Whatever you want
Whatever you like
Whatever you say
Whatever you need
As a Doula, I help you prepare for one of, if not the most, important events in your life.
Every time I attend a mum in labour, I bring the total of all my previous experiences and lessons learned at previous births with me.
From the day we agree to work together, I help to care for you in the remainder of your pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Being a doula is not just a job...it’s a vocation…I love being a Doula. I am passionate about it and I also have a great deal of knowledge and experience.
As a Doula I offer non-clinical, emotional and practical support to a woman (or couple) before, during and after childbirth. My aim is to assist women, and their partners, to have the most satisfying and empowering time they can during pregnancy, birth and the early days as a new parent. What I like to witness is the family relaxed and enjoying the experience and journey.
As a Doula I seek to respect and honour client’s choices. It is your baby, your body and your choices. As a Doula I can, and do, signpost parents to quality information to assist parents in making fully informed decisions that they feel comfortable with. Being able to align myself with my client’s philosophy in birthing matters, rather than with my own, is very comforting to parents.
So, it is important to meet potential Doulas and to find the one which best “fits” with you and what you are needing.
I aim to help parents be prepared and have tools to support themselves during labour, birth and early parenthood using Hypnobirthing techniques, relaxation scripts, breathing, comfort, practical help and foster a positive mindset in parents.
The benefits of having a Doula
Many studies have shown that having a Doula reduces incidences of Cesarean birth, use of anesthesia, shortens labour and provides mums with positive reflection and good memories of their experience.
If you are wondering if I am worth my fee. Weigh up the long lasting benefits of a new Travel System compared to 'Having a Doula', who helps to steer you on a wonderful path for you, your baby and your family for the foreseeable future.
Sometimes it helps partners to know there is someone else present with them while they support the mum. Someone with some experience and knowledge of birth, so that they can focus on supporting rather than worrying about ‘doing the right thing’, or when to call the midwife in, or go to the birth place. I feel that a Doula takes some of the strain off the supporting partner; and that always helps a mum in labour to feel calm. Clients do not feel like they are alone when a Doula is there; reassuring them that all is usual and well, or suggesting it is time to seek clinical help. Removing, or giving balance to, the stereo-typed negative drama of childbirth, makes such a positive difference to parents.
I am mentally strong and supportive and able to stand up for others when required to do so. Sometimes support is simply attending midwife and consultant appointments with the mum and her partner. Having a third party there seems to make a difference for the parents. Sometimes it is visiting you, or chatting with you on the phone, when you require my presence in your journey.
What on earth do I do when I am with a mum for one of those long drawn-out labours?
Walk in the snow with her, or the beach in summer, bake a cake, read stories to the toddler, massage mum, supply cooling refreshing drinks and tasty snacks, laugh, snooze, make the dinner for the family, whatever it takes, whatever you want, whatever you need.
How far do you travel?
I work a radius of 100 miles from my home (maximum distance I will travel each way) considering that I will usually make 5 or 6 visits to your home / hospital and also spend two days with you teaching antenatal and hypnosis techniques, be with you for as much of your labour (including very early labour) as possible, the birth and postnatal time and…also provide you with the best I can…I am worth your investment.
Well, I live most of my year ‘On Call’, sleeping with the phone beside the bed waiting on YOU to call and say I think I am in labour.
Being a Doula takes commitment
This is actually quite a balancing act.
Luckily for me I have no children to arrange care for. And my husband manages to look after the cats, the dog and eight fish tanks when I am not around! However, it does mean I restrict my daily activities to being five minutes away from my car at all times. I explain to friends and family that I may need to leave the cinema, restaurant, or their home in a flash! Sometimes asking them to visit me - because they really do live 40 miles in the opposite direction to your home. I always have a back-up plan for family birthdays and theatre outings, so that husband has a substitute partner if I am called out.
I always have a packed bag in the car and a pile of clean clothes beside the shower. Often I munch and slurp oatcakes and half a cup of tea, as I run out the door with my devoted husband saying "I loves you, see you next month!"
It's fair to say my liver loves me being a Doula, as I am DRY when on call!
I am grateful that I am surrounded by a husband, family and friends that understand just how seriously I take my responsibilities for every mum I attend. I guess they all do their own part of supporting you, as well.
Since I chose this way of life in 2009, I have never failed to go to a woman in labour when called, I have never counted the hours I work. Although some labours have taken a couple of days and others a mere hour from the call! On Call can be 3 or 4 days to 28 or more before the call comes.
Don’t take MY word for it, read what mums and dads say in their testimonials or watch the wee film of mums chatting to the film producer about what it means to them on my Birth and Postnatal Doula page.
Mums, dads and babies this year are booked in for Fife, Tayside and Angus so my wee car will be seen chugging along many beautiful roads in 2019.
And retirement? Personally, I can’t see that far ahead! I am in my 60’s and loving every single day of life and especially the opportunity I have to be a positive part in the lives of so many families, why would I EVER want to retire?!
I hope this has helped you in making your decision.
So last week I was reading a report about Abortion Doula work and the more I read, the more I felt a rising emotional wave within myself and an internal dialogue, the result if which led me to change my own bio on Facebook and to make additional information available on my website.
As a student of antenatal education the training by the NCT was such that personal bias was put aside in the teaching of mum’s and dad’s to enable personal choice in alignment with each persons own beliefs, values and social circles and so I learned not to lead others into ways of being that matched my values and beliefs, rather I learned to provide quality, unbiased, current information and empowered parents to make their own decisions.
When I trained as an Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapist we discussed unconditional positive regard for our hypnotherapy clients and the importance of rapport in any therapeutic relationship.
As a Doula I seek to respect and honour client’s choices, it is Your Baby, Your Body and Your Choices, not mine, sure I search for and signpost parents to quality information and I walk beside them all through the pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal period (beside not in front or behind).
In my work I have, and do, support people from all backgrounds in dealing with all manner of stressful situations, behaviours and emotional journeys, working with drug and alcohol addictions, phobias, relationship issues and many more aspects of simply being human.
I have supported women who have multiple miscarriages, some who work to achieve fertility, those who struggle to find a place of acceptance of a childless life, support parents through childbirth with various outcomes including undiagnosed illnesses of the new born and sometimes birthing their stillborn baby. I have also supported mums to continue their pregnancy following rape and assault.
Through all of this, I strive to remain respectful at all times.
So last week, I found myself emerging from the article like a kind of metamorphosis becoming ready, in fact, I am ready to support women and parents when faced with choices around continuing with a pregnancy. It could be through identification of foetal anomaly during a second trimester ultrasound scan and/or blood tests, or uncertainty within a relationship, lack of support, financial constraints, contraception failure and other reasons.
Whatever the circumstances I stand firmly for a woman’s right to choose what happens with her own body, and her right to have the best support possible. For some women there is no one to turn to, no one to trust, no one to walk beside her. No one to perhaps provide her with information on choices, procedures, available clinical care. Maybe she doesn’t have a listening ear, a companion to go with her to clinic appointments, someone to be there on the day, to hold her in a sacred, safe space and to be available in the days, weeks and months that follow, if needed. For some, like the women of Northern Ireland, there are as yet no clinical provisions and therefore a journey to Scotland including a couple of nights in our home is available providing there are no adverse reactions to our two cats, a dog and numerous fish tanks.
If you or someone you know is looking for unconditional support then I, amongst others are available.
I am a Full Spectrum Doula and I am at your service.