Birth (Recognised since January 2020)
Lives in: Poole Keynes GL7
Local info and availability:
Cirencester, Gloucestershire is my home town and I am very happy to travel to surrounding areas to provide Birth and Postnatal support. Bath, Bristol, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Malmesbury, Tetbury, Chippenham, Bradford-on-Avon, Swindon and all of the Cotswolds.
Antenatal, Birth, Postnatal Doula, Hypnobirthing, Overnight support, Breastfeeding support, TENS machine, Birth Pool, Books. Please contact me for more information on how I can best support you.
When it comes to birth, you have a choice. In fact you have many choices, and each of them will help create your very own unique birthing adventure. Let me be really clear, YOU are in charge of your own birth experience.
Hi there! I’m Michelle and have always had a passion for family and I know how important your experience is when starting or extending your family, it is an experience that will be remembered for your life time.
I have always been involved in helping families, as an Early Childhood Teacher in New Zealand and then as a professional Nanny for 21 years.
My little family is originally from New Zealand, we moved to the Uk 9 years ago and have never looked back, I absolutely love this little slice of heaven we have found in the Cotswolds. Days are spent walking and exploring the countryside with our dog, yoga and swimming. It all fills my ‘cup’ and leaves me feeling ready to give my everything in support of the incredible people I met as they transition through pregnancy, into parenthood and beyond.
I believe birth can be an empowering, positive and a wonderful experience when you feel supported, informed and confident. These are memories and feelings I want you to treasure forever.
No matter how you choose to birth your baby, I will support you through this wonderful journey and help you to prepare for birth and beyond. I have no preference. I can provide emotional, practical support to help you gain confidence and trust your body’s intuition.
Because the actions you take and the decisions you make, can positively impact your birth experience!
Your baby, your body, YOUR choice and I will stand beside you all the way.
Once baby is here, my support can continue and I will help you be the mother you want to be. Looking back, I wish had post natal support, it is invaluable and I want the very best for my clients. I can even bring cake!
“You are a rare find Michelle Morgan-Smith, truly one in a million and we simply wouldn’t be where we are now without you. You made it possible for us to have the birth we dreamed of. Words cannot express how grateful we are for everything you have done for us.”
B (Community Midwife)
“I knew instinctively that Michelle would be the perfect doula for us when I first met her in April 2022, I was 12 weeks pregnant at the time and attending a doula training weekend (I’m currently training to be one myself!).
I hadn’t planned on hiring a doula, it was my 4th pregnancy, and if I’m honest, I was worrying about money and telling myself that we wouldn’t be able to ‘afford’ a doula even if we wanted one!.
But as the weeks went on, I thought more about it, and realised that we actually *really* deserved a doula (everyone deserves a doula!), it was likely to be my final pregnancy and I wanted to make it the BEST experience that I possibly could!. I started to think of a doula as the most perfect investment, and I switched my mindset on finances…
My thoughts went back to Michelle, and I knew that she was the one person that we had to hire (and she does very affordable payment plans too!), so once I could relax about money, I then allowed myself to fully embrace the experience, and quite quickly Michelle became a massive part of our pregnancy journey!.
She came to our home during the later stages of the pregnancy, and it felt like having a friend and confidante rolled into one. She met my other children and spoke to them about birth, making them feel at ease.
Michelle is first and foremost a professional, and she is highly knowledgeable and wise, but she is also down to earth, easy to get along with, and completely non-judgmental and open-minded.
What is especially lovely, is that she remembers and retains the personal details about her clients, such as their previous birth history, their likes and dislikes, their fears and expectations, etc, which makes you feel like you are not just ‘another client’.
Michelle completely respects your wishes and preferences when it comes to pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period, and she will ensure that she helps to create the perfect bespoke birth plan for her clients, which again is guided by their own wishes and preferences, to which she helps support.
I went 10 days overdue, which for anyone that has been overdue will understand the frustration it can cause!. Michelle was always at the end of the phone, and I knew that I could message or ring her anytime.
When I finally went into labour, she held space for me and waited for me to know when it was time to ask her to come over.
