Address: 173 West Main Street, Broxburn, West Lothian, EH52 5LH

Birth Doula Testimonials for Renee McBride

Read what Mind and Body Scotland clients have thought about having Renee as their birth doula:

Mind and Body Scotland Doula Services_​James Birth Story"​I wanted to add my own thoughts to what my wife, Rosemary, has already said about the birth of our son, James. I too would like to endorse having a doula and in particular to recommend Renee Elliot who was just such a good fit for us.

​The birth of our daughter was a very different affair. We had a very specific plan on how we would have liked that birth to go as well, but instead ended up following along a path of interventions and accompanying dread that left us feeling anxious and panicked during and after the arrival of our wonderful little girl.

I thought that I would be able to advocate for Rosemary during labour, but I did not appreciate the emotional toll that it can take on a father too. When things did not go as I had expected, I felt like I was just swept along by the current and I was no help to her. 

I understand that medical professionals in maternity care are doing what they think is best to decrease the risks associated with childbirth, no matter how small those risks. When babies are involved it's natural that we all become a little more risk averse. It seems to me though that there is something overlooked in these risk assessments: The physical and mental well-being of mothers. This can be quite often negatively affected as a trade-off for a very clinical approach to birth.

This time would be different.

Having Renee there with us whenever we needed her made such a difference. Keeping a positive mindset is of course very important for an expectant mother, but it gave me the confidence to know that there was someone there with the experience and knowledge of many births to fight for the birth we wanted. To know that we would not be bothered with interventions purely based on arbitrary procedure. To know that if the situation really did warrant further medical attention that it would be explained to Rosemary in a calm and positive way. This freed me from having to worry about "doing the right thing" and allowed me to concentrate on the one job which was really on me: Supporting my wife through labour. Now, I'm not saying that midwives can't  supply that kind of comfort and care. We had very supportive midwives attending Rosemary all the way through this birth, but it seems it can be very much the luck of the draw when it comes to whether you will be assigned someone whose philosophy on birthing aligns with your own. Having a doula and choosing one who is right for you guarantees this."

Read our hypnobirthing experience with Renee.

David with his new born baby - singing the praises of Renee McBride, Birth Doula"Introducing John 'Johnny' Deprez  Sandilands. Born on 5 November under a sky of fireworks. Mum and baby well and navigating this crazy world of parenting one sleepless night at a time along with  super-dad David Sandilands. Can't thank enough the support of our families, friends, amazing doula Renee Elliott, and the fantastic midwives who helped deliver our baby, for all they have done.

​We choose Renee to be our Doula and deliver us a private hypnobirthing class and I would really recommend both to all parents.

As a first time Dad I had found it difficult until we met with Renee with most NHS classes and books focused almost exclusively on mothers and media view and stories from other Fathers simply perpetuating the feckless sidelined Father that I did not want to be. The hypnobirthing class was excellent and gave not only a great medical understanding of pregnancy, labour and birth but gave the calming and relaxing techniques I could use with my wife to have the positive birth we wanted for our son. It removed the whole dramatic and negative view of birth/pregnancy and put us in the best possible place. 

​Having Renee as our Doula removed a lot of anxiety from myself and allowed me to focus on best supporting my wife through the labour. Allowing me not to get overwhelmed or find myself alone as I might have felt with a long labour and long wait without midwives. Knowing both us personally and our birth plan we were able deal with some (medically required) deviations and we could look to Renee with confidence to know when something was required now or if it should be discussed further to meet our plan and needs. 

I would strongly recommend in the investment for any parent for such an important event and I would say it has helped me be the Father I want to be for my wife and son." - 
David S

"No words will be able to express how thankful we all are for all your care and support during my pregnancy and Johnny’s birth .  Without you I’m not sure I would have been so calm in the lead up to Johnny’s due date and your support during labour has meant I have wonderful positive memories of that experience that I will carry with me for life.
 
We hope you will think of our wee man when you see fireworks on 5th November each year." - L, D & J and the cats x

"I would highly recommend booking Renee as your birth doula and hypnotherapy teacher. 
We contacted Renee as soon as our 12 week scan had been done. I have anxiety around medical procedures due to a history of fainting from routine injections/blood tests and was very much worried about how I would cope if needed intervention at the birth. Having Renee on board meant that she fully understood my fears and also what would help me on the day. During the birth when I needed to focus, Renee was able to communicate my wishes to the midwives and when a few things deviated from my birth plan and midwives were asking my permission I was able to quickly look at Renee, who would give me the nod to reassure me that I was consenting to the safest options for me and the baby.

My husband was very supportive of me during the labour and felt much calmer and able to keep me focused knowing that Renee was with us. I'm sure if we had been alone he could easily have panicked at certain points, as I would have too. Renee was on hand to give wonderful massages, help me with my breathing techniques and to give me calm words of reassurance throughout whilst also making sure that my husband was highly involved.

My labour was a very positive experience and I very much have Renee to thank for this, and I'm happy to say that we achieved our hopes of an intervention free birth and I was able to remain calm and focused when a few needles were involved.

