Postnatal (Recognised since December 2009)
Lives in: Huddersfield HD8
Local info and availability:
I cover Huddersfield, Halifax, Wakefield & Barnsley.
I have experience of working with families with twins.
Hi, my name is Helen and I am a mum to three gorgeous children, Louie born June 2003, Maddy born February 2006 and Meg born February 2011. I live with my husband Dave in Kirkburton on the outskirts of Huddersfield. I qualified as a Staff Nurse in September 2001 having completed the Higher Diploma in Nursing Studies (Adult Branch) and work as a bank nurse on a part time basis in community as a District Nurse.
Since having my three children, I have always had a keen interest in labour and birth and did consider training to be a Midwife, but became very disillusioned with the nursing and midwifery profession. There are too many time constraints placed on both nurses and midwives which means they are not always able to give one to one nursing care in a way in which they would like. I love everything about motherhood and babies and have a strong desire to be there for women during pregnancy, labour and birth. I feel particularly drawn to this time in a woman’s life and feel at such an important time as giving birth, a woman needs to know she has the care and undivided attention and realised that working as a doula would enable me to do this. I also felt very moved by my own first experience of giving birth (the high of which has never really left me), having had the most amazing amount of support of both my partner and a lovely (obviously very dedicated) midwifery sister whom I shall never forget. I realised from this wonderful experience what a difference having unconditional support could make and this lead me to begin my doula journey. My aim is not just to support women, but to empower them to have the best birthing experience they can given any situation or circumstance. I firmly believe that giving birth should be a positive experience and this can often be achieved through having the continuous support of a doula. I do not perform any clinical tasks, my role is to complement the care of the midwife and other health professionals and to provide continuous support to you. I am not employed by the hospital, but by yourself.
As a trainee birth doula, my fees are £750.00 for the birth package which includes two visits prior to the birth, being on call for two weeks either side of the due date, continuous support during labour and birth and two postnatal visits following the birth of the baby.
As a recognised postnatal doula, my fees are £20.00 per hour. For both services, I would use a contract agreed by both parties. I completed the Developing Doulas (Birth & Postnatal) Training Course in October 2008 and am constantly learning through my developing doula journey.
In May 2009, I attended a two day Initial Breastfeeding Training Course held at my local hospital.
In October 2010, I attended a one day Breastfeeding Update Training for BFI Accreditation (6 hrs) study day at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, where I gained a certificate of attendance for my continuing Doula portfolio.
In May 2012, I attended a one day Skills/Scenarios and Orientation to Huddersfield Family Birth Centre study day at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, where I gained a certificate of attendance to further support my continuing Doula portfolio.
I have experience of working with families following the birth of twins.
Testimonials: “Helen initially came to work with us for a three week period but this was extended because of the invaluable support she had given us. Helen is a wonderful doula. She works extremely hard, using every minute of her time effectively. She is very enthusiastic and is highly committed to her work, often giving extra time and help when needed. Helen has been a wonderful support for me. She is a good listener and very reassuring – she always makes me feel confident that I am doing a good job even when things get difficult. She offers suggestions and advice in a helpful, non-imposing way and I feel the house has a much needed sense of calm when she visits”. Joanne (Postnatal Client, January 2009).
“Helen worked for me as a doula for six weeks after the birth of my second child. She is honest, hard working, reliable and has a real affinity with children. I really enjoyed spending time with Helen and trust her implicitly. Helen approaches everything with a really positive attitude which is good to have around you at a difficult time. She has been a great help with housework and doesn’t mind at all what she does to support the family”. Helen (Postnatal Client, April 2009).
“Helen is a very gentle and caring person who has given me invaluable help and advice in a non-judgemental manner. She is very easy to get on with”. Janine (Postnatal Client, October 2009).
“Helen was present for part of labour (then I had a caesarean section with partner present and no-one else was allowed in theatre). Helen was a calm, supportive presence, liaising with myself, partner and staff to try to ease things for me eg massaged my back and suggested wheat bags/Tens machine and provided food and drink. Helen has been extremely warm, kind and sensitive. She has also been very flexible and accommodating and reliable. I think these qualities help her to be a great doula”. Jessica (Birth Client, November 2009).
