Lives in: Gurnard PO31
Local info and availability:
Isle of Wight - Southampton - Portsmouth - Lymington
Doula training with Developing Doulas - Certified Wise Hippo Hypnobirthing Practitioner - Special interest in Optimal Foetal Positioning based on Biomechanics for Birth and Rebozo training with Molly O'Brien (Optimal Birth) - Baby wearing Peer Supporter (through Slingababy) and owner of the Isle of Wight Sling Library - LGBT Competency Workshop with The Queer Birth Club
Doula support isn’t just for labour… it’s for the hours, days and weeks of your life building up to birth… it is often where our most important work lies.
It can be hard to put the work of a pregnancy and birth doula into words. So much of our work comes from the heart and, try as I might, I know my written words will never do it justice. However, I have written you a story that covers one version of birth in the hope that it gives you a little insight in to who I am and how I support birthing people, but please know that I support every type of birth.
Let me invite you to imagine that you’ve chosen me and I’ve chosen you, and we’re about to embark on a journey together as you prepare to bring new life earth side. This is what our story may look like…
Spending time together during your pregnancy, we marvel at the new life growing inside you and feel the mix of emotions brewing for the adventure ahead. I listen as you dig a little deeper into how you’re feeling about birth. Together we create a trusting space where you feel safe to explore new territory. You share your worries and wishes with me, and begin to feel a little lighter…
You’ve had one difficult birth experience and share intimate details with me, but trust that I will keep them under lock and key. When you need help taking the difficult emotions out of the memories you have of your first birth, I know which experts to call on and I am here to walk the path to recovery with you.
As we journey onwards, I do not try to walk the path for you and I do not lead you down a path I have chosen for you… I tune in to when I may offer to shine a light if the path gets a little foggy, and I walk by your side as you navigate your journey. When you need a little space to consider your options, I take a step back.
Our mutual trust grows and you know that when you speak, I hear you. I show you how hypnobirthing techniques can take the fear out of birth and manage general anxieties – some are connected to birth and some are just a part of life. The breathing techniques will help you through your day to day life, and in your labour too.
And while this relationship is developing there are others that I take care to nurture – those with your birth partner and child. Your needs as an individual and those of your family are my main priorities. I learn what you all love and the things you don’t. I remember how you like your tea and how to recognise signs of stress in you or your partner. I know that your child has a cuddly elephant that they like to cuddle when you’re not there. By now you know, deep in your heart, that I will respect how you want to be treated and how you want to be made to feel during pregnancy, birth and when you have your new baby.
As we spend more time together I share my doula tricks and you learn what I keep in my toolkit. You feel confident that while I have a range of skills, I will only ever offer them if they’re needed as we both understand that birth works best when it’s undisturbed.
One evening, you ask me some questions that I don’t know how to answer, and I explain that I’ll use my doula skills to read around the subject. I source evidence-based research for you to consider and leave it with you make your own judgement.
As your due date nears and your birth plan takes shape, I have complete respect for your decisions and promise to support you no matter how you may be planning to birth. I am more aware than ever that this birth will be unique to you, that it is a sacred event and that it is a birth I will be truly honoured to attend. You and your partner are feeling empowered and know how to gather the information you need to make informed decisions about your birth, no matter which route it may take on the day.
The day comes and you call me to come to you. I kick start my carefully laid plans to put care in place for my own children and ensure my household runs seamlessly for however long I need to be with you. It is the middle of the night; you know that I am happy to come to you, and that I have been anticipating this day since going on call for you from 37 weeks.
Your labour is empowered. You feel positive. We put your optimal foetal positioning practice during pregnancy in to play to help create a little more space in your pelvis for your baby to descend. Your partner gives you a rebozo massage to support the activation of your parasympathetic nervous system. You are calm and in control… you feel safe and trust your birthing instincts.
You have a healing birth.
When your baby arrives your Golden Hours are respected and you are able to hold your baby skin-to-skin. Your partner and I create a cosy environment where you and your baby can enjoy your first feed together. I am hands off, but watching carefully and gently offering guidance to lie back and let your baby use their natural instincts to latch on and suckle. Once you are settled I clean up and prepare a meal, making sure you have everything you need for the next 24 hours. As I leave, I remind you that my phone will stay on and I am looking forward to coming back to care for you all the next day.
When I get home, I feel your jubilation and exhaustion, and my heart continues to expand for you and your new baby. My body is weary, although not in comparison to yours, and I am reminded that you might like a hand or shoulder massage when I see you next. My children are desperate to see me and I open my arms to them. Time to mother these little beauties now. I ride an oxytocin high and am amazed yet again at the magic of birth.