Postnatal (Recognised since January 2019)
Lives in: Thames Ditton KT7
Local info and availability:
Surrey, Middlesex, London and Greater London.
I am a very proud mum to two lovely energetic boys, a seven and nine 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 I found having children without any family support difficult at times and this was one of the main reasons why I decided to become a Postnatal Doula. Having worked as a postnatal doula for many years I then decided to train as a Birth doula, knowing I could support families before and after the birth of their baby and what an absolute joy and privilege it is.
When I was pregnant on my first child I really didn’t do any preparation for the birth, which seems absolutely crazy to me now. No-one would ever even consider doing a marathon without training for it, but essentially having a baby is a bit like a marathon, mental and physical preparation is so important. Things like pregnancy yoga, hypnobirthing, mindfulness and knowledge of biomechanics will help so much in this preparation.
Parents’ choices in birth and knowledge about our bodies and positioning in pregnancy and birth is what I’m passionate about, educating new mums and dads about both. An example of this would be that I’m seeing so many mums being coerced into having inductions which are unnecessary and they go along with it because they don’t realise they have a choice. 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.
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 became a luxury. Second time round it was the guilt of not spending enough time with the older sibling, 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 mum and dad 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 mum to trust your gut instincts, mums generally know best.
In terms of practical support I can:
1. Help with light household chores
2. Preparation of tasty, nutritious meals
3. Help looking after the newborn or siblings
4. Help with baby-care, bathing, settling baby after feed, nappy changing.
5. Take your dog for a walk
6. Accompany you and your baby to doctor’s appointments or baby clinics
7. Meal planning/Shopping/running errands
In terms of emotional support:
1. I would be a listening ear for you, offering gentle support where it is needed.
2. I would endeavour to build confidence, empowering couples to observe and understand their baby.
3. I can help the parents reflect on their birth experience, and explore a mother’s feelings about what she has just been through.
4. I can offer support with feeding, whether breast or bottle.
5. Provide information and guidance on baby’s sleep.
6. I can guide you to all the relevant up-to-date guidance you may require.
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
Newborn Sleep workshop
Birth preparation Course – Developing Doulas November 2020