“Helen worked for me firstly as a birth doula and then secondly as a postnatal doula as I later realised postnatally would be a help too. I found it helpful to have someone available to talk to about the birth and anything I needed to ‘get off my chest’. I found it reassuring to have Helen there. Helen helped practically with the babies (twins) and also with housework/making bottles etc. Helen also helped in talking about my wound (from caesarean) and breastfeeding. She would offer various suggestions re managing with the babies and discussing options”. Jessica (Postnatal Client, November 2009).
“Helen encouraged me to use my position and Tens for pain relief, and in my opinion, having Helen present as a doula,helped to reduce the pain intervention. She helped me to keep eating and drinking and supported me brilliantly throughout a 20 hour labour. Helen visited us at home and we worked through my “birth story” from beginning to end. Despite not having my perfect “natural” birth, I felt happy, made my own decisions and would not change anything that happened”. Rachel (Birth Client, March 2010).
“Helen has supported me both as a birth doula and through the postnatal period. Helen is always considerate and reliable and I would have no hesitation in recommending her for both birth and postnatal doula services”. Rachel (Postnatal Client, March 2010).
“I employed Helen as a doula to help with William when he was 2 weeks old, so I could spend time to catch up with my work commitments. Helen was very easy to work with, and gave me support when I needed it. Helen would persevere to help to get William to sleep and has the patience of a saint, this just allowed me to have a break and catch up with work. She would entertain Emily our 3 year old daughter whilst I was feeding – Emily loved her and still asks about her. She did many of the household chores from tidying the playroom, stacking and unstacking the dishwasher, putting the home delivery away, not to mention many more, in a very methodical manner. It would be great to have her around all the time. Helen is not a midwife, however she can give you lots of much needed support as and when you need it, and I have no problems recommending Helen to anyone”.Claire (Postnatal Client, March 2010).
“Helen worked as a doula for us for four weeks following the birth of our daughter. We had discussed what aspects of support Helen could provide with her antenatally and Helen was very good at arranging meetings, answering any questions and communicating with us. She listened well to any concerns and tailored her support to our circumstances. When our daughter was born, Helen came the day after and was willing to stay for longer than we had originally intended – this flexibility continued throughout her time with us. Helen had lots of useful suggestions when it came to breast feeding and looking after our daughter which as first time parents was reassuring and helpful. She was very willing to offer practical support too through cleaning, ironing, and washing and was good at seeing what needed doing around the house. We trusted Helen – she had a front door key and we also felt confident when she looked after our daughter that she was in good hands. I would recommend Helen to anyone seeking a doula – having practical and emotional support postnatally was invaluable to us and allowed us to make the most of those first precious weeks with our daughter”. Lynne (Postnatal Client, January 2011).
“Helen is such a great doula. I’d recommend her to anyone. This is better than having your mum or sister or best friend at the birth. It’s having someone who’s been through it, knows what to do and say, stays calm and is very loving and supportive. A doula isn’t a ‘would like’, a doula is a ‘must have’ “. Gemma (Birth Client, October 2013).
“Speaking as a new father, having a doula present at the birth of our daughter was for me the best investment we made in the birth. Helen was amazing, supporting us through the day and night of a very long birth experience and I felt included and supported too”. Dylan (Birth Client, October 2013).
“I truly don’t know what we would have done in the first two months of Caleb’s life if we had not had help from Helen Scarlett. We had just moved to England three months before and had no family in the area. Helen was an absolute wonder and helped us in countless ways. She took care of Caleb with infinite care and patience and helped us adjust to parenthood in the first few weeks, advising us on issues like swaddling and bottle feeding. At the same time, she cheerfully handled household chores like laundry and cleaning that Michelle and I had no energy to manage. In a pinch she even became an unofficial counsellor to us when our emotions were frayed from exhaustion. Finding Helen was among the things that helped us get through those first very challenging and rewarding months. We’ll always be grateful. Thanks for all your amazing help”. Ben (Postnatal Client, March 2014).
“Due to no family support and my husband being unable to take paternity leave, I found myself hiring Helen for post-natal support when my baby was just under two weeks old. Initially, this was purely for me to be able to get some sleep so Helen would look after Luka in between feeds whilst I caught up on some much needed rest. However, Helen became so much more and was a huge help to me. I had struggled with breastfeeding in the first couple of weeks and Helen was a huge help and her advice was invaluable. I really do feel she kept me going with it and I may have given up if I didn’t have her support. Within two weeks we had got into a nice feeding and sleep routine and I thank Helen for her help with that. Helen even looked after Luka all day on her birthday due to an operation I had to undergo when Luka was five weeks! She really reduced the anxiety at such a stressful time and we are really grateful”. We would recommend Helen as a Post-natal Doula, as she has a lovely manner and Luka warmed to her very quickly. She fitted in as one of the family. Her experience and knowledge has been of great help throughout and will continue to be. My only regret was not to have Helen lined up as support immediately! Knowing this, I will be booking her services should we have a second!”. Natalia (Postnatal Client, March 2015).
