I think every parent should have a doula, and I'm not just saying that because I am one. But I had one myself when my children were born, so I know how brilliant doula support is.
One of my big bugbears is that, in our nuclear family culture, we haven't seen babies being born (well apart from on TV but that's another topic altogether), we haven't grown up around babies, or even seeing others looking after babies, so we know nothing (many of us haven't even changed a nappy!). So how on earth are we are supposed to find our way through something we know nothing about? Many of us live far away from our families as well. In such a culture, the support of an experienced, friendly, professional "mother figure" is not a luxury.
Heck, I feel so passionate about this that I left a 20 year long career as a scientist to be doing this for you! (you can read more about that here).
I've always been passionate about my job by the way, I left France nearly 20 years ago to pursue my career as a biology research scientist. It was supposed to be only for a year, ahah! I never expected to stay that long, but during my first postdoc in Aberdeen, Scotland, I got offered a job, then met my Hong Kong born husband Chi. We moved to Cambridge in 2001, got married, and had two kids, Sebastien (born in 2006) and Charlotte (born in 2009). Their births (both very positive experiences supported by a doula), changed my passion completely, so after much soul searching and retraining, I left my scientific career behind so dedicate myself to my new passion, which is supporting YOU!
So what have got to offer you?
Like a Sherpa or a mountain guide, I will be there every step of the way to guide you through the maze of options and choices, so you can make the decisions that are right for YOU. That's right. I have no agenda (except making sure you have all the info to make a true informed decision). That is truly what makes a doula special-who else is going to listen to you in such an unbiased way?
I've been working as a doula and antenatal educator for 7 years. I have supported over 50 families through birth and the postnatal period as a doula, and about 300 families as an antenatal teacher, so I know the maternity system in and out, and I have connections with many local health professionals and complementary practitioners.
As a birth doula, I have supported women and their partners through very different births in different settings in the Cambridgeshire area. I have experience with natural births (at home, in the birth centre and in the obstetric unit), water births, hypnobirths, and with more medicalised births such as complex medical histories, inductions, VBACS, assisted births, and cesareans births (I have been present in theatre during several cesareans and instrumental births).
I'm a birth geek and knowledge junkie (I guess the science brain is never going away!), and a bit of an alternative hippy too, so I've done (and still doing!) a lot of extra training and CPD, ranging from the hard science to the complete woo. So I know a wide range of labour comfort measures such as massage, using a rebozo, relaxation, breathing and healing techniques, which I can teach you both.
Postnatally, I will come to your home and help you settle into your new life as a parent. I will provide practical, emotional and information support-simply listening and helping reassure you that you are doing a good job, helping with establishing breastfeeding, cooking you meals and cakes, holding your baby whilst you rest, doing some light housework, or anything else you need to be able to rest and concentrate on getting to know your new baby and finding your feet as a new parent. You can read more in my blog post about the way I support new parents postnatally.
What I offer
The cost for a birth doula package starts at £1050, with flexible payment options available.
I offer other specialised packages tailored to your needs. If you are feeling drawn to working with me (which also includes phone or skype "virtual doula" support), please do get in touch and we can discuss what is possible.
Adhoc antenatal support sessions £35 per hour, face to face or skype/phone/email
Postnatal support £30 per hour
If you are drawn to working with me, or if you would like to find out more about how I can support you, then get in touch to book a free 30 minute phone or skype call.
Travel expenses 30p per mile over a 5 miles radius, or two taxi fares, to and from the birth.