I had planned a homebirth, and Michelle provided the birth pool and TENS machine (which she delivered prior to my due date), she also provided books, essential oil and an amazing candle (in the shape of a pregnant woman)!.
During my labour, Michelle let me lead the way, we spent time chatting and laughing like friends, and when things intensified she offered massages and words of encouragement. She acted as an advocate for myself and my partner, and spoke to the midwives when I felt I couldn’t at the time.
I felt guilty that my labour seemed to be going on for so long (my others had been very quick) but Michelle quickly helped alleviate those feelings.
She made our house look beautiful, with fairy lights, battery operated candles, and a ceiling light projector (it still warms my heart now when I think about it!).
Unfortunately around 19 hours into the labour, it was advised by the attending midwife that I should transfer to hospital due to meconium being present when my waters broke. Michelle offered objective advice and supported my decision to go into hospital, we spoke about how the hospital environment would likely change the way I was feeling, but I trusted that she would do everything she could to still keep it an oxytocin-filled environment.
Once I got into the delivery room at the hospital, Michelle quickly dimmed the lights and became an integral support. My labour had intensified by that point and I was feeling scared and no longer in control. I could longer do hypnobirthing as I had been at home, and I felt myself going into myself (looking back, I recognise that I was in transition).
Once I realised that I was pushing, Michelle encouraged me to get onto my knees and breathe the baby down as opposed to pushing from my throat, I will be eternally grateful for this, because this allowed the delivery to be incredibly calm, quick and even very easy!.
I felt that I had taken back my power and birthed my baby the way that I had set out to, even though I had ended up in a very medicalised environment.
Michelle also took some amazing photos and videos of just after our daughter was born, to which again, I am so grateful for!.
She was supportive in every way, even helping me sit on the toilet whilst I tried to birth the placenta!.
Once she went home, I actually missed her so much!.
Myself and my partner feel so grateful and blessed that Michelle was part of our journey, she helped ensure that it was most empowering, magical and sacred experience ever, and 8 weeks on, I still think about it every day.
Thank you Michelle, you are amazing!”
“I fell pregnant with our second child in July 2021. After experiencing trauma during the birth of our first child, we were determined to have a healing birthing experience this time. Our first child had been ‘back to back’ during labour, likely contributing to a very long and painful experience that resulted in hospital transfer and forceps delivery. After some research, we concluded that support and guidance regarding maternal birth positions/biomechanics of birth from a doula was what we needed this time round. We came across Michelle when searching the Doula directory. From the first conversation we had with her, we knew we needed her immense positivity and support during the birth. Michelle’s ability to really truly listen to our previous birthing experience, validate our feelings and empower us to aim for the birth we wanted was incredible and we instantly felt more confident and prepared. Throughout pregnancy Michelle was available via phone/FaceTime. We planned for a home birth and when our local home birth service was suspended due to staffing issues, Michelle provided us with information to ensure we could make our own informed decisions and was supportive of all decisions we made.
As is such with life, you can’t plan for every scenario – my partner actually had a highly contagious sickness bug on the day that my surges started and was unable to be with me. As such, Michelle came to our home during the early stages of labour, undertaking the roles of doula and birth partner. She remained by my side the entire time and ensured I remained calm and in control. That evening, in a birthing pool in my living room, I free-birthed our beautiful baby. It was a truly intense, magical experience and I absolutely could not have done it without Michelle. If we are blessed with another pregnancy, we will absolutely be contacting Michelle straight away to request she supports us once again!!”
“Thank you so much for all you have done for us!! Can’t begin to describe how grateful we are for your utterly amazing support! I’m so glad B found you.”
“My husband and I welcomed our second baby boy into the world this last week in the most euphoric, intense homebirth (accidental BBA).
The reason I write is that I wanted to mention our wonderful doula who from the start of this whole experience has been nothing short of truly incredible. She has always been giving with her time and so educational and inspirational.
Charlotte & J
“Overall, this birth was the complete antithesis of my first – I’m genuinely not exaggerating when I say your support changed my life. I didn’t believe that I could ever recover from the anger I was holding onto with regard to my first birth. I’d seen other mothers post on Facebook about how subsequent births can be ‘healing’ but couldn’t see a situation where I didn’t look back on ***’s birth and the months of detachment that followed with pain. That’s all changed and I owe almost all of that to your facilitating such a wonderful, peaceful homebirth.