“We hired Helen to be my Doula when I fell pregnant with my daughter as support for the birth and possibly postnatal due to having a difficult birth and recovery with my son. I had planned a VBAC, but with no family in London and my mother in law being the person that would be taking care of my son I felt I needed more support than just my husband. Straightaway I knew Helen was my best option and I didn’t even bother interviewing anyone else. I needed a nice calm birth this time around. When Helen prompted me to write my birth plan that’s when I felt it was best I had a planned c section. Along with the consultants at the hospital I agreed a date near to the baby’s due date, with the idea that if I went into labour before that I would try a natural birth. Helen was very supportive and respected my decision. As fate would have it I had a nice calm planned c section and over 9lb baby!”. Victoria (Birth Client, September 2015).
“I have already and will continue to highly recommend Helen as a doula to any woman and parents both pre and postnatally. She tailors her approach and support according to her client’s needs and is extremely flexible when these change. Helen is a really warm, positive, gentle and friendly person and clearly loves her work as a doula and genuinely loves babies, children and helping people in this context. She tailor made a package for me as I contacted her only two months before my due date. She has supported me in every way I can think of for example, ensuring I sleep, breastfeeding, settling baby, playing with my 4 year old, housework etc. She stayed until 2am the first night we came home from hospital and also evenings during the early days”. Sarah (Birth Client, February 2016).
‘I met Helen during my third pregnancy. Not knowing what help I may or may not need in the months before and after the birth. My situation is rather unusual with a husband working abroad and two other youngsters to consider. Helen reassured me and put my mind at rest about all the worries that were building at an astonishingly fast rate in my mind. Strangely when the baby was born, she just settled into our routine and to my amazement she was breastfed. Something I desperately wanted. However after a few months I really needed to have the option of a bottle. This is where I hit my low. Helen was called in. Her calm, assuring personality. Her non judgmental attitude to breast or bottle was wonderful and took the pressure of my decision making. Helen worked with me and the baby encouraging the use of the bottle. I felt relaxed enough to leave the baby with Helen to take away the smell of breast milk. Although I did not need the services a great deal (thanks to the babies personality) the chats and the kind approach of Helen was beyond fabulous. I would advise more women to have a Doula to just ‘be there’, ‘on standby’. Fabulous experience. Thank you”. Jen (Postnatal Client, March 2018).
“I liked Helen’s profile from the 5 locally based doulas and we arranged a phone call, then a face to face interview. Just finding and agreeing the doula partnership was great. It gave me peace of mind in my mid pregnancy which was very welcome. Helen accompanied me to a routine scan and we also talked through different birth preferences to help me make my birth plan. We also spoke a lot on the phone in the last week about induction, including delaying induction at my choice and she was an invaluable sounding board for me. I ended up having an induction and Helen stayed through the induction, through the night and into the next day when I had a c section. She was by my side providing reassurance and also she was there for me to discuss the various advice the Doctors were giving me. After birth, Helen stayed with me holding the baby and caring for me during the transition to recovery ward to the postnatal ward. I was glad of Helen’s presence as the recovery was difficult and overwhelming. Helen stayed with me until I was in the postnatal ward and she was sure I had dedicated midwife support in place. Helen was very thoughtful and thorough in her preparation. She was very calm and happy to talk through all my concerns, especially around trying to avoid induction, even though it became inevitable. Helen was very discreet. She worked well with the other health care professionals in the hospital and that was important”. Libby (Birth Client, June 2019).
Helen is a miracle worker and I cannot recommend Helen enough as a doula. Helen is a complete natural with babies and from weeks old, she was able to soothe Eliana like nobody else could – even me! I found postpartum really difficult and after my c section – it was quite hard to get around when my husband went back to work, however having Helen meant I got back on my feet quicker. When I hopefully have my second I’m more than looking forward to having Helen again for an extra pair of hands. If you are looking for a lovely, calm happy person to help – Helen is your lady! Elaine (Postnatal Client, April 2022).
It would be a privilege to support you on your pregnancy journey to help achieve a positive birthing experience you will hopefully cherish.