We also completed a hypnobirthing course with Renee and would highly recommend this to any couple who want a full understanding of birth and how women's bodies work during labour, it very much took the fear away for us and made me feel confident about the birth. It was a huge benefit to my husband also, who felt very involved in supporting me following the class. As it was a private class (just Renee teaching my husband and I) we had lots of time to ask questions.
 
I can't thank Renee enough for her support leading up to the labour, for keeping me calm and focused throughout on the day and for the support since the birth too. If you are a mother to be and wondering about hiring a birth doula then please see it as an investment in what will be one of the most important events of your life, one that I would highly recommend Renee to support you through." - Linzi D

“Renee is wonderful! I started seeing Renee nearly two years ago she is a fantastic therapist and helped me through some very stressful times. Then when I became pregnant, I knew instantly that I wanted her as my Doula. She helped me plan my home birth and was the rock both my partner and I needed during the birth. She is a wonderful Doula - calm, focussed, warm and loving - just what you need and want during birth. I couldn't imagine doing it without her! Thank you Renee! Lots of love x” Gina V

Image of a testimonial for Mind and Body Scotland

"Choosing Renee as the Doula for the birth of our first baby was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Midwives are there primarily to provide medical support where as a Doula gives emotional and physical support. During the birth I felt much more comfortable to ask Renee for support than I did the midwifes. As I was having 9 contractions every 10 minutes and as fantastic as my partner was, it was really helpful to have another person there supporting as it was too much for just one person to support.

However great a birthing partner is, I still think it is of benefit to have a Doula. As you are not sure who you will get as a midwife and you may not like the person you end up with, I found I was far less worried about the birth knowing that there would be someone there that I knew and trusted. I contacted several Doulas before speaking to Renee and as soon as I spoke to her I knew that she was the right person to go with.

She also provided hypnobirthing. She helped me to remain calm and not worried about going over 42 weeks. When I did naturally go into labour, the massage which Renee gave throughout gave amazing pain relief against the contractions, enabling me to have a drug free birth.  I can honestly say that birthing was a powerful, positive experience for me and Renee really helped this. I'm not saying that it was not painful at times but it is also absolutely amazing what the female body can do! 

​Thanks Renee!." - Emily J

​“I cannot sing Renee's praises as a Doula enough. I had a long labour, with mild contractions for 2.5 days before things heated up. Renee was with me pretty much all of the time.  She read books to our two year old, tidied up, prepared the birth room, fed us, made me laugh, massaged me, walked outside with me, encouraged me and met all my labour needs. I was relaxed as both my husband and Renee looked after us. It was wonderful to be supported, have an advocate who could speak with midwives if required, and have her ample knowledge of labour and birth. Renee knew what I wanted and made sure I got it! I am thrilled to have birthed at home and to have had this support, before, during and after birth. I am thankful to have found her and have Renee in our lives. Renee is a caring, nurturing, wonderful woman. Thank you Renee. We love you.” - Ros M

“It took me time to decide on whether I should use a doula or not - being familiar with the scientific evidence on multiple positive effects of doulas on birth experience, I decided to ask Renee to support me. Renee appeared to be warm sensitive, but at the same time a mentally strong, resilient and honest woman who stands up for others. The decision about hiring Renee was undoubtedly the right one.

I am one of those people who takes local, and even general, anaesthetic because of fear of pain and discomfort during medical procedures. So how did I experience pregnancy and survive birth? During pregnancy I was the most relaxed woman ever...and during birth? I even didn't ask for a paracetamol... what’s more important, I enjoyed it. I had natural birth in the pool that lasted two hours from my first contraction...Some may say that's unusual and I am really lucky...I indeed appreciate the fact that my experience was probably quite unique and I'm aware that not every woman may experience the same and give birth to their first child within two hours - even if she hires a doula.

​However I greatly believe that Renee did make a great contribution to how I felt and coped throughout pregnancy and during birth. She helped me learn to relax through teaching me hypnobirthing techniques. She was also an amazing support to my husband, who in fact initially hesitated if he wanted to be present at birth at all (he was and didn't regret it!) I appreciated Renee’s support during birth... hospital staff wanted to send me home however Renee supported my decision to stay and I’m lucky I did stay because an hour later my son was born.

A few days after birth, she also visited us and provided us with lots relevant information (e.g. on breastfeeding).  I think for Renee being a doula is not just a job...it’s her vocation…she loves doing it, she is passionate about it and she also has a great deal of knowledge and experience. I will always be very grateful to Renee and will highly recommend her to others. Thanks to her I strongly believed I would do it and I did it...now I have an adorable baby and wonderful memories.” - Anna

BOOK RENEE AS YOUR DOULA

"We contacted Renee looking for support in my second pregnancy following a traumatic birth experience first time around. As soon as we met Renee our anxieties surrounding the birth were eased. She is a warm, intelligent lady who provides the perfect balance of both practical and emotional support. Most importantly her extensive knowledge and experience regarding both pregnancy and birth provides great reassurance. She helped us to draw up our birth plan, attended hospital meetings and was always available to chat through anxieties as the birth approached (and reassure me during a couple of false alarms!)

