Birth (Recognised since March 2014)
Lives in: Badminton, Gloucestershire GL9
Local info and availability:
I'm lived in London for almost 10 years and now I'm based in the Cotswolds, near Bath, Bristol and Swindon.
Certified HypnoBirthing Teacher - group and private courses, Shiatsu Massage, breastfeeding support, Homeopathy, www.hypnodoula.net
Experienced doula and HypnoBirthing Teacher of the Mongan Method
“I would recommend having a doula to anyone who wants to feel supported and confident while giving birth – Stina, with her combination of energy, empathy and experience was wonderful. She completely transformed my experience of giving birth.” – CR 2019
Message from Stina – Firstly, congratulations for your pregnancy! This is an exciting time. It can sometimes be a little daunting, also.
My role is to remind you of how capable you are and support you in your journey. I’ve worked as a doula and Hypnobirthing teacher since 2013 (recognised 2014) and attended near to 50 births. Whether you choose a natural birth or a medicated birth, I will be your advocate, your guide and protect your birthing space. I have no preferences, I am here to support you whatever you birth choices are. I just tell you your options and you choose what feels right.
I have experience of homebirths, hospital births, water births, C-sections, long births, fast births, VBACs and twins. I’ve supported couples and single mothers.
“Stina was the best choice I could have made for my baby and I. We established a close relationship and she enabled me to share my hopes and fears around the birthing experience.” – CH 2018
Location – the areas I cover – I moved from London a couple of years ago and I’m now based in the Cotswolds. I’m near Bath, Bristol and Swindon.
“Having Stina as our doula enabled us to look forward to the birth with confidence and excitement. I loved her massage!” – JF 2018
A bit about me – my Father is English and my mother is Norwegian. I grew up visiting our family summer house every holiday of my childhood. It was by the sea and made of red wood, it had no hot water and the toilet was a hut in the woods! I remember fishing for crabs, swims before breakfast and peeling potatoes by the waters edge with my grandmother.
It was here that I felt a connection with nature most. The feeling of being part of something profound and beautiful. I must say, this feeling kept me strong during both my labours and helped me trust in the birth process.
“It felt so reassuring to have someone
with such experience guide us through birth. She used her Homeopathy kit when the surges slowed and I’m sure it made a difference ” – JS
Training – I’ve got a good mix of science and holistic. I graduated with a Science degree at the University of Westminster then trained in Shiatsu, Body Memory Therapy and with Elena Tonetti of Birth into Being. I then became a doula and hypnobirthing teacher as I found giving birth to be life changing.
Birth – I birthed both my children, Bluey (8 years) and Delphie (4 years) at home in London. They were water births and I had no medication. I just thought, well if my body can grow these babies then surely that same primal force must birth them too? And yes, the surges took all my concentration and yes, I needed stamina like never before (maybe even more that cross-country runs at school?). Yet I knew the intensity wasn’t causing damage, so I just focused on the breath, focused on moving the surges through my body (don’t tense the muscles – its makes them feel stronger!) and waited for them to pass.
I made long, low sounds (Om is a good one – or moooo (!) both are the same but one less guru-like). I took one surge at a time and focused on the goal which was the baby in my arms. This was the finishing line and I was determined to get over whatever hurdles that came my way. If there were ever Viking moments in my life – these were them – but also the most empowering and the most beautiful.
Birth is pretty special…words do not come close to describe the magic of an empowered mother and a newborn child. This is why I do this work.
For both births I had two independent midwives which meant I didn’t have to stress about unnecessary protocols or medical intervention that was not needed. Unfortunately independent midwives aren’t working now in the UK. We all hope they will again soon.
Both births took quite a while – nearing the 30hr zone from the first surge (!) but the surges were unusually far apart; 15mins at times, so I had time to rest between – and even chat while eating sugar puffs.
I’m sure in other circumstances I would have been taken into hospital and ‘helped along’ with drugs or whatever else, but in my case I could take my time and allow my body to do what it needed. Every body has its own rhythm. If medical intervention is necessary then bring it on! Thank goodness we live in this day and age. But if its just for impatience and because the body is not following the statistical graph, then let it just do its thing. Yes observe but please don’t intervene. Nature has a job to do.
When both were born we tried to make the transition as gentle as possible. We rubbed their little bodies gently with our hands to stimulate their first breath. They both suckled within minutes and when I was still in the water. Its a such a wonderfully bizarre feeling. It’s like “Oh – I get it! That’s what my boobs are meant for!”
Knowing you have a familiar and experienced guide by your side during one of the most profound events of your life makes such a difference emotionally and mentally. This is also meant for your birth partner too. With all respect, even if you’ve had 10 kids, its still not the same as working in the birth sector. With each birth brings new insights.
