Lives in: Watton-at-Stone SG14
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Closing the Bones
I live in a village called Watton-at-Stone in Hertfordshire between Hertford and Stevenage.
I am a Speech and Language Therapist by profession. I have worked for over 30 years, 20 of which have been in the NHS with babies, young children and families. I had a particular interest in feeding, oral development and weaning and I worked with neonates in the special care baby unit at my local hospital for many years. I am fascinated by the early interaction and communication of young babies with their parents and how this can be encouraged and nurtured.
When I left the NHS I decided to train as a doula. I was privileged that my first role as a birth doula was with my daughter and her husband when their first child was born. I have three adult daughters and a granddaughter. My own experience of childbirth was very positive and I would like to think that by securing appropriate and compassionate support parents would be able to find this an enriching and inspirational time in their lives.
I have been a postnatal doula for a family with newborn twins and supported them weekly until they were 15 months old. It was fascinating to reconnect with young babies and to be able to offer support to their parents as they explored this demanding but highly rewarding new job. With twins it was particularly important for the babies and parents to feel calm and together we explored many baby calming techniques including baby wearing, music and movement to help create a tranquil atmosphere.
I think in our modern and highly technical society we have lost many of the traditions and practices around childbirth and infant care that enabled new parents to feel self-assured and confident with their babies. I believe a doula can help with this process by offering support, kindness, reassurance and encouragement to make it a rewarding and fulfilling time for all.
I recently attended two ‘Closing the Bones’ workshops where I learnt about the importance of honouring a woman physically, emotionally and spiritually after pregnancy and birth. Often, after childbirth, all the focus is on the wellbeing of the baby and the mother can feel neglected and isolated. This is a way of honouring, celebrating and empowering the mother in her new role. I believe that women at any stage in their lives can benefit from feeling valued and restored by this ancient traditional ceremony.