I am pleased to be able to offer doula services as a package alongside birth photography or just stand alone doula services.
As a birth photographer for nearly 6 years, I have found myself unconsciously providing unofficial doula services to parents from the moment I took my first birth client. It just felt natural to support mothers and their partners and not just be their photographer. I would often reassure, research and signpost parents to information if they asked a question. Moving on to become an 'official' doula seemed like the natural next step. Lockdown helped too as I found myself unable to work as much, or at all, which meant I had the time to study and complete a doula course. I completed the Developing Doulas Preparation Course in September 2020 and have been practicing as a doula since then. I am also a member of Doula UK.
Having attended over 50 births as a photographer and/or a doula. I have gained a lot of valuable experience from being in the birth space. I have helped support births in hospitals, birth centres and in people's homes. Have attended water births, inductions, C-Sections, VBACs, HBACs, twin births and free births/unassisted births. I am familiar with working in hospitals and birth centre settings such as Colchester Hospital, Broomfield, St Peter's in Maldon, PAH, Basildon, Southend, Kingston, Whipps Cross, North Middlesex, Homerton, Lewisham, Chelsea & Westminster, St Thomas' and St Mary's in London, where i have built up trusted relationships with midwives and other birth workers. I have also supported birthing people in private wings. I know and understand how to respect the birth space and work with and alongside health professionals, whilst still supporting my birthing persons wishes and advocating for them.
Many people may think that they have a birth partner who can support them throughout labour, and that you've done the antenatal classes/hypnobirthing course so you know what to do. However, many will forget all of the helpful tips or tricks they learned in birth class when the pressure is on. It is very difficult for someone to fully support you when they are managing their own intense emotions in a stressful setting! A doula can help you both navigate your emotions and guide you through any unexpected changes to your birth plan, allowing your partner to be fully present with you as your partner instead of as your birth attendant.
Your partner is the expert in you. A doula is the expert in birth. Together, we can create an amazing platform of support to make sure you've got an incredible support team around you as you prepare to meet your baby.
As your doula I will completely support you emotionally and practically in whichever direction your birthing journey takes you, providing you and your partner with comprehensive information for you to make informed choices and decisions to ensure you have the best possible birth for you, on that day. Whether that be a planned vaginal birth or a planned abdominal birth. People planning a c-section delivery need just as much support, comprehensive and non-judgemental information too, which I am happy to provide. I have a keen interest in VBAC and HBAC births, successfully supporting several couples in their plans for these. My aim is to give you all the information and confidence to advocate for yourself but to be your voice if and when you need me to be.
I can offer hypnobirthing, acupressure and moxibustion, help you understand alternative forms of pain relief in the way of the Pain Gate Theory, have a TEN's machine, Peanut Ball, Birth Ball and a good library of books which you are free to use. I can also offer birth pools and birth slings for labour.
For couples who have had previous birth trauma i can offer 3 Step Rewind sessions to help you re-think the your previous experience.
Birth Doula Services
During your pregnancy, we will arrange at least two birth preparation sessions, where I will listen to you and your needs and assist you to be able to confidently make the right decisions and open up the options so you can have the right birth for you. My role as your birth doula is to support you and your partner throughout pregnancy, birth and postnatally. You can call me for support any time, and if I don't know the answer, I will do my best to find out and signpost you to the information you need.
In the weeks before you welcome your baby, we will arrange the point at where I come out to you so you can be confident you know when you will have my physical support when labour starts. I will stay with you throughout and provide continuous support. I will hold your birth space for you so you can follow your instincts, creating the best atmosphere possible for you and your body to do its thing. I can also be that extra pair of hands that will allow you to stay with your partner in the way you have both planned.
After the birth, I will stay with you until you and your baby are settled and you are happy for me to leave. We will then arrange for me to visit when you are home to make sure everything is going well and to debrief the birth. I can then also give you details of any further support available if needed. I'll also give you a Workbook covering everything we talk about plus extra information.
My specific interest is doula-ing parents who become pregnant again after a loss, either pregnancy loss or baby loss. I volunteer at my local hospital supporting parents who have sadly lost their babies by capturing memories with their babies that they can treasure forever. Although everyone's journey through pregnancy and baby loss is different and personal to them, I can sadly empathise.I have been very honoured to support couples with their Rainbow Baby and hopefully help ease some of the anxiety that develops through pregnancy, labour and birth after a loss.
Postnatal Doula Services
By being your postnatal doula, my intention is to be there so that you can concentrate on bonding and establish feeding, whether you are breast/chest feeding, formula feeding or both. I will always do my best to tailor how we work together to meet your individual needs. This could be by just sitting and listening to your concerns and signposting you to information that may help or to just have a nap without baby.
I will listen to you and can help you if you feel you need to discuss or debrief your birth experience. Hopefully I can help to boost your confidence around your new baby but without taking over. I can cook, do light housework, shopping, washing or tidying. I can walk the dog/s, play with other siblings, or look after the baby so you can sleep.
Miscarriage Doula Services
Having supported someone through their 2nd miscarriage, i realised i could make a difference in the way they experienced their loss. This time, for her, it was pain free, which was a big fear she had. She had someone to talk to whilst things were happening and i was able to help calm and reassure her when she needed it. Having experienced miscarriage myself and my experience with miscarriage and baby loss through my photography i can reassure people with different things happening with their bodies whilst going through a loss. I can help people navigate the NHS system, where unfortunately there isn't much in the way of support for couples once they have started to experience a miscarriage and are pretty much left to get on with it. I can help understand what to expect physically and what to expect after. I can be there to support physically and emotionally as well as support over the phone throughout the whole process. I know when i experienced my miscarriage i didn't know what to expect, what was normal and that i didn't actually have to be in pain, just because it was 'normal' to feel pain. I felt alone and lost and just left to go through the process that had to happen. Nothing was explained, nothing was offered. I don't want others to have to feel the same.
I am currently studying for a Diploma in Antenatal Teaching which allows me to offer one to one antenatal sessions without the birth support. These sessions can be tailor made to your specific needs whether you are first time parents or need a little more support, information and care after a pregnancy or birth loss. I also offer C-Section, VBAC & HBAC specific sessions to help you navigate, what can be, a difficult system around these births.
One Off Doula Support
One off doula support can be anything from advice and information on your birth rights, how induction works, the types of induction, what happens if a c-section is suggested, information for Group B Strep if detected or you've had your baby and need some reassurance. Or it may well just be you would like to be more informed about something but don't know where to start. These are just a few examples of what i can help you with. We can arrange a video call or a telephone call to discuss what support you need.
Please contact me to find out more about the services I offer and bespoke doula packages and prices.