I am a birth mentor and doula who is passionate about every mother’s right to a positive and joyful birth experience.
What is a positive birth? That’s for you to say! It is not my job to tell a mother how she wants to deliver her baby into the world. Whether you are hoping for a natural, intervention-free labour, have elected a caesarean, want to birth in water or are certain you want an epidural, it’s all your decision. My role is to ensure you have made an informed choice that allows you to feel in control of your labour.
If you are not sure about what kind of birth you would like, have questions around the experience of labour in general, or if you are experiencing fear or anxiety around birth, we can work through this and more, including:
- Pain relief choices
- What labour venues are available and what support you can expect
- Natural pain management techniques including massage, chanting, breath, hypnosis, counting, exercise, music, labour positions, water, partner support, a TENS machine and more
- Going ‘overdue’ and induction of labour
- Signs that you are in labour
- The three stages of labour
- VBAC / HBAC after caesarean
- Home birthing
- Employing a doula (birth companion)
- Working through birth trauma / grief
- Empowering your birth partner
- Birth fear or anxiety
and many more.
If a woman doesn’t look like a goddess during labour, then someone isn’t treating her right. – Ina May Gaskin
What is the difference between a birth mentor and a doula?
I am both, a birth mentor and a pre- and post-natal doula.
Birth mentoring is a structured preparation for birth delivered as two workshops (see below). This is excellent birth preparation for new parents that want to know what to expect during labour and how to best prepare for it when all the fun starts! Equally, it can very valuable for existing parents who want to learn about labour and delivery in a more structured way that will help them feel in control at the birth of their next child.
A doula is a much more flexible role and what a doula does very much depends on each mother’s needs. Primarily, a doula is a source of continuous care and support for the mother in pregnancy and during labour itself. After the birth, I also offer post-natal care service to help settle into life with a newborn. You can find out more below.
How does the birth mentoring work?
The number one aim of birth mentor coaching is to give you a strong mindset to work through whatever fear or anxiety you may be carrying into the birth and free you to be open to a happy, wonderful and joyful time.
If you feel excited and positive about labour, mentoring helps you to learn to navigate through the medical system to achieve the outcome you want. You will also learn how to cope and take charge of your labour when circumstances may require change and flexibility.
The programme is a one-to-one activity that focuses only on YOU and your best labour experience. We will identify your unique physical and emotional needs for labour including:
- Building a birth plan that works for you
- Packing a hospital bag
- Exploring all delivery options
- Exploring medical and non-medical pain relief techniques
- Finding your pain coping style
- Identifying fears and triggers
- Putting together an action plan to meet the triggers
- Finding your inner strength
- How to ask for what you want and need in labour
- Using meditation and self-hypnosis scripts to meet discomfort in labour
- Building a specific plan for you and your partner for the day
- Helping prepare for various eventualities of labour: fast labour / slow labour / home birth / long latent stage etc.
- Navigating NHS maternity!
- What level of care you can expect and how to ask for more if required
- Creating a safe, secure space for birthing – even in hospital
- Tools for taking charge of your emotions in labour
- Exploring how you would ideally meet your baby
- Putting together an action plan once baby has arrived
- Exploring what kind of mother you are. Yes, news, you are already a mother, just one that is waiting for her child to be on the other side of her!
- Tools and resources to help you complete your inner work during the course
What birth mentoring is not
- Judgemental, preachy or trying to ‘save’ you from a medicated birth. Your birth – your choice
- Standardised, one-size-fits all class that is delivered the same way to all
- Teacher-pupil style class where I talk and you listen. In our sessions, the focus is on you
- A step-by-step guide to labour and birth from a dry, medical perspective
- A guarantee that your birth goes exactly to plan. Every birth is different and circumstances may change, but we ensure that the outcome will not – a happy, proud mother and her healthy baby
How is the programme delivered?
The birth mentoring workshop is delivered as either two two-hour sessions, one week apart or a one day intensive course that I can host in your home. I generally prefer to deliver the workshop to one or maximum two couples at a time to give you enough individual attention.
How much does it cost?
The cost is £249 per couple (mother and birth companion). Group and single bookings are also available – please get in touch.
What does ‘doula-ing’ involve?
The doula service is very bespoke to each mother or couple that I see.
As a doula, my job is to understand the very individual help you need and provide continuous support to you before, throughout and after labour.
The help you need very much depends on you, but can include all and any of the above birth mentoring services, as well as birth trauma resolution, past birth debriefing, hypnobirthing coaching, aromatherapy, visualisations for a positive birth, compiling the birth plan and preparing for possible scenarios… and, often, just being a listening ear and a true believer in you and anything you wish for your birth.
I will then be on call around the time of your due date (from 38 weeks) and will be with you when you call me for that most amazing time – the time of your delivery, not leaving your side until you and your baby are safe and well. I will strive to ensure that your wishes and your birth plan are as respected as possible and help you to create the atmosphere and environment you find most comfortable to birth.
A postnatal doula, I can also help you navigate the adventure that a post-partum life can be, including baby craft, breastfeeding support and other assistance in the mayhem that are the first few weeks with baby.
How is the Doula service delivered?
We will have two sessions in your pregnancy to discuss your wishes, fears, hopes, expectations and experiences of birth. We will work through many of the aspects of birth mentioned above, but will focus more on the emotional and spiritual aspects of birth. We will debrief any previous births or any other aspects of your journey that you feel will be relevant to labour to help you set a clean slate for the welcome of your beautiful new baby. Between these sessions, I am also always available via phone or email for any support or advice you need.
From 38 weeks, will be ‘on call’ and ready to meet you if you go into labour. I will not leave your side until the little one has made its grand entrance and you are safe, well and contented.
I will then make another two visits in the first six weeks of your little wonder’s life to assist with any aspect of newborn care – or new mum care! This start with debriefing your birth experience so we can travel the journey again together and reflect on what your labour meant for you.
The postnatal visits also cover advice on breastfeeding, bottle feeding, postpartum body care, sleep and sleeping patterns, baby massage and the importance of building physical attachment, as well as that all-important practical help!
How much does the Doula service cost?
I believe every woman deserves the right to have a doula by her side. My doula service, including 2 x pre-natal visits, labour and 2 x postnatal visits, starts from £599 (plus any distance travel if outside the M25 area). Please do get in touch for a full schedule of services that details your options.
I also offer a separate postnatal service for new mamas and papas looking for some help. The rate for this is £25/hour or a six-hour block for £120.
How do I book you?
To book a birth preparation workshops, simply give me a call on 07494 265146 or drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange a time to do an introductory phone call and book the workshops at a time that suits you.
To book the doula service, it is important that we have a chat first to make sure I fully understand your needs and am the right doula to support you and make your beautiful birth happen. Give me a call on 07494 265146 or drop me a line at email@example.com.
If you are ready to take the step to give yourself the best chance at a beautiful birth experience, I very much hope I hear from you.