Postnatal (Recognised since July 2018)
Birth (Recognised since May 2013)
Lives in: Lewes BN7
Local info and availability:
Lewes/ Brighton/ Forest Row/ Peacehaven/ Seaford/ Haywards Heath/ Eastbourne & surrounding areas
Spinning Babies Certified Parent Educator, Hypnobirthing Teacher, Infant Feeding Coach, Doula Mentor, Labour of Love Doulas group facilitator for new doulas. Doula UK Regional Rep for East Sussex, East Sussex Home Birth Group facilitator, Labour of Love Lewes Birth Chat group facilitator, Closing the Bones postnatal massage practitioner.
I’m an experienced doula based near Lewes & Brighton, attending births within an hour’s drive, as well as at Brighton & Haywards Heath hospitals & Crowborough Birthing Centre. I’ve been a doula since 2010 and work with around a dozen families a year. Most of my clients give birth at home.
I’m also a postnatal doula, with many years of breastfeeding support experience. I’m a certified Infant Feeding Coach. I love carrying babies in stretchy wrap slings & quietly singing to them, while their parents rest. I’m a mother of 3 lovely sons, all born at home (not that the first was planned that way and no, it wasn’t a fast birth, it was looong)!
I trained with Dr Michel Odent (obstetrician, midwife & legend) in 2010 & love supporting parents through pregnancy, birth & postnatally & helping them to have the positive experience they plan for.
I have also undertaken 4 trainings in Spinning Babies & Advanced Biomechanics for Birth, two of them with SB’s originator, Gail Tully and have trained to teach techniques for comfort, balance and ease of birth to parents-to-be. Spinning Babies is like permaculture for birth, with techniques and solutions that can work like magic. Contact me for details of classes. Since I started teaching the Spinning Babies Parent Class to all my clients in 2018, I’ve not supported a birth of over 24 hours, with the majority of births being under 12 hours…this is over 69 birth as at May ’23 (compared to 50 births supported before I started to teach the class to all my clients).
I have supported parents who previously did not get the birth that they wanted and witnessed them have exactly the kind of peaceful, empowered births they planned for. I have seen (on many occasions) how incredible Hypnobirthing can be (I’m a Wilder Hypnobirthing teacher).
I have experience of VBAC, HBAC, freebirth, resolving back to back labour, induction, c-section, breech births, long births & fast births. I have supported older mums (up to age 49), mums with Group B Strep, Gestational Diabetes, depression & survivors of abuse.
I’m also a Doula Mentor & host a monthly learning and connection group for newer doulas.
All the studies on doulas have shown that constantly supported labours are generally shorter, there is less need for pain relief, there are fewer interventions & greater maternal satisfaction. Hence the quote ‘if a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it’.
When I’m not doulaing, I love tending my kitchen garden, walking with my partner, children & dog, baking (I have a festival café & won ‘Best Cake at Glastonbury’ for my Chocolate Guinness Cake), writing, singing & playing cello & mandolin.
Please join my Facebook groups, Rewild your Birth, East Sussex Home Birth Group & Labour of Love Birth Chat Lewes, come along to a free meet-up, see my website www.labouroflovedoula.co.uk & contact me for a free, no obligation consultation.
It’s important to meet a few doulas & find your perfect fit. I’m always happy having a good chat about pregnancy & birth. I always respond promptly to enquiries & if I am booked up, I will recommended other trusted, local colleagues.
My role goes beyond labour: As well as the usual 2-4 meet-ups through pregnancy, I can offer extra visits to help with optimal fetal positioning, or to get to know your children if there’s a possibility I might be helping look after them during the birth.
I also offer a ‘learning to breastfeed’ session. I’m available by phone & email, any time you have any questions. I can give you example birth plans & will make sure I understand exactly how you would like your birth to be & how I can help with this.
I host Labour of Love Birth Chat Lewes & the East Sussex Home Birth Group; free, monthly discussion groups where you can meet other parents-to-be, get informed, confident & positive about birth.
If you would like a Mother Blessing, I can lead this for you. Either in your home, or in my beautiful red-lined yurt in Southease, near Lewes. It’s a bit like a baby shower, but less commercial.
I’ll give you a copy of my booklet, Rewild your Birth & can lend you books and DVDs from my extensive library. I can lend you a birth pool, birth stool, pregnancy support or slings. I will be on call for you for at least ten days before & 2 weeks after your ‘due date’ (although you can also call on me if you go into labour early & I’ll either attend, or send my fantastic back-up). I’ve supported births from 37-43 weeks, so far.
During labour, I come to you when you need extra support & I stay with you until you are cuddling your newborn, falling in love & we are sure that all is well. I love taking photos, if required and if possible. Photos of mums labouring and their birth partners supporting them can be treasured for life.
