Birth (Recognised since April 2021)
Lives in: bridgwater TA6
Local info and availability:
Somerset, some parts of Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire and Avon
I am founding trustee of Towards Tomorrow Together, a babyloss charity, which provides a variety of services. I run regular babyloss peer support groups in Somerset. I also offer training for professionals around bereavement and pregnancy after loss.
As a doula I bring a sense of peace and practicality to a variety of situations. I believe that it is possible to achieve an empowered, peaceful birth and look forward to supporting you in yours.
I am passionate about supporting families who sadly discover that their baby has died, or is likely to die. I’m able to walk with you if you face the decision about terminating or continuing a pregnancy following a diagnosis antenatally and I am honoured to be with you as you welcome your rainbow baby, from your pregnancy after loss. I am supportive during stillbirth, and miscarriage.
We’ll be in contact through your pregnancy, meeting at least once antenatally, when circumstances allow. I’ll be present with you, supporting, empowering and holding space for you during labour and birth. And we’ll stay in touch afterwards, meeting at least once postnatally.
Whilst I just completed the doula training in 2016, I think I have been preparing for this journey for many years. Prior to becoming a doula I have worked for almost 20 years in mental health services, which has provided me with a great grounding in working as part of a multidisciplinary team within an NHS setting. I am a good advocate. I have worked with families experiencing loss and pregnancy after loss since 2009, following my own experiences of miscarriage, stillbirth and planned caesarean to welcome my rainbow baby.
I am a mentored Birth doula following completion of the Conscious Birthing Course. As I work towards being fully recognised by Doula UK I report back and debrief each new experience to my hugely experienced Mentor who will advise and guide me. Although I am beginning my journey as a doula I can offer a positive, enthusiastic, keen to learn approach. If I don’t know all the answers to your questions I will do my best to find them out and I have a good network of people to signpost you to.
During my mentored period, fees as a birth doula will be half price and negotiable. I may work with a back up colleague or offer shared care, which will always be discussed at the initial meeting. Support during a loss situation will always be free of charge to the family, I will receive a payment from charity. Donations are always gratefully received to enable this to continue. For rainbow babies, and other enquiries, my fees will be half price until I am a recognised doula.
Distance Doula support
I am available to provide face to face doula support within Somerset (and surrounding areas on request and with availability). I am also happy to provide online support as a doula if you live outside of these areas, or if for some reason am unable to be present at your birth. This can include signposting to information and resources, support to explore options, advocacy, linking you with local services and support near you.
Please do get in touch for a chat if you think I could help you.
Dec 2016 – Conscious Birthing doula course
Feb 2016 – Stillbirthday Birth and Bereavement Doula Training
Dec 2012 – Founding trustee of Babyloss charity Towards Tomorrow Together, roles include hosting peer support groups, regular online support and advocacy.
Jan 2010-now regularly facilitating Babyloss; A Parent’s Perspective and Pregnancy After Loss study days
July 2007 – Post Graduate Certificate of Education
July 2001 – BSc hons Occupational Therapy
When I was 32 weeks pregnant, we learned our little boy was poorly. At 34 weeks, we were told he wouldn’t survive past pregnancy. Mel was the first person who contacted me after learning our little boy was going to pass away before birth. She provided us with much needed support and I honestly do not think I could have got through that period without her. Our little boy, Otis, was born at 35 weeks with his angel wings. Mel has been a shoulder to cry on; a friend to rely on and a person whom we have had full trust in since day 1. It’s thanks to Mel and her support that we had a memory box to take to the hospital to make sure we had treasured items to remember our son by; and it’s thanks to Mel that Otis had a beautiful burial gown to be buried in. Her support has been paramount in our son’s diagnosis, death and beyond. I could not be getting through this without her. – Natalie, mum to Otis born at 35 weeks