Your attention to detail and general recall was astonishing – I never saw you with a pen and paper or generally making any kind of record of my story or preferences but your level of recall on both of these subjects was just wonderful. On the night you were clearly even acting on comments I had made in passing about fears or concerns I had (which I was certain you hadn’t internalised!).
You were able to switch between calm champion and fearless advocate in a way that felt genuine and supportive at all times – I had some difficult decisions to make during my pregnancy and I didn’t feel at any point that you were trying to push me one way or another, or asking me to subscribe to a particular ideology even though you clearly had strong views. You had access to a great many resources and information and I felt well informed and confident in the decisions I had to make.
The practical steps you took to make my birth special were amazing – My NCT group couldn’t believe the wonderful environment you created with the candles and the pool, it looked like a scene from Pinterest. I didn’t know this was something you were going to do, and certainly wouldn’t have thought to make plans to do it myself! It was such a wonderful environment to birth in and relax with my family after *** arrived. We also weren’t expecting a squeaky clean house to wake up in, so that was a huge weight off our shoulders and meant we could just enjoy the morning together. Also, the work we did around positioning *** was great and I strongly believe it’s no coincidence I finally went into labour the next day!
The massage and counterpressure was amazing. I was basically left alone to writhe around on my back on a hospital trolley whilst *** held my hand during my first birth. It was also wonderful to see the difference in *** too as he was actually able to help and participate.
Finally, and most importantly for me, you clearly worked very hard to make me feel part of the process. I felt in control of what was happening rather than the birth ‘happening’ to me with Drs and midwives in control. It feels odd to say but I actually ‘feel’ like I birthed my baby this time.
Thank you feels so inadequate but I really hope I’ve been able to convey my gratitude to you for allowing me to start my life as a mum of two with nothing but joy!”
L and T
“I couldn’t imagine going through labour & child birth without Michelle.
As a first time mum, eager to learn as much as I could, and give myself and baby the best possible outcome physically, emotionally and mentally, I was easily persuaded that hiring a doula was the right thing for us.
I found Michelle’s contact through ‘the doula directory,’ an invaluable resource for doula seeking mum’s to be, and Michelle’s “vibe” and reviews clearly stood out for me.
From our first meeting online, through to our prep session and beyond, Michelle felt safe, supportive & completely professional. She supported our every question, query and choice.
It was in the run up to me going into labour (at 41+6) & labour itself when the rapport that we had built and her knowledge and expertise really shone…. Michelle is impeccably present and profoundly instinctive. She nurtures your every movement… thought and word. It turns our, my husband needed her as much as I needed her and I believe she enabled us to stay calm, collected and present in one of the most challenging moments of our lives.
Michelle supported me through over 36 hours of labour… she held my hand and massaged my back as we made decisions that were best for me and my baby. She didn’t falter in her unwavering belief that we were powerful to choose in every circumstance and breathed reassurance & support into our decisions.
Thank you Michelle. I will be forever grateful for your support and nurture in the most vulnerable season of our lives so far… never did I think that our money would be so well spent! Michelle’s experience, demeanour & companionship through birth and beyond is invaluable for a pregnant and labouring woman. We’d hire her again if we have a second! Thank you Michelle for giving me an unforgettable and undoubtedly positive experience that my husband, my baby and I will be forever grateful for.”
Charlotte & Tiago
“Michelle was exactly what we needed in a doula. She helped us to prepare for our daughter’s birth and to take care of her for her first three months. She deftly sorted all my delivery fears to the extent I ended up disappointed to have a caesarean. She showed me how to hold, change, comfort, nurse, etc. What is more, she was a delight to have around even in those sleep-deprived days. Her enthusiasm and humour, not to mention delicious treats, kept us going on no sleep. My daughter felt immediately at ease in her arms. When she wasn’t teaching mom, she took our daughter and dog for walks so that I could nap, or folded laundry and prepped our dinners. I found I’d forget to nap because I enjoyed her company and perspective on newborns. She was so good that I miss her still.”
