Postnatal (Recognised since January 2019)
Lives in: Thames Ditton KT7
Local info and availability:
Surrey, Middlesex, London and Greater London.
Hello and thank you so much for taking the time to read my profile.
I am a very proud mum to two lovely energetic boys, a 9 year old and 11 year old. I live in Thames Ditton, Surrey, with my husband and two boys. I’m originally from Ireland and moved to the UK in 2003. I absolutely love living here, but found having children without any family support difficult at times. This was one of the main reasons why I decided to become a Postnatal Doula, I knew I could make a huge difference to a family’s experience. As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child”, unfortunately for many of us we don’t have that experience of the ‘village’, and parenthood can be a very tiring and lonely one.
Once my two boys got older I decided to train as a birth doula. The birth world completely fascinates me and I’m slightly obsessed, in the best possible way. I find birth as rewarding as my Postnatal work and what is really special is when I’m chosen to support parents for both birth and postnatal, it makes the journey very special and tightens the bonds we have.
My aim as your birth doula is to help you and your partner find your inner confidence, to believe in yourself and your body to birth your beautiful baby in a calm and positive environment. I am passionate about educating you and your partner about the physiology of birth, discussing your beliefs and possible worries, providing tips and tools for your birth partner to support you in a really positive way. I endeavour to empower you to be your own advocate by providing you with all the up-to-date evidence-based information you may require to make your own birth choices. I am a very calm and nurturing person; I love to look after people and would consider myself to be very emotionally intelligent. I can read a room very well and I think this is vital in this type of work. I am a team player and when working with midwives, nurses, doctors etc, I enjoy supporting these people and dealing with any issues that may arise in a very kind and gentle manner. I will support you with 100 percent commitment and enjoy a very honest friendship along the way.
I remember the early days of motherhood first time round so clearly: the struggle with breastfeeding; not having a clue if I was doing the right or wrong thing; the tiredness; the readjustment of having all the time in the world to no time for me, a simple thing such as having a shower or brushing my teeth became a luxury.
Second time round it was the guilt of not spending enough time with my older boy, and pure exhaustion looking after a two and a half year old and a baby. At that time I had never heard of a Doula but knowing what I do now, having one would have made my journey into motherhood so much easier and taken a lot of pressure off the whole family.
The early weeks with your newborn should be cherished, you never get that time back. I believe parents need quality time to bond with their newborn, and my aim as your Postnatal Doula is to make those early weeks so much easier, to normalise things and be a reassuring presence. I can provide practical and emotional support for you and your family, empowering you, as the parent, to trust your gut instincts, mums generally know best.
In terms of practical support I can:
1. Help with light household chores.
2. Prepare tasty, nutritious meals and snacks, making sure you have a healthy breakfast and lunch while I’m there. I love to cook and share many beautiful recipes with all my clients, which they absolutely love. I am a firm believer that food not only nourishes us, but good nutritious food aids recovery, promotes good sleep, helps with the production of breastmilk and produces endorphins, making us feel safe and loved.
3. Take care of your newborn or siblings while you rest. I love to babywear, so I will use my sling to hold your baby close. In doing so your baby is held close and upright, which newborns love, recreating a sense of being in the womb. In my experience babies sleep incredibly well and settle beautifully in the evenings when held further.
4. Help with baby-care, bathing, settling baby after feed, nappy changing.
5. Educate you about everything relating to breastfeeding or likewise bottle feeding.
6. Accompany you and your baby to doctor’s appointments or baby clinics.
7. Meal planning/Shopping/running errands .
8. Take your dog for a walk.
In terms of emotional support:
1. I would be a listening ear for you, a confidant, offering gentle support where it is needed.
2. I would endeavour to build your confidence, empowering you to observe and understand your baby.
3. I can help you to reflect on your birth experience.
4. I can offer support with feeding, whether it is breastfeeding or bottle feeding. I am a trainee breastfeeding counsellor and have supported many new mums through their breastfeeding journey.
5. I will provide information and guidance on your baby’s sleep, with knowledge of the Basis guidelines.
6. I can direct you to all the relevant up-to-date guidance you may require.
Preparation for birth is ‘the’ most important thing any parent can do, and by you visiting my page shows you are already on the right track, so well done you!
Parents’ choices in birth, knowledge about the physiology of labour and positioning in labour is what I’m passionate about educating new parents-to-be on. These topics can make a huge difference in the outcome of a birth. Sadly we are seeing a huge increase in the rates of induction in hospitals and many mums are being coerced into having inductions which, on most occasions, are completely unnecessary. What we then end up with is a failed induction, interventions and and then more than likely a caesarean section.
In our antenatal sessions we will talk through your feelings about birth, your fears (if you have any) desires, birth preferences and comfort measures we can use to help you during your labour. I will educate you on how birth works, the physiology of labour, how we can create the best possible environment for your birth, the best positions in labour and tools to help you progress well. I will signpost you to all the guidance you may require so you are well equipped and knowledgeable when meeting your consultant
From my own experience, I went over my due date and was told I was ‘going’ to be induced, which ended up failing and then a C-section. I didn’t realise that I had a choice to wait and see if something might happen naturally in a couple of days. Fear of birth is so prevalent in our culture sadly, but our bodies are very capable of birthing our babies and it’s so important that we believe in our abilities. I am here to listen to your concerns, to reassure you and educate you about all things birth.
Oncall period : Two weeks before your due date and two weeks after, or until your baby is born.
I will visit you for three antenatal sessions (where we will discuss all things re birth) and two postnatal sessions, (where we will debrief your birth, answer any questions you may have and support you with feeding, whether that be bottle or breast).
I have studied Biomechanics of Birth with Molly O’Brien and can teach you particular positions in labour to help your baby get into an optimal position for birth.
You will be offered ongoing whatsapp support during our time together.
I will be present to support you and your partner during the birth of your baby when you feel you need me by your side.
I have full insurance, an enhanced CRB check and paediatric first aid training.
Postnatal Doula Course, Younique Postnatal, January 2017
Understanding Newborns workshop, Younique Postnatal, 2017
Twins Workshop, Younique Postnatal, July 2017
Postnatal Mental Health Training, Dr Jo Gee, Mummas Wellbeing November 2018
Reflux Workshop, Younique Postnatal, April 2019
Breastfeeding conference – A day with Dr Jack Newman, Norwich, September, 2019
Postnatal Ayurveda cookery workshop with Minisha Bhaadwaj, October 2019
Birth Doula preparation course – Developing Doulas – Zara De Candole – 9th November 2020
Biomechanics for Birth – Optimal Birth – Molly o’Brien – June 5th 2021
What’s New in Infant Sleep workshop – Basis – Durham University – Professor Helen Ball – 24th November 2022