honestly say I do not know how we would have coped without her….she had loads of really useful suggestions of things we should think about/take with us… During the birth she was so supportive of both myself and my husband, making sure we were aware of our options and had time to ask any questions we wanted to. We really cannot recommend her enough, and would definitely use her again if we have any more babies” – Katie
“My husband and I attended one of Charlie’s capsule courses and it was great! Charlie is lovely and full of amazing help and advice. I really appreciate everything she did to help me understand what a positive birth experience would look like and mean to me and for giving me the confidence to go and get exactly that!” – Michelle
“This year has been very eventful for us but I feel like I’m ending this year in a much better place and that is largely thanks to you. I spent months absolutely terrified about having K and his birth ended up being the amazing experience that A’s birth should have been. I hope you know how appreciative I will always be to you for that. I’ve been blessed with two amazing children and am thankfully in a place now where I can appreciate them rather than feeling scared and out of control. The world needs more people like you xxx” – Joanna
“A little overdue thanks to Charlie for her help leading up to the birth of our first child. We did a weekend course which gave us the information and confidence to ask questions and control our birth plan even when things changed unexpectedly near to our due date. The breathing techniques helped keep me calm and focused and I would recommend Charlie as she was so friendly and approachable. Thanks again. xxx” – Michelle
“So it’s just been over two weeks since my little girl made her appearance into the world. She is my third and most likely my last baby that I will be having. Previously I had a son born via c-section due to being breech and refusing to turn, a miscarriage at 12weeks, then falling pregnant with my daughter who was born vaginally, but was back to back and I needed a epidural, fortunately she turned and was then born without further interventions. Then I had an ectopic pregnancy and believed I would not mother any more babies due to the trauma of the operation and that I was one Fallopian tube down. So baby number 3 was a well received surprise. I was extremely anxious due to my previous experiences about pregnancy and labour so a friend recommended the good birth practise. I contacted Charlie and booked in some sessions. Charlie is really warming and easy to talk to with a wealth of knowledge and understanding. Throughout the sessions we were able to ask questions and raise any concerns which were talked through. I read the free book which I found really insightful and reassuring, I started listening to the recordings about three weeks before my due date every night. I made three different birth plans, one for a straight forward birth, one with interventions and one for a c-section. Anyway the big day came and I needed to go to hospital to be monitored due to the previous section and pre-eclampsia in my other two pregnancies. I started using the breathing technics as the contractions were getting closer together, I found them calming and gave me something to focus on. I also watched couples retreat on a laptop to stop myself from clock watching and to take my mind off things. As the film finished my contractions progressed and I put the MP3 recordings on – I found these relaxing with the aid of my breathing. My husband told me I fell asleep a few times whilst the contractions where coming thick and fast…. the breathing really does help. I started using gas and air which again was a positive distraction. As the contractions grew I was really focusing on the breathing and blanked out what was going on around me, to get myself to relax on the out breath I was saying out loud relax, not sure what it sounded like but it helped. My baby was born just under and hour and a half after active labour was established. I had to wear monitors throughout which was off putting but I made sure I was mobile, I used the birthing ball, and the bed as a prop, had some oils going and soft lighting around the room.
I never thought that I would have such an amazing birth. If you are thinking about signing up with Charlie just do it. Charlie also contacted me after the sessions had finished and after the birth – she really does care.
Thank you Charlie for giving me the tools to have faith in having a positive birthing experience x” – Hayley