Postnatal (Recognised since November 2012)
Birth (Recognised since January 2010)
Lives in: London N5 2
Local info and availability:
Islington, Hackney, Harringay, Camden, City of London,
Pre and Postnatal & Massage for Labour, Holistic & Indian Head Massage, qualified since 1997. Janet Balaskas Active Birth Workshop teacher since 2014. Massage & Rebozo skills for Labour/How to be a Hands-on Birth Partner Workshop, Blessingway [antenatal ceremony also known as a Mother Blessing] and Cerrada- A Postnatal closing ceremony [also known as Closing the Bones]
SPECIAL NOTICE DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS SITUATION –
unfortunately due to the changes in policy implemented by NHS England nearly all hospital trusts will only allow 1 birth partner when you are in active labour. This means that unless you are a solo parent or your partner is looking after older children, your doula cannot support your labour when you are in a birth centre or hospital setting. I am offering in person or Skype/Zoom antenatal preparation sessions and I can support you in early labour when you are at home, I am also offering in person or on-line postnatal support.
I am still offering postnatal doula support, I am happy to come to your home if you are comfortable with that [with gloves and face mask] and if you prefer we can do on-line face to face support. I have found Whatsapp video calls to be very helpful with breastfeeding support and discussing birth stories
I grew up in the North East of England where the skies are grey and the people are friendly. I have lived in Islington, London since 1986 when I was pregnant with my first baby. I have given birth to two boys, I had planned for them both to be born at home but because of a “problem” when I was very much past my due date, I gave birth to my first son in 1987 in The Whittington hospital. Luckily I had a quick labour and lovely midwives. I also went past 42 weeks with my second pregnancy, three years later, but no alleged problems this time so I waited and my second son was born at home with just my partner and a lovely midwife which was a truly wonderful experience.
I came across the Active Birth Centre near Archway when I was pregnant and did all my pregnancy yoga and Active Birth preparation classes with Janet Balaskas who inspired me greatly and helped to build my confidence in my birthing choices.
I had thought about training to be a midwife ever since I had my children, but for many reasons that did not happen. After years of working as a massage practitioner [Holistic massage, Sports massage and Indian Head Massage] I discovered and trained with Wellmother [a wonderful organisation run by Suzanne Yates based in Bristol] in Pregnancy and Postnatal massage, I qualified in 2004 and in 2008 with Massage for Labour. During this training and my work with pregnant clients I became aware of doula’s and their amazing work and realised that this was the perfect job for me, an opportunity to help clients throughout their whole journey from pregnancy, labour and birth and into the postnatal period. So since 2008 I have worked as a massage practitioner and a birth doula, I joined Doula UK in 2009 and I am now a recognised birth and postnatal doula.
In 2014 I qualified as a certified teacher of Janet Balaskas’ Active Birth Workshop, I had the pleasure of being taught by Janet Balaskas, founder of the Active Birth Movement.
I support women and their partners with antenatal preparation, giving them information that deepens their understanding of birth physiology, the hormonal process of birthing and how to maximize their potential for an empowering experience.
I believe that the vast majority of women can give birth without medical assistance because BIRTH WORKS, our bodies work well when we feel SAFE, UNOBSERVED and are UNDISTURBED! Birth should not be a medical event unless the mother or baby have medical problems.. I aim to increase women’s confidence in their ability to give birth and help women to have a positive, empowering experience no matter what twists and turns their labour may take…
I feel extremely privileged to support and walk with women throughout this momentous occasion in their lives. I also really enjoy supporting families postnatally, helping to make their transition into parenthood or a larger family a little easier. Basically I love my job !
I am fully qualified in Anatomy, Physiology and Holistic Massage, Indian Head Massage, Pregnancy, Postnatal and Massage for Labour. I am a recognised Doula and a member of Doula UK and I’m a member of and insured for all of the above with I.P.T.I.
