Birth (Recognised since March 2019)
Lives in: Bristol BS7
Local info and availability:
I live in Bristol and am happy to commute up to an hour from my home for any in-person antenatal preparation sessions, birth support or postnatal work. Due to covid-19, I can offer virtual support to families anywhere in the in the UK.
The following services can be provided in person or virtually depending on your preferences and location: * Antenatal preparation * Support medical appointments/conversations * Ongoing text/phone/email support * On-call from 38 weeks (36 for Twins/multiples) and birth support * Movement for a better birth, using rebozo and optimal birth techniques * Pregnancy and postnatal pilates-based movements to bring comfort to your body * Practical and emotional postnatal support (birth debrief and strategies for coping in the early days/weeks) * Postnatal Recovery Massage (in-person) * Breastfeeding support
Hi, my name is Rebecca. I live in Bishopston, Bristol with my lovely husband Robin and growing children Ethan (18), Amelie (15) and Izzy (12) and not forgetting Jasper our dog and Tiggy the cat. I feel enormously proud to have had three positive homebirths, surrounded by the loving presence of my husband and fantastic midwives. Each birth was different from the last, but what they all had in common were they left me with a feeling of enormous strength and empowerment, something that I will carry with me throughout my life.
I was born in Somerset and spent much of my early childhood there before moving to South Wales. For much of that time I lived on small-holdings, surrounded by animals. I regularly observed animals being born and coming to the end of their lives and this led to a deep appreciation of the cycle of life and witnessing birth as a completely natural process. These experiences made a lasting impression and impacted significantly on how I chose to approach my own births.
In preparing for my births, I became acutely aware of how important it is to follow your instincts on where you know you will birth best and access the right information and support to facilitate this. I felt a strong desire to be at home where I felt safe and secure and to know the caregiver that would support me. The presence of a midwife that I was familiar with and would be able to offer continuity of care in the early days of parenting was really valuable to me.
My son and eldest daughter were born on land with the support of a fantastic independent midwife, Sue Learner. My third was born in water, under the gentle supervision of a Bishopston community midwife (another Sue!). I loved being at home raising my children, so once they got a little older and started school, I was keen to pursue a new direction that was rewarding and fulfilling and involved working closely with people. Through my positive and empowering birth experiences, I felt passionate about working with other women to offer support to them and their families in achieving positive experiences of their births and early parenting.
I trained as a Doula with Relaxed Birth and Parenting in 2011. Since qualifying, I have attended births in home, birth centre and hospital settings. Over the years, I have gained a breadth of experience supporting women wanting;
- a natural birth with little or no intervention
- women that choose a more medicalised route
- mother’s that may have experienced previous interventions and difficult births, resulting in trauma
- those wanting a VBAC or HBAC delivery (Vaginal or Home Birth after Caesarean)
- multiple births – TWINS (vaginal, elective & emergency caesarean)
- mother’s that have gone through fertility treatment (IVF and ICSI), miscarriage and loss.
- elective or emergency caesarean births
- birth following previous trauma, antenatal and postnatal depression
My doula work covers Bristol and all surrounding areas within an hours drive of my home. I provide antenatal, birth and postnatal support, including birth preparation, establishing birth preferences, comfort measures for pregnancy and birth, on-call and birth attendance, providing tailored postnatal support to suit your changing needs, birth debriefing and ongoing breastfeeding support. I bring a calm, committed and caring approach, working intuitively with women, partners and their families. I’m a good listener and am able to empathise with people, to understand what feels right for them and to support them in following their choices in a relaxed way.
I have close links with both Southmead – NBT and St Michael’s- UHBristol Maternity Services, I’m also involved with Maternity Voices Partnership and Continuity of Carer meetings at NBT.
I currently volunteer for a charity Project MAMA as a Mother Companion, offering emotional and practical support to vulnerable women to help guide them through pregnancy, birth and the immediate weeks after childbirth. It feels so important to offer solidarity to these mamas, to support them to advocate for their own rights and entitlements and feel confident and well-supported as they begin their parenting journey in the UK. Previously, I have volunteered in my children’s primary school, supporting a year 2 teacher in the day-to-day learning activities. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the school community, providing a nurturing approach to the children’s day.
Alongside my doula work, I have helped set up and work alongside my husband’s various businesses over the years beginning in IT recruitment, then online furniture retail to now in software logistics. I currently work as a Service Manager assisting with generating new business through building positive relationships with prospective and existing customers. Previous roles have encompassed assisting sales and customer service functions, recruitment, human resources and accounts reconciliation.
I seem to be drawn to house renovations – we are currently on our fourth project having nearly transformed our neglected 1930’s property into a modern space and family home.
I have been practising Pilates for over 13 years, having discovered it after childbirth to address abdominal separation. I continued to practice throughout my subsequent pregnancies and decided to train to be a Certified Level 3 Instructor in 2014 with Future Fit training (I am fully insured). I feel passionate about supporting women to journey through pregnancy as comfortably as possible and bring my bodywork knowledge into my doula support. I’ve recently participated in a ‘Biomechanics for Birth’ course with Molly O’Brien (Optimal Birth) in addition to ‘Shiatsu for Midwives & Doulas’ foundation course with Suzanne Yates (Wellmother), ‘Postnatal Recovery Massage’ course with Sophie Messager and ‘Breastfeeding support’ with April Whincop IBCLC (Believe in Breastfeeding)in previous years, all of which enhance my bodywork background and what I can bring to pregnant mamas.
Health and fitness are really important to me. I regularly take part in a range of activities such as cycling, running, swimming, bootcamps, strength training, in addition to my own pilates & yoga practice. I have, however, picked up the odd injury along the way! I understand how important it is to maintain fitness and wellbeing whilst helping the body to recover after injury. I love the outdoors, getting out with our dog to explore the countryside. Our weekends are all about being with family and friends and now that my eldest is officially an adult (!!!!), my husband and I are starting to experience more time to ourselves, which is wonderful!