Birth (Recognised since September 2017) Birth (Mentored)
Lives in: St Neots PE19
Local info and availability:
Cambridgeshire East Bedfordshire North Hertfordshire East Northamptonshire
Hypnobirthing Antenatal Education
Hello and thanks for checking out my profile! I’m Tracy and I’m a hypnobirthing teacher and a recognised birth doula based in St Neots, Cambridgeshire.
I’m a mum to two wonderful girls born in 2004 and 2009. Like most women, as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I spent lots of time researching pregnancy and birth. However, unlike most women, I found the subject so fascinating that my research continued well beyond the birth of my own babies. I came to realise that navigating this subject is far from straightforward. Everyone has a story to tell, an opinion to express or a recommendation to make and this maze of information can be overwhelming, especially for first time parents. This problem is compounded by the fact that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. A ‘good birth’ means different things to different people and every journey is unique. I am absolutely passionate about supporting women, and their partners, through their unique journey; whatever that looks like! As your doula I can help you to feel informed, confident, and empowered, as you explore your options and arrive at the right decisions for you.
My Background and Approach
Despite the image that people often have of hypnobirthing teachers and doulas as being ‘hippies’, you will find that I have a very down to earth, evidence based approach. I won’t suggest that you give birth in a pool with dolphins and I can’t teach you how to channel the Goddess through your vagina. I can’t realign your chakras either although if re-aligning your chakras is what you want to do I bet I can find you someone that can help! I’m very involved in my local doula community and this means that when you hire me as your doula you can also, by extension, tap in to the knowledge and skills of my network of doula colleagues. My professional background is actually in teaching young adults; I used to work at a Cambridge sixth form college teaching A level philosophy students before my hypnobirthing ‘sideline’ took over and became my full-time business in 2015. Now I work with BirthSense delivering hypnobirthing and antenatal education to clients all over Cambridgeshire, including group courses at The Rosie (Addenbrookes) as well as private one-to-ones. I’ve supported women and their partners antenatally through variety of different situations, from those hoping to have an intervention free home-birth, to those who (for a variety of reasons) are expecting a more medicalised experience or even an elective c-section. I’ve learnt a huge amount about how to support, educate and empower women and their partners through this work and so by the time I undertook the Developing Doulas Course in July 2016 I really felt ready to hit the ground running. You can read what my clients have to say about me here.
What Can You Expect From Me As Your Doula?
As your doula I would provide a bespoke service which is tailored to your individual needs. Typically, this would involve at least two antenatal visits to help you prepare for your birth but often more. I can attend medical appointments with you if needed. I can help you put together a birth plan and can offer hypnobirthing tuition and relaxation exercises if desired. I would go on call for you from 38 weeks until your baby is born and will attend you throughout your labour and birth however long that takes. You will be offered at least one post-partum visit. I offer telephone and email support from the moment you first engage my services until 6 weeks postpartum.
During your labour I can provide practical and emotional support for you and your partner and physical comfort measures, including massage and hypnotic relaxation techniques. I can help to facilitate effective communication between you, your midwives and other care providers ensure that you have all the information you need to make decisions regarding your birth. I can support birth partners and help them to understand how they can meet their partners needs. I can be as hands on as you need or, if you prefer, I can sit quietly nearby and be a calming presence holding space for you. I also make a great cup of tea. 🙂
So far in my doula career I have had the privilege of supporting women at home births, in the midwife led unit and in the delivery unit. I have supported induced birth and surgical birth (planned and unplanned). I have supported women with previous birth trauma and women expecting a rainbow baby.
As a reflective practitioner, I believe that continued professional development is crucial. I attend workshops and study days as often as possible but also take advantage the many informal opportunities to learn something new, whether that’s by keeping up with my favourite birth bloggers, scanning social media for relevant new articles and press releases, chatting with other doulas, and seeking out feedback from clients. Below are some of the more formal opportunities for learning that I have attended.
2012 – The Mongan Method Hypnobirthing Practitioner Training
2013 – MsT Women’s Studies
2015 – Hypnotherapy study weekend
2016 – Birthing for Blokes Workshop
2016 – Developing Doulas Course
2016 – Wombspace (various study days)
2016 – Birth Choices training
2017 – Breastfeeding Peer Supporter training
2017 – Doula UK Conference
2017 – Waterbirth Study Day with Diane Garland
2017 – Debriefing birth trauma study day with Mia Scotland and Mark Harris
I am also a volunteer for Birth Choices in Cambridge and Positive Birth Movement in St Neots.