Well Mother ” Massage for Labour” Certificate [credit] April 2008
I attended a workshop “Acupressure for Labour” with Debra Betts in Oct 2009
A seminar “Exploring the Contemporary Context of Postnatal Depression” organised by Nurturing Birth, with Michel Odent, Kathleen Kendall-Tacket and information about Biological Nurturing in Nov 2009.
Shiatsu and Maternity Care – Understanding and using Shiatsu for pregnancy and labour with Well Mother in Dec 2010
“Homebirth Study Day for Doulas” with Marie Coveney in April 2011
“Undisturbed Birth” seminar with Dr Sarah Buckley in May 2011
“Breastfeeding Study Day” with Developing Doulas in May 2011
“Death of a Baby Study Day ” with The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in Nov 2011
Paramana Doula Course with Michel Odent and Liliana Lammers in Nov 2011
ABM Breastfeeding Peer Supporter Training 2011-2012 qualified April 2012
Active Birth Centre “How to teach Active Birth” with Janet Balaskas Jan 2012
Spinning Babies workshop with Gail Tully organised by Doula UK Mar 2012
Tongue Tie Workshop with Developing Doula’s May 2012
Breastfeeding Study Day-Developing Nursing Confidence with Developing Doulas in May 2011
Active Birth and Seven Secrets of Birth course at Active Birth Centre with Janet Balaskas and Dominique Sakoilsky Jan 2013
Baby Resuscitation and First Aid with Bernadette Rae at Active Birth Centre Aug 2013
Rebozo Workshop with Stacia Smales-Hill and Birthing Babies Nov 2013
Wise Woman Workshop with Jill Miller [ABC] June 2014
Active Birth Continuation Workshop with Jill Miller and Janet Balaskas [ABC] June 2014
Findhorn Foundation, Scotland for Healthy Birth Healthy Earth Conference 3-10th Sept 2016
Doula UK Annual Conference, Birmingham March 2017
Spinning Babies Integration workshop, Cork, Ireland 9-11th February 2018
Currently taking Indie Birth’s Birth Warrior Project- Doula Training and Transformation online course 2020
About to start Breastfeeding London’s year long Breastfeeding & Human Lactation Course June 2020
I have attended many home births, water births, Hypnobirthing births and hospital births at UCH, Homerton, The Whittington, The Royal London, St Thomas’s, St Mary’s and The Royal Free, birth centre births at Homerton Hospital, St Mary’s, Whittington, The Bloomsbury Birth Centre at UCH, Queen Charlotte’s and The Barkantine Birth Centre. Most of my clients live in Central, East or North London but I have also attended a few home births in South London. I have experience of many natural physiological births using birth pools and/or gas and air, Hypnobirthing, water births and I have supported births that have included the use of epidurals or Pethidine, induced labours and a few births that have needed ventouse or caesarian deliveries. I’ve also supported many successful VBAC births, several of these were home births and one twin birth at UCH.
Since I began offering postnatal support as well as birth support I’ve worked with new mum’s, mum’s with a new baby and a toddler and several twin mum’s all of which have been very rewarding. I hold an up to date DBS certificate.
I’m trained in pregnancy and post-natal massage and massage for labour, I use mainly shiatsu /acupressure during labour when it’s appropriate. I find that it can help relax labouring women and help with various issues that can occur during labour, such as labour slowing down, position of the baby, delivery of the placenta etc… I use Homeopathic remedies where appropriate with my clients consent and a Rebozo to help optimize your baby’s position and to help you relax and stay calm and focused during labour .
I’ve completed my breastfeeding training course with the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers and am a member of ABM, ARM [Association of Radical Midwives] and AIMS [Association for the Improvement of Maternity Services] I am an active participant in Hackney & City MVP and Whittington Health MVP [Maternity Voices Partnership]
I’m now also a Janet Balaskas’ Active Birth Workshop certified teacher since 2014 and I also run “Massage & Rebozo for Labour/ How to be a Hands-on Birth Partner” workshops.