“To summarise the wonderfully unique and positive impact Michelle had on the birth of our second born son is a pretty impossible task. So let me start by saying, hiring Michelle was one of the best decisions we made when it came to the birth, a close runner to the decision to have a home water birth itself.
Michelle is quite simply a star with an awesome personality!! She has tremendous knowledge of birth and the biomechanics of the human body, an absolute must and a godsend in birth. Not forgetting the wonderful kit bag of skills which I implore anyone to trust and try. Her passion, dedication and that knowledge shines through at every opportunity, above all else Michelle brings a unique confidence and a genuine love to the environment. She listens intently, using both intuition and knowledge when it’s needed most.
Finally for me personally the moment Michelle walked into my home during my birth. It all changed, it was as if her presence relaxed me, allowed me to feel safe and my labour stepped up a gear. Within only a few hours of what was an absolutely beautiful calm and mindful birth, my baby boy was born in the water so peaceful and perfect. Michelle stayed with me whenever I wanted her, she managed the midwives and ensured they respected all wishes and finally was also a total rock for my husband. She gave him the reassurance he needed both before and during the birth. Even he was a total convert as to amazing impact the RIGHT doula can have.
Michelle has a wonderful skill of being what ever you need or want her to be during your birth. For me she was like a best friend who happened to be an expert in birth. She made me feel as if my family and I were her number one priority, not only during birth but even on the run up.
As I am sure you can tell I have no hesitation in recommending Michelle to anyone for both preparation of birth and the magical event itself. Both my husband and I would without a doubt hire Michelle again if we were to have a third, I almost couldn’t imagine my birth without her.
Use her knowledge, be open minded. Your body and your baby have got this you just need to trust yourself and trust this wonderful women to allow you to enjoy your birth experience the way nature intended. I have no doubt it will also be one of the best decisions you make.”
“When I decided to get support from a doula for my planned homebirth with my first baby, I didn’t know what to expect or what to look for. But I got everything I could have wanted or needed from Michelle! She was so helpful in supporting me to reject an early induction, and I went on to have a spontaneous labour at 42 weeks. Michelle stayed with me through the whole labour, and I really don’t know how I would have managed without her. Her knowledge and support made me feel safe and emotionally held the whole time. She was fantastic in working with my partner and the midwives to advocate for me and my birth preferences. Her support with breastfeeding in the week following the birth was invaluable. To sum up, she enabled me to achieve my dream – to have an unmedicated labour and a breastfed baby. Thank you over and over! In a heartbeat, I would choose Michelle to support me again.”
“Michelle was my doula for the birth of my second child. My first birth experience in the hospital was not great so I felt like I wanted to be better prepared this time.
Because of the traumatic first birth and the pandemic going on I was thinking about a homebirth but didn’t feel confident that I could cope at home. Talking with Michelle about my options made me so much more confident and calm about the coming birth so we decided to have a homebirth.
Michelle has so much information, things that I didn’t even know about. She is really easy to talk to and I felt like she totally understood what I went through during my first labour and how I wanted my next labour to be like. She helped us to make the birth plan which really helped me to prepare myself for the birth, knowing that I can decide for myself how I want the birth to be like. My husband also felt much more confident after our meetings and wasn’t as nervous, because he knew ways he could help and support me.
During labour Michelle really kept me focused, helped me breathe through contractions, kept me hydrated and made sure I was in an optimum position.
Our son was born safely at home just like we wanted, without any interference or pain relief. It was so great being in our own environment. Michelle helped with all the tidying up so me, my husband and baby got to rest.
I really think that Michelle’s knowledge, confidence and calming presence helped us all and made it possible for us to have the most beautiful birth. Healing after birth was quick and I think it is all because of this positive experience.
I would definitely recommend Michelle to everyone, no matter what kind of birth you’re planning!”
M & P
“Michelle was my doula and post-natal doula for the birth of my first child. She was extremely supportive not just to me but for my husband as well. I attribute most of my positive birthing experience to Michelle.
Michelle assisted us with the preparation of our birthing preferences list and took us through a road map of how labour would progress. Michelle supported our choices whilst offering guidance on things we had not thought of.
