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.
5/12/2018 0 Comments
Below is a testimonial from one of my recent clients Rosemary, from her Facebook feed:
"I would like to recommend Renee Elliott as a birth doula and hypnobirthing teacher and also mention the incredible contribution that a good doula has for any childbirth - as a doula is often an unknown or misunderstood part of the birth process.
My husband and I both come from a scientific/mathematical background, so our initial bias towards maternity care was that the 'doctors know best' as I expected that they would use an evidence-based approach at the center of their decision making. However the more that I have learned about maternity care, the more I discovered that much of it is based on little or no evidence.
I had never heard of a doula or the concept of a 'positive birth' until I happened to meet a doula before I gave birth to my first child. I realised that I had a lot of misconceptions about birth and I started obsessively reading articles and watching positive birth videos. I saw the pure joy and elation on the countless mum's faces when their baby was placed on their chest and I knew that I wanted to experience that too!
Although, I chose not to use a doula at that time because I thought I could use the learning I made to make informed decisions for myself. I greatly underestimated how difficult it is to go against hospital protocols especially when you are 9 months pregnant and a doctor tells you that your child is at risk!
Long story short, the birth of my daughter was a very fearful event. It started with an induction that I didn't really want and ended up with a c-section that quite probably could have been avoided. After the birth, both my husband and I were traumatised and my daughter had a very rocky start to breastfeeding, which put a lot of unnecessary stress on us during the early weeks/months of our daughter's life.
I decided then that the next time, I would have a doula and after becoming pregnant with baby #2, I met Renee. We got on straight away and I was impressed that she was a fully licensed hypnotherapist, as I had already decided that hypnobirthing would be a great option for both me and my husband. I also knew from my experience that I would not labour well in the labour ward and as a VBAC mum, any alternative to the labour ward would require a battle against the hospital's protocols. I could tell that Renee was just the sort person needed in my corner to get the kind of birth I wanted.
I am so glad that I chose Renee. She helped me negotiate a bespoke birth plan with my consultant (which hadn't been done before in Edinburgh) and helped me prepare for the birth with a 1-2-1 hypnobirthing course and being on-hand to provide support when needed.
The birth of my son was a completely different experience. I labored at home for 24 hours and then transferred to the hospital for the final few hours/delivery. Most people seem sympathetic towards me when they hear that I labored for so long, but honestly I really enjoyed the time at home. It was like a little party in my house where I was the guest of honour! During that time I was massaged, fed sandwiches, listened to music, sat in a warm pool... etc. And the hypnobirthing really did help. It made me relax and bond with my husband and baby during the birth. Even though the gas and air canister was their the whole time, I rarely felt the need to use it.
When I finally did transfer to the labour ward, I was advanced enough in my labor that the transfer didn't have a negative impact. My experience in the labour ward was very different to my previous experience. The midwives and doctors really went out of their way to give me as gentle a birth as possible.
A few hours later, I was able to complete my VBAC journey with only needing an episiotomy to make space for my large baby. I did choose to have an epidural so that I could rest before pushing (as at that point I had been awake for nearly 40 hours!!). Although, the epidural was not topped up, so I could still feel the urge to push myself.
The feeling of my son sliding out of my body and being placed on my chest was the single most incredible experience of my life! The start of my son's life has been so much more enjoyable and has helped give a sense of closure from my daughter's traumatic birth. Also, since my son wasn't groggy from morphine, starting breastfeeding has been so much easier and the initial checks confirm that my son is feeding well.
I honestly don't think I could have done it without the help and support of Renee. I wouldn't have thought to negotiate the birth plan that I had and I know that laboring at the hospital would not have been as productive for me. Also, the hypnobirthing course and practice was a big help and made the day so much more enjoyable.
I feel really thankful to have had a positive birth experience. A week on and I still think on the events of the day and smile to myself. I cannot thank Renee enough and would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for a positive birth experience."
#doula #hypnobirthing #mindandbodyscotland #vbac #reneemcbride #birth
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.