I clean up after a home birth, emptying the pool & making sure everything looks good again. This also encourages me to make sure the carpets are well covered! I offer three postnatal visits. I usually come in the days following the birth with one of my famous Chocolate Guinness Cakes (winner of best cake at Glastonbury festival 2019), or an Ayurvedic Daal if preferred. If everything’s going well, I tell my clients to save the 2nd visit for a rainy day, perhaps when your partner’s back at work & you’d love a sleep.
My packages include an optional Closing the Bones massage & a two hour postnatal doula taster session (think sleep)! I trained as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter & an Infant Feeding Coach & can either help with feeding problems or signpost you to professional support.
I’m also a Postnatal Doula. I absolutely love taking care of mums & babies & all new parents love having a rest & a bit of help wherever needed.
My back-up doula is experienced, lovely & is on hand should I break a leg (hasn’t happened yet). I can borrow my partner’s Landrover on a snowy night. Testimonials:
I would recommend giving Roma a call, even if just for reassurance or tips. She is Spinning Babies trained and if it wasn’t for a manoeuvre she asked the midwife to try at the last minute in my labour for awkward positioning I’m fairly sure I would have ended up having an emergency c-section.
It was fantastic to have Roma as our doula. I managed to have a vbac at home in our yurt, It was magical. Roma supported us throughout the pregnancy and birth with gentle confidence, good humour and brilliant advice when we asked for it. We benefited greatly from going to her spinning babies and hypnobirthing classes both of which supported me greatly leading up to and during labour.
Taking Roma’s hypnobirthing course & having her as my doula was the best decision I made for my pregnancy, my birth and my baby. I knew hypnobirthing would help but I didn’t realise to what extent. My birth exceeded my expectations of how a birth could go. The techniques I learnt massively supported me through the later part of my pregnancy, my labour and then birth. I can honestly say I can’t wait to give birth again. I hold the entire experience of birthing my baby so close to my heart. I didn’t experience pain in labour, only sensations and I’m a first time mum.
I first met Roma at a Mum and Baby group, where she would often give exhausted new mums a break by cuddling their grumpy babies. It was amazing to watch: tiny newborns would just become limp and peaceful as she cuddled them, and so mentally I nicknamed her The Baby Whisperer. So, when I hurt my shoulder so badly that I couldn’t care for my 5 month old, Roma was the natural choice. I called her and thankfully she was available the next day. She just came for a few hours in the afternoons to give my husband a break while he looked after both of us, and she was really brilliant. My son took to her instantly – which is really unusual – and I instinctively felt that I could trust him with her. And she was nice company for me too! Jo I knew that having a doula present with me would make a big difference to the birth – what I didn’t realise was just how big! Close to the birth we were in regular contact, and she was always available to talk to. When I went into early labour she was reassuring. I was in no doubt that had I needed her very early on, she would have come along, but as things stopped overnight this didn’t appear necessary. I spoke to her first thing the next morning, feeling relaxed and comfortable…then within the hour everything started happening very quickly. Roma was on her way as soon as my partner called her. I can’t really express the relief I experienced on seeing her arrive – my surges were close and strong, and I felt like the cavalry had arrived! We had planned a water birth and had the pool set up, but not yet filled. She immediately set to getting this ready for us – organising my partner, supporting my toddler (who was to be present at the birth) and supporting me through my surges. Whilst getting the pool ready, she contacted the midwives for us. I had a lot of anxiety following the birth of my first son, but I felt this met with calm reassurance from Roma, so instead of feeling out of control, I was able to embrace and be very present with what was happening (and it was pretty epic!). Her emotional support was so valuable. She held my hand and held the space, and had complete faith in my ability to birth, even when I didn’t. I remember her recognising as soon as I was in transition, and in letting me know; I understood I was at the threshold of birth and felt full of relief! Her practical support got me in the pool and kept me (I feel) out of hospital. Her advice, when asked for, was very sound, and based on experience. She always had my best interests at heart and was absolutely committed to facilitating the birth I wanted. She remained with us for a long time after the birth – she took photos for us immediately after the birth, helped entertain my toddler whilst I had stitches and then emptied the pool and cleaned up for us after the birth. (First time around it took us nearly a week to dismantle our pool – even though we didn’t use it!), providing us with a clean and uncluttered environment to enjoy in the days after the birth. She returned two days later. My partner had gone back to work (already!) and I was in the throws of baby blues and feeling overwhelmed. Roma came with lunch :-). She played with my toddler. She helped me change bed sheets. She washed up and she put the three of us to bed – leaving just as we were all drifting off to sleep! I couldn’t have managed without her! I really do feel that having a doula present – especially at a home birth – makes an enormous difference to birthing outcomes. Roma’s presence at the birth of our son was invaluable. She quietly and competently made all the difference, and I would have no hesitation in inviting her to be with us for any future births, nor in recommending her to other parents to be.