During labour, Michelle gave us confidence in knowing that labour was progressing normally. Her presence was calming and allowed us to relax as much as possible. My husband was able to sleep for a couple of hours whilst Michelle looked after me. She was so supportive reminding me to breathe for every contraction and to keep breathing during every contraction. She anticipated all of my needs, making sure that I stayed hydrated and had lots of energy.
As a post-natal doula, Michelle, helped us with everything; from having someone to talk to in the early days, to answering questions, to offering support when we disagreed with the health visitor, to helping with the house work and making us meals. She was the perfect post-natal visitor!
Michelle was absolutely fantastic and I cannot imagine going through labour without her.”
“I was 7 months pregnant with my second child and my family were moving to the U.K., all while a pandemic was going on. I looked into finding a doula to help give me and my family support and I found exactly that with Michelle. During a stressful time to be bringing a baby into the world Michelle helped me to focus on myself and baby. She was such a calming presence. Since I hadn’t ever given birth in the U.K. Michelle guided me to make a birth plan and we talked about what would help me to feel the most comfortable during my birth. I ended up finding out at 36 weeks that I had a breech baby and Michelle gave me tips to move the baby into the right position and was able to make me feel more assured that no matter baby’s position that I could still have a positive birth experience. She knew that I wanted to deliver baby naturally and we talked through all my options. Michelle was there at my birth when my partner couldn’t be. I ended up having my baby 2 weeks early with a natural breech delivery. She was my cheerleader coaching me through the labor pains and giving breathing and calming techniques.
My family also had Michelle for post natal help. Having a toddler and a newborn to take care of we knew we needed some additional support and Michelle was the perfect person. She made the first few weeks postpartum so much easier by assisting with cooking, caring for both my kids and reminding me to rest. She was also there to ask about any breastfeeding questions or baby concerns. I would definitely recommend Michelle to anyone looking for extra support during their pregnancy and birth!”
“Dear Michelle, Thank you so much for your wonderful, dedicated support. You are an amazing doula! You have been such great person to have throughout this special time in our lives and we are both hugely grateful to you for everything you have done for us. The advice, help and kindness we could have wished for and more. I hope we can always remain in touch”
El & Sham
Already planning the next with Michelle in mind!
I am so grateful we have found Michelle and have had her support birth of our little boy. We couldn’t wish for more! It was my second birth but first at home, and Michelle with her vast experience of home births was invaluable in guiding us how to prepare practically and mentally. I truly enjoyed the prep sessions we’ve had with her, they enabled us to talk through all our options and eventualities. On the big day she was incredibly supportive, her kindness, energy and sheer belief in me just kept me going. She would not rest and was by my side every minute of it (and there were plenty!) offering words of encouragement, massage, water, snacks and anything else that was helpful at that point. My baby turned back to back just a week before birth and I cannot even imagine what would happen if we didn’t have Michelle. She is incredibly knowledgeable about biomechanics and guided me through various positions before and during birth which helped to turn baby into the perfect position making the birth easier. My husband is already talking about the next baby and having Michelle support us as a doula again…. ! She is just incredible, can’t recommend highly enough x
Best decision ever!!!
I’m a first time mum and really had a limited understanding of what really happens in labour. Michelle was instantly personable and throughout the pregnancy she was informative, supportive and empowering. No question was too random and she drew on a wealth of experience to help in any way she could, in the lead up to and during the labour. Her support fully enabled me and my husband to go into labour feeling excited and prepared and she is absolutely the reason we had such a positive birth experience. I fully recommend her services and have already booked her for my second!!
“Dear Michelle, I just wanted you to let you know that I thought your support of your client in labour was amazing. You were supportive, kind, warm and very appropriate in your management. Things did not go straightforward but you kept your client calm and reassured while the medical staff were dealing with the emergency. Your unfailing support gave your client the ‘wings’ she needed to get through her difficult time, so positive was her experience that there is no negativity about a less than straightforward birth.
I am the senior Midwife co-ordinator at SMH Bristol and have worked with many Doulas and your support and dedication, I feel cannot be matched. I look forward to working with you again.”