​When it came to the birth itself Renee was just fantastic. She kept us relaxed during the early stages of labour at home with massage techniques and helpful suggestions to keep the labour progressing. At the hospital she was dedicated to ensuring my birth plan was followed. When matters became complicated she was the voice of reason to ensure my views were heard and adhered to .I had a wonderful water birth and it was such a better experience second time around. It is no exaggeration to say that much of this was down to Renee. She really is everything you could want in a Doula; calm, considered and so caring. We are so glad that Renee was there for us at such a precious time and cannot recommend her highly enough. Thank you Renee!" - Jillian Y

​“Choosing Renee as the Doula for the birth of our first baby was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. At first we really were not sure if we needed/wanted a Doula present as there would obviously be midwifes present at the birth as well. However we came to realise that midwifes really do have a different function. Midwives are there primarily to provide medical support where as a Doula gives emotional and physical support. During the birth I felt much more comfortable to ask Renee for support than I did the midwives. She could bring me things as needed and remind me to drink and eat and to breathe through the contractions. As I was having 9 contractions every 10 minutes and as fantastic as my partner was, it was really helpful to have another person there supporting as it was too much for just one person to support. However great a birthing partner is, I still think it is of benefit to have a Doula as they have the experience of many different births. As you are not sure who you will get as a midwife and you may not like the person you end up with, I found I was far less worried about the birth knowing that there would be someone there that I knew and trusted. If you give birth in a hospital you will probably not have the dedicated support throughout the birth of one midwife (they may be covering other births and may finish work part way through you giving birth).

​I contacted several Doulas before speaking to Renee and as soon as I spoke to her I knew that she was the right person to go with. She had a lovely balance between being firm and supportive with the midwives to making sure I got the birth I wanted without being confrontational. All of the Doulas I spoke to had tended to support women/couples who had the preference to have a more natural birth whereas midwives, as helpful as they are, tend to come from a different perspective. 

Renee tailored a pre-natal consultation to our personal needs and answered any specific questions we had. It was far more efficient and supportive than the group prenatal classes provided by the NHS. She also provided advice about hypnobirthing and helped us to choose which books to read and CD's to listen to. When I was late going into labour, Renee provided excellent advice about the research on risks of medical intervention and leaving it to proceed naturally. She provided this advice without any judgement. She helped me to remain calm and not worried about going over 42 weeks. She did some investigations for me about my options and sent me through links to read so I could make an informed choice.

When I did naturally go into labour, the massage which Renee gave throughout gave amazing pain relief against the contractions, enabling me have a drug free birth. The information in the books that I had read beforehand really helped me during labour, especially about the transition phase when women experience doubt that they have the energy to give birth just before they are about to actually start pushing.

 I can honestly say that birthing was a powerful, positive experience for me and Renee really helped this. I'm not saying that it was not painful at times but it is also absolutely amazing what the female body can do!

We didn't realise how helpful it would be to discuss the experience of giving birth with Renee a few days afterwards. We thought the purpose of meeting afterwards was to discuss any problems with caring for the baby etc. however, found it far more insightful to discuss the birth. As you are not completely conscious of everything going on while in labour it was invaluable to discuss this a few days afterwards and understand what had happened and when. Renee could explain the events clearly and provide insight from her vast experience of different births. It is such a huge event in your life that it is something I found we wanted to talk through. Thanks Renee!”  - Emily J

“It took me time to decide on whether I should use a doula or not - being familiar with the scientific evidence on multiple positive effects of doulas on birth experience, I decided to ask Renee to support me. Renee appeared to be warm sensitive, but at the same time a mentally strong, resilient and honest woman who stands up for others. The decision about hiring Renee was undoubtedly the right one.

I am one of those people who takes local, and even general, anaesthetic because of fear of pain and discomfort during medical procedures. So how did I experience pregnancy and survive birth? During pregnancy I was the most relaxed woman ever...and during birth? I even didn't ask for a paracetamol... what’s more important, I enjoyed it. I had natural birth in the pool that lasted two hours from my first contraction...Some may say that's unusual and I am really lucky...I indeed appreciate the fact that my experience was probably quite unique and I'm aware that not every woman may experience the same and give birth to their first child within two hours - even if she hires a doula.

​However I greatly believe that Renee did make a great contribution to how I felt and coped throughout pregnancy and during birth. She helped me learn to relax through teaching me hypnobirthing techniques. She was also an amazing support to my husband, who in fact initially hesitated if he wanted to be present at birth at all (he was and didn't regret it!) I appreciated Renee’s support during birth... hospital staff wanted to send me home however Renee supported my decision to stay and I’m lucky I did stay because an hour later my son was born.

A few days after birth, she also visited us and provided us with lots relevant information (e.g. on breastfeeding).  I think for Renee being a doula is not just a job...it’s her vocation…she loves doing it, she is passionate about it and she also has a great deal of knowledge and experience. I will always be very grateful to Renee and will highly recommend her to others. Thanks to her I strongly believed I would do it and I did it...now I have an adorable baby and wonderful memories.” - Anna

HOW CAN RENEE HELP YOU? CALL NOW