14/6/2018 0 Comments
Hello peeps, today I am in warm Glasgow sitting outside drinking frothy coffee and appreciating the opportunity of being ‘On Call’ for a west of Scotland family. Glasgow, like everywhere else, is beautiful in the sun and the people smile more while the sun shines; and because they are not all encased in winter coats and hidden under umbrellas, I people watched. In about 30 minutes, I am sure I saw many from the Far East, the Middle East, Europe, America and South America. Aren’t humans colourful! Every single one beautiful by their own measure, every one of them different from all others, yet still all the same species, different religions, values, shapes and sizes, all ages, ALL together in Glasgow city centre. There was music playing. John Lennon. IMAGINE. I was moved by the beauty, the gathering, the vision of John Lennon.
I found myself wondering how different the scene before me would have been 60 years ago when mum and dad took me into Glasgow shopping. I wondered about how much we gave become hybrid humans, eclectic mixes of genes as I watched couples holding hands and pushing prams, or travel systems as they are now known as!
I marvel at it all, then as a Clinical Hypnotherapist I begin wondering how happy, or contented each one may be, or not.. I like John Lennon want the world to be a more contented place, a happy space for the human race. I count my blessings, 62 years young and well enough to work, to travel around Scotland working and people watching, meeting you, all you amazingly wonderful people.
This week has been such a crazy mix of working fun! Here is what's been going on...
Sunday: meeting a Doula family, a bit of extra bonding and birth plan chat in Glasgow and birthday shopping for an anxious ex agoraphobia hypnotherapy client who has become a family friend and superb dog sitter1 ...Followed by a bit of comedy at the S.S.E.C....home at 11.30pm
Monday: a Doula client has teeny premature baby at 1am in Simpson’s Maternity Hospital, Edinburgh... later that day I have a Reiki and hypnosis session with a client who lives with cancer - pain relief and confidence boosting is on the menu. Followed by a visit to mum and premature baby...then a drive to Ayrshire to Crosshouse Maternity Unit near Irvine, well actually it’s almost in Kilmarnock as a mum settles into her in patient room ready for the labour and birth of her baby...home at 11.15pm
What day is it? Ah Tuesday! It starts off gently with a visit to new teeny baby and mum at Edinburgh Simpson’s and preparing tea at 5pm, then JOY! A call comes in and I am off to Kilmarnock, last night a strong, empowered mum gave birth to a beautiful baby, his dad by her side. Words cannot convey how blessed I am to witness this...home at 1.00am this morning.
Wednesday: catch up time, house like midden, slow cooker on, Doula bags unpacked for now!
Reiki client at high noon; birthday girl arriving soon; catch up on supervision calls with new Doulas tonight; hypnotherapy for insomnia at 6.30pm (if I am still awake); pregnancy massage booked for Thursday night; hypnobirthing books to post to Skye, Falkirk and Irvine; a birthday party for a fantastic three year old diva on Saturday, followed by hypnosis for work performance and on Sunday, an other trip to teeny baby’s mum and a drive to Melrose in the Borders to catch up with the next mum-in waiting.
Speak soon. Renee
This morning I wakened early to the sound of birdsong in Beith, Ayrshire. I am so grateful for my health and strength that enables me to tour Scotland while working and visiting family.
This year I am blessed as both a Doula and a Hypnobirthing Teacher in that I have work in Kilmarnock, Irvine, Arran, Falkirk, Livingston, Fife (Kinross), Melrose in the Borders, Glasgow, Portree on the Isle of Skye, and I can’t wait to hear from more parents wherever they are! No doubt the joy is greater due to the beautiful sunshine this spring and early summer however there is always sunshine in my heart when I start out on a journey.
My joy is in being of service to you in your journey through pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. Supporting you to be your best, helping you to learn skills like relaxation, breathing, massage and how to make fully informed decisions that are self-supporting in you being and remaining calm, comfortable, confident and in control of your own transition journey into parenthood is my goal. So, forgive me if I bleat on about how rewarding it is, how much it means to me to be a part of your life, I really can’t help myself.
Yours gratefully....from an addicted to birth doula. BTW Hypnotherapy Rocks too! Renee x
Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapy | BWRT | Hypnobirthing | Birth Doula | Postnatal Doula | The Use of Hypnosis in Childbirth