Postnatal (Recognised since April 2012)
Birth (Recognised since September 2012)
Lives in: Godalming GU8
Local info and availability:
I live in Godalming, Surrey and have a base in London, SW4 which enables me to offer support in a fairly wide area.
ABM Breastfeeding Counsellor * Developing Doulas Course Facilitator * Proud to be....Doula UK Doula of the Year 2018 * Doula UK Joint Doula Mentor of the Year 2018
Hi, my name is Zara. I live in Godalming, Surrey and I’m happily married to Adie and have two amazing sons, Henry and Corry born in 1995 and 1997. Both were born at our local hospital, The Royal Surrey. The first birth was full to the brim with medical intervention, the second a total contrast and what a difference that made to the early postnatal period.
Throughout my life, I have always been drawn to working closely with people, forging strong and healthy relationships. I am a good listener, calm and practical and can turn my hand to most things required of me.
My boys are grown up and having spent many happy years at home raising them, I am now in the wonderful position of being able to offer dedicated support to other people on their unique journeys into parenthood.
I was born and raised in South West London and spent the vast majority of my career working in the music business there. It was an amazing time in my life (young, free and single!) and I had some truly incredible experiences in a variety of roles and got to travel around the world. My soul mate came into my life in 1993 and very quickly we were married and started a family. I then left work to concentrate on being a mummy and we all had to work through a very difficult time whilst I suffered and slowly recovered from PND.
So, life goes on…..
I ran a successful children’s party company, worked as a volunteer for the NCT in various roles and as a support worker in a primary and then secondary school. I considered applying to do midwifery but fate stepped in and my wonderful cousin, a senior midwife arranged for me to meet a doula she worked with and the seed was sewn. She introduced me to the concept of offering support in a non medical way; Mothering the Mother.
In 2010, I had the great honour of offering birth and postnatal support to a friend who is a single mother. This truly wonderful experience left me in no doubt that my vocation is to work as a doula; we can offer such invaluable support during pregnancy, birth and the early weeks that everyone should have access to one.
By loving, cherishing and nurturing women during the childbirth year we can help to create a better future.
Birth Doula Services
I believe wholeheartedly that a woman has the ability and right to birth her baby naturally in an environment that promotes a calm and unhurried atmosphere and feel I am able to enhance this experience.
I have delighted in supporting over 100 amazing clients through all kinds of birth – natural births at home and in hospital including the use of water, massage, hypnobirthing, aromatherapy and successful homebirth VBAC1 and 2.
I have also been present at medicalised births in hospital where intervention has been required (induction, epidural, ventouse, forceps and C-section).The calming presence and unwavering support of a doula delivers enormous benefit whichever way your labour and birth goes because the environment you give birth in matters. Having a friendly face and constant companion that YOU have chosen, for both you and your partner cannot be underestimated.
It is a joy to be part of such a miraculous journey. I see it as my role to help pregnant women/new mothers and couples navigate through the maze of information out there, offer continuity of care in a respectful, non-judgemental way and nurture them during our time together.
I am an ABM Breastfeeding Counsellor and am passionate about the incredible benefits to both mother and baby so can offer guidance and expert referrals where necessary. I have however, fully supported not only exclusive breastfeeding but also mixed feeding and bottle feeding.
Let’s make a plan that ensures YOU feel confident, informed and clear about your options and in control of your situation whatever the outcome.
Postnatal Doula Support
In 2003, I spent a month supporting a single mother of four children under five who had relocated to Italy from the UK. Her youngest was 3 weeks old when I arrived and had just come out of NICU. The aim was for her and baby to really bond and get going with breastfeeding whilst I supported her, ran the house and looked after the older children. A busy but incredibly rewarding time!
Since then I have supported over 200 families in the postnatal period, from first time parents to large noisy families with pets, single parents, parents with disabilities, parents with twins and those will premature infants. I embrace them all and offer my support wholeheartedly. Each and every job is different and requires a renewed approach and often a different set of skills and this along with a having a listening ear, is what doulaing is about for me.
I therefore offer an individual postnatal doula service tailored to suit the exact needs of each client and am happy to undertake a range of jobs that make the transition into parenthood as smooth possible. I aim to be flexible and where possible am happy to do extra hours if needed and to fit around you. Some of the ways I can support you:-
Protecting the space of your new family
Attending to mother and baby’s needs
Allowing confidence to grow in your abilities without taking over
A gentle massage/back rub – I have good hands
Thai Abdominal Massage
Infant feeding support
Signposting to useful resources
Listening/debriefing the birth experience
Supporting all members of the family depending on their needs
Cooking delicious meals, snacks and treats a speciality!
Light housework/washing/ironing etc
Making sure you always have a lovely clean bed to hop into
Playing games and having fun 🙂
Caring for pets
Continuous Personal Development:
Thai Foot Massage Course 2011
Baby and Paediatric First Aid Course 2011 and 2013
Developing Doulas PreparationCourse 2011
Breastfeeding Study Day with Maddie McMahon 2011
Oxytocin Factor Study Day with Kerstin Uvnas Moberg 2012
Hypnobirthing Teacher Training with Katharine Graves 2012
Normality in Birth/Kangaroo Care with Sarah Gregson and Alison Eagle 2012
Spinning Babies Workshop with Gail Tully 2012
Sheila Kitzinger talk 2013
The Wise Hippo Hypnobirthing Teacher Training 2013
Antenatal Focus on Fear Study Day with Rebecca Wright 2013
Normalising Breech Birth Study Day with Shawn Walker 2013
Breastfeeding Study Day with Anna Paige 2013
Michel Odent Study Day 2013
Jack Newman Breastfeeding Lecture 2014
Waterbirth Study Day with Diana Gartland 2014
Dynamic Postions for Birth Study Day with Margaret Jowitt 2014
ABM Mother Supporter Module 2015
ABM Breastfeeding Counsellor – 2016
Annual Doula UK Conference 2013 – 2016
Loss Workshop with Michelle Every 2015
Breastfeeding, Tongue Tie and Craniosacral Study day with Kate Rosati 2015
Loving the Multiples workshop with Mars Lord 2015
Doula Preparation Course Facilitator for Developing Doulas 2015
Learning the rebozo way – advanced support with Lisa-Jane Merridue 2015
Acupressure Study Day with Eca Brady 2016
Understanding Newborns with Younique Postnatal 2016
Vaginal Breech Birth talk with Michel Odent 2016
Recipes for Normal Birth Workshop with Sara Wickham 2016
Birth Trauma workshop learning the Rewind Hypnosis Technique – Heath Hypnotherapy 2016
Sally wade Osteopath talk for birth – 2016
Postnatal Thai herbal ball abdominal massage with Anna Gedre – 2016
Closing the Bones massage with Maddie McMahon – 2017
Birthrights Study Day at Kingston Hospital 2017
Breastfeeding practitioners Study Day with Alexis Osmen – 2017
Breastfeeding and Osteopathy Study Day with Kate Rosati and Sally Wade – 2017