13th October 2017
We’re introducing a new series of interviews with our amazing volunteers. These are ordinary Members of Doula UK, who do extraordinary work, often very much behind the scenes, to run our organisation.
GILL SMALLCOMBE – Doula UK Rep
How long have you been a doula? and/or what was your path to doulaing… what did you do before?
I have been a doula since November 2011. Two months earlier I closed the doors to my gift shop Tigerlily that I had owned for five years, and my husband also left his job and became self employed on the same day. A scary but very exciting time for both of us.
When did you join Doula UK?
I trained with Nurturing Birth. When I made my first enquiry to them about becoming a doula the lady who ran the admin lived five minutes away from me, and in the end the course was held at my house. I joined Doula UK as soon as I had finished the introductory course.
Please tell us about your home life….
When I first started doulaing my daughter had just started secondary school and my son was two years older. My husband had also just set up his new business supplying and installing wood stoves, so I spent most evenings helping him email quotes and order stoves. I was very grateful of the support I had from my parents living nearby. Six years on and my son is now at Uni and my daughter is in the sixth form. My husband has a very successful business and my life is a little less hectic!
What does an average week look like to you?
I am very lucky in that I have always been kept busy as a birth and postnatal doula, without a great need to advertise. My postnatal work keeps me busy most days, although I do like to have a Friday off when I can, to meet my friend for cake and a catch up. I attend around five births a year, so arrange holidays and get-togethers around being on call.
When did you first volunteer for Doula UK and what volunteer role/s do you have now?
I am the local Rep for Tonbridge area. I have done this on and off since my second year of doulaing. I have also attended a birth at the last minute and helped postnatally in a voluntary role .
How many hours a week do you typically spend on Doula UK work?
I spend approximately an hour a week contacting any new doulas, responding to emails, and arranging our local get-togethers and RGMs.
What do you enjoy about the role, and what are the challenges?
I enjoy the most speaking and encouraging women who have just started doulaing, giving them the confidence for their first birth or postnatal booking. The challenges are arranging meetings that every one can make, at the same time and on the same date – doulas are busy people!
Do you have a motto or favourite quotation?
I don’t have a motto but when I am driving to a birth I always put the radio on and take note of what the first song is I hear, the last one was George Michael ’cause you’ve gotta have faith’!
You can read Gill’s doula profile here.
If you’re a Member of Doula UK, you can contact your local Rep via this page.