Birth (Recognised since September 2017)
Lives in: Didcot OX11
Local info and availability:
Oxon, Berks, Hampshire, Bucks, Beds, Wilts & Glos within an hour's drive of Didcot. John Radcliffe (Oxford), Royal Berks (Reading)
Ante-natal preparation, breastfeeding support, birth trauma support, birth pool hire, support in hospital or at home.
I am a mother of 3, all born in the local midwife-led unit in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. I live with my children (plus 2 dogs and a cat) in a vibrant village near Didcot, where I get involved in various community organisations, including Breastfeeding peer support groups and the performing arts.
My background is scientific (I have a degree in microbiology and biochemistry), but I gave up working in the formal sector when I had my first child in 2001. Since then, I have been self-employed, as both a music teacher (from babies to primary school aged children), and as a seller of Barefoot Books. However, since having my second child in 2003, I have been inspired to find a way to help women to have a more positive birthing experience. I finally found the courage and conviction to go on a Doula training course in early 2012, and started my new career!
I believe primarily that birth is not broken! As a society, we are told all the horror stories surrounding birth, and have forgotten the innate wisdom that has been passed down from mother to daughter since the beginning of history. This is the philosophy behind my business name, Maternal Wisdom.
As a birth doula, my role is to enable the woman/couple to make informed choices, and then to support them on their journey, whichever route they follow. When with a woman in labour, I see my role as “mothering the mother”, and “holding the space” for her, so that she can get on with the vital job in hand, without too much distraction. I also provide support for the birthing woman’s partner, enabling him or her to best assist the mother with whatever she needs at the time.
As a post-natal doula, I will do whatever is required in order to help the mother/baby unit to bond and settle into their new life together. The “babymoon” is an important period, during which mother and baby get to know each other, and a doula can fulfil the role which the modern day extended family often cannot, i.e. allowing the mother to concentrate on her baby, without the distractions of day-to-day household chores. I particularly support breastfeeding, but will help with whichever feeding regime the mother has decided on.
As both a birth doula and a post-natal doula, I enable the mother to feel empowered, so that she believes in herself, and is therefore more likely to be able to birth beautifully and nurture her newborn as she desires.
I was trained in May 2012 by Kate Woods of Conscious Birthing.
Advanced Doula Training June 2013 with Kate Woods
Rebozo Workshop with Stacia Smales-Hill June 2013
Workshop with Penny Simkin May 2013 – Supporting survivors of Abuse and Birth Trauma
Breech Birth workshop with Mary Cronk and Shawn Walker 2012
First Aid certificate – January 2013
Paediatric first aid certificate 2013
Breastfeeding support training from Sally Inch at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford
Enhanced DBS certificate
I have experience of births at home, in hospital, and and in midwife-led units – I will support women in whichever environment they feel most comfortable and safe. My experience includes water birth, instrumental delivery and Caesarian Section, and I have an inflatable birth pool, which I will lend out to clients for use at home.
When supporting women in labour, birth and post-partum, I use a variety of techniques and specialities, including Rebozo, accupressure, massage, homeopathy and aromatherapy, as required. I am not a hypnobirthing practitioner, but am happy to support birthing mothers using these techniques.
Since doing Penny Simkin’s training course in 2013, I have started helping women who have experienced trauma (from sexual abuse or previous birth experiences), and who need extra help in finding their courage to have a positive birth.
I have experience in supporting women with Pelvic Girdle Pain (also known as SPD).
I have a lot of post-natal experience, mainly through my local breastfeeding peer support group. This includes helping mums with specific breastfeeding problems (such as tongue-tie, mastitis, thrush or poor latch), as well as general support such as making meals, doing laundry, holding baby so that mum can have a shower, taking baby for a walk, and helping with older siblings.
I also have postnatal experience with twins.
I have a small library of books and DVDs, which I will gladly lend to clients at no extra charge.
I still have a thirst for scientific knowledge, and keep up to date with evidence-based research into birth and breastfeeding.