Postnatal (Recognised since July 2023)
Birth (Recognised since July 2023)
Lives in: London SE11
Local info and availability:
All of London and especially South and central London
Languages spoken other than English:
Traditional Thai massage; Closing the bones and rebozo techniques (to support birth and pregnancy, and the position of the baby in the womb); womb space massage; yoni steam; how to use a sling; feet, neck, shoulders and head massage; herbal teas; sitz bath; homeopathy for pregnancy, birth, birth recovery, postpartum and babies; cooking nutritious postpartum food and broths.
I started being interested in birth when I had my first child Lucie, who was born at home. One midwife was particularly calm, encouraging and respectful of my wishes and she supported my decision to have a first child at home. Her life experience as a community midwife, her presence and quiet ways gave me all the confidence I needed to give birth in my own time and space. I was lucky to have continuity of care from her and one of her colleagues throughout my pregnancy and to have them with me at the birth.
Then my son Lewis was born at home in water, and these personal experiences led me, some years later, to look at the experiences of pregnancy and birth of a group of women from my neighbourhood in South London as part of my dissertation for a degree in social anthropology. I also read about other birth practices in past times and other places in the world. I felt there was so much to find out on this vast subject, and became aware of how deeply these experiences reflect and affect women’s sense of themselves, their wellbeing and their place and role in society.
Once I found out about birth doulas, I did it didn’t take long for me to follow this calling.
In my role as a doula I am here to give soon-to-be-mothers the confidence to trust and listen to their bodies and feelings. I am not here to decide how or where you will give birth, but to offer possibilities to support and ease your birth experience, and help you navigate the medical world, to understand your rights, your options, and also to be on your side and be your advocate if need be. I will visit you a few times before the birth so that we learn to know each other.
After the birth I will spend some time with you, and visit you a few times to help facilitate your new role as a mother, how to look after your baby and breastfeed. I can bring food or cook in your home, help you in any way you need, and make sure you find and give yourself space and time to recover. Together we can unravel your birth story, listen to your feelings about it. I see my role as a facilitator, a supportive presence, I feel I’m here to bring the best out of mothers, and help them connect to the inner strength they often forget having. I work in an intuitive way, and can be a calm presence when it is needed.
I’m also here to support your partner, bring them into this process, to find what role they want to play and what you expect of them, to support you in the way you both find appropriate, useful, and comforting.
I will offer you a traditional Thai massage during your pregnancy. I also do a ritual called Closing the bones, which is an ancient way to close the birth process. Each birth is such an important rite of passage in a woman’s life, and this ceremony helps you to heal and reconnect with your body, and allows you to integrate the birth of your baby and your birth as a mother. This ritual is done using rebozos (long Mexican scarves).
I trained to use other techniques with or without rebozos during pregnancy and labour in order to encourage the baby to be correctly engaged in the pelvis, as a way to avoid a long drawn out labour and having to resort to medical interventions. I also took some training in antiracism with Pavithra Sarma (director of Shakti Women’s Aid), I took part in a sling consultancy workshop, and I participated in a workshop on the biomechanics for birth and another one on caring for the womb (Mizan therapy).
Thank you for joining us on this wild and beautiful journey. Your loving support, wisdom, and gentle guiding hands helped us to bring M into the world with grace and power. We are still riding high on the joy of our birth experience and we’re deeply grateful to you for holding space for it to unfold in the way we dreamed. You’ll a be a very special person and friend to us forever. With love and gratitude. A, D and M x
I can highly recommend Colette as Doula as I had a very good and relaxed birth experience. She has supported me pre-birth to ensure that I have the knowledge I needed to set up the right birth plan, was there when needed at home and in the hospital. I especially loved that Colette has a holistic and natural approach that included natural remedies, homeopathy, massages and postnatal recovery meals. S