B M. Alden BSc. RM. RN
“At the time of writing my daughter is 4 month old, and now that we are adjusting to our new life, I feel the need to let every interested future parent know what an amazing experience we had with Michelle Morgan-Smith.”
“During labour and delivery, I distinctly remember hearing her calm. confident voice coming through the rush and bustle; reminding me about what was happening and how to move through the pain. Eventually my birth was quite medicalised and Michelle helped me understand everything that happened. She kept looking at me and providing me with anything I needed in that moment. She was the most reassuring person and I really needed that.
Everyone noted that an indeed she received compliments from the staff. One of the midwives, who wrote a reference note for her that night, said she had never met such a great doula. Michelle was my advocate as well, stating what I wanted if possible.”
“Michelle is someone who goes beyond her role to support you as much as you need. Michelle is highly experienced, educated, open-minded and wise. She is kind, supportive, funny and positive, and we highly recommend her for your pregnancy, birth and postnatal experience”
G & C Lo Giudice
“I will struggle to put into words how incredible Michelle is. From the first meeting, we just clicked, she is incredibly kind and warm. I felt instantly comfortable in her presence. In our antenatal sessions, we discussed birth preferences, discussed what happens in labour, pain relief etc which was very helpful.
When I went into labour, I called Michelle immediately and she stayed in contact until she arrived. Michelle didn’t leave my side the entire time I was in labour (which was very long!). She made sure I was comfortable, being taken care of and keeping the midwives up to date. She has a wealth of knowledge around natural pain relief such as massage, pressure points and breathing techniques which really do help.
When I was admitted to hospital, the midwives were gobsmacked by how helpful and supportive she was. They were singing her praises and telling the other midwives about her!
I cannot recommend Michelle enough, she will go totally out of her way to be there for you, whatever you need, she will do without question. She helped bring my daughter into the world and I couldn’t have wished for anyone better, she totally blew us away with her support. I can honestly say that without Michelle, my labour would have been a very traumatic experience, she made it positive and not as scary!”
“Thank you doesn’t seem enough. I had such anxiety about birth, especially after all the ‘big baby’ fear was put into me by the doctors. What you did was turn knowledge into confidence and made me look forward to my labour instead of dread it! As you know I ended up with the mother of all births where I hit every obstacle, however, armed with everything you taught me I felt in control, informed and happy with every single thing that happened. I could only wish everyone could have you guide them through so they could feel as confident and relaxed as I did. Honestly, we cannot thank you enough xxx”
“I chose Michelle because I instantly liked her, she’s easy going, very positive and a bubbly character but also relaxed and down to earth. I felt comfortable with her and I could be myself. She’s funny and she feels like a friend. She has a caring attitude and is incredible knowledgable but not overstressed with what she knows. I feel I can tell her anything. Her enthusiasm and passion for being a doula, a woman and mum is really infectious, She took away any fears or doubts I had in myself and I looked forward to my birth!”
“There are no words to express how grateful we are for having had you with us through this experience, you certainly are an amazing woman, both from a personal and professional level. There is no doubt that being a doula is your vocation. We will never forget you and your precious support”
“Having Michelle’s support during my antenatal, labour and postnatal care for my daughter was invaluable. Michelle had 15 years of experience with babies and small children, and her sense of confidence and joy improved my experience as a first-time mum. I was comfortable immediately during our first conversation, and this allowed me to ask questions that I might not have wanted to ask my Obstetrician in fear of sounding stupid!
Due to complications my birthing plan was changed dramatically by my specialist, however, thanks to Michelle I felt well supported and educated to be able to adapt to the situation.
During the birthing process Michelle knew when to offer me gentle support, and when to encourage me to focus. Michelle encouraged me to dig deep when at times I felt I had nothing left in the tank. She was so relaxed and genuinely cared about making our experience special.
Michelle was also fantastic at helping my husband feel integral to the labour experience. She was also able to help me with post-natal care, and recommended I saw a lactation specialist when my daughter and I were struggling to find a rhythm in the early stages of breastfeeding.
Also, extremely helpful, was Michelle’s experience and practicality – for things I found frustrating, she helped set up equipment and showed me important safety aspects of all things baby!
I highly recommend Michelle to any expectant family.”