Taking away the fear of the unknown – During birth I explain what’s going on. This is as much for the birthing partner too! “Is this normal…? Is she OK?” I explain to you both whats happening, yes its wonderfully normal and what we might expect to happen next. At every point – before, during and after birth I tell you your options so that when your baby is in your arms, there is a sense of “Yes, we made the best possible choices and it feels right.”
Yes there may be hurdles, but we’ll work out ways to achieve the best possible birth for you and your baby
Tips for labour – I encourage mothers to listen to their body and find their own “surge routine”. Contractions only last a minute, so I show you things you can do to help. Making sounds is great – women have been “mooing” since the beginning of time! The vibration of low sounds not only helps to ground and soothe the body, but also move any intensity out of the body. It also helps focus on the out breath. Spiralling the hips in a circular (hula like) movement also helps the baby move down. You’ll have a whole repertoire by the time the first twang comes along!
Tips on how to reduce possible tearing – In a few words; take it slow and Epi-No (short for ‘Episiotomy – No thank you!).’ When the head is crowning take it slow. Don’t push. Use your hands to hold around the opening and take this stage at your own pace. The Epi-No is amazing and has helped so many women I’ve worked with. Its a a small, deflated rubber balloon that you start using around 37/38 weeks and you only need to use every few days. You gently inflate inside you to stretch the tissues. Thats it. It also gives you a little idea of what birth might feel like. Also, every night moisturize the tissues with an unfragranced oil (like sweet almond oil) around the perineum to make it more supple.
Note to reader – Bluey’s head was 14cm (off the chart!) and he weighed a whopping 9 1/2 lbs / 4.3kg and I didn’t tear. I still can’t believe it – so there you go, it definitely works! Its worth every penny if you want to buy it, otherwise I offer it as part of my doula package (Milton sterilizing tables included!!).
HypnoBirthing – is well worth learning as the visulisations, affirmations and breathing exercises can help the mother feel relaxed and confident in the months leading up to the birth. During the birth mothers have said the techniques changed the experience and were invaluable.
- It is not hypnosis – it is deep relaxation and the encouragement of natural birthing methods with a focus on visualisation and breath.
- There’s a book and CD that accompany the class and they help dispel myths and empower the mother.
Doula Package – £990
- First – get in touch. I love a chat!
- We arrange a time to meet for a chat and a cuppa
- I go through all that I offer – and hear your side
- You make your decision
- If yes – and you’d like me to be your doula I then celebrate and send you the contract
- When the deposit is paid you have secured your booking
I will be on call for a month – 2 weeks before the due date and 2 weeks after. You can get in touch if there’s anything you’d like to chat about. I’m here to tell you at every stage all the way what your options are and if things are dragging on and into the first or second week post due date, I can cheer you are and remind you that all is well and ‘baby comes when baby is ready!’ There is no need to feel pressurized by inductions – only if there’s good reason. Medical impatience, with all respect, is not and there’s lots you can do in the meantime!
The package. A summary. It includes:
- A 2.5/3hr factual session
- An informal cuppa at yours around the time of going on-call
- Being present at the birth and a few hours after
- 2 post-natal sessions (second is optional)
- Shiatsu massage – I massage the pressure points to help during surges
- Homeopathy – I have a comprehensive birthing kit that I use
- Epi- No – to help reduce possible tearing
- The resources list for hospital/home births
- Breastfeeding – I can help with latching, offer guidance and referrals if need be
- I have attended ‘Spinning Babies’ workshops with Gail Tully, to learn how to help reposition the baby before and during birth and avoid back to back births which can sometimes lead to a C-Section
- I can lend you a Birth in a Pool waterbirth pool (for homebirths), birth stool, Baby Bjorn bouncer and Ergo sling
Details of the 3hr factual info session. We go through all the things you need to know. It includes;
- All the relevant medical informati0n
- The birth preferences – then you complete it in your own time
- Ways to avoid unnecessary medical intervention
- How to make the best of medical intervention and make it work for you
- Tips and techniques to help during all stages of birth
- Things I can do to make a difference
- We also take time to go through any thoughts, fears and concerns you might have, so when you go into labour you are free of them!
- Birth positions
I’m here to support you
Its also fine to get in touch months after birth too. One mother emailed 6 months post birth to say ‘I’m so tired!! What can I do??’ to which I suggested safe ways to co-sleep and encouraged her to have her iron levels checked and take quality supplements.
If you’ve read this far then its a good time to say;
“I would love to be your doula” – Stina x