The first time I heard about doulas was a comment by my MIL,
"These days all these posh women in London need a doula to give birth.."
giving me the idea that a doula is not for an ordinary birth by an ordinary woman but a mere luxury only posh people indulge in.
Guess what? I didn't have a doula for my first birth - Which unfortunately didn't go to plan & resulted in an emergency cesarean under general anaesthetic & my baby being born all alone.
I didn't quite realise how much this experience had traumatised me until I was pregnant again.
All the books I read where advertising doulas & I started to entertain this thought... so maybe a doula? A friend, had a doula for her first birth which went brilliantly & recommended - Sally!
When I first met Sally, she straight away picked up on what kind of birth I wanted & pointed me towards the right people to help. I felt safe in her knowledge about birth in general & our local maternity care options in particular.
Sally helped us prepare our birth plans (this time I was prepared for all eventualities!) Luckily only Plan A was needed & my second birth was absolutely amazing - we just made it to the hospital, the midwives just managed to fill the pool & my baby was born in the water shortly after. Sally met us at the hospital in the early hours. She took the edge off by massaging & pouring water over my lower back through every contraction & freed my husband up for me to hold onto.
Sally helped to make my second birth a truly magical experience. I can't wait to do it all again! (Hope it's not too long...)
Thank you so much for everything you did for us as our doula.
I cannot put into words how incredibly blessed I feel to have had such a beautiful birth & undoubtedly your support made that happen! You have been wonderful as a listening ear to my wobbles & helping me reach informed decisions. I can never thank you enough for everything you have done. Any family who choses to work with you will be very lucky to have someone so dedicated & passionate -
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Sally's knowledge of all things pregnancy & birth was immensely useful to us - she has clearly grown a large network of resources & is able to signpost on if necessary.
Her empathy & gentle support have been invaluable in enabling us to feel empowered & make the right decisions for our family.
We thank her for helping us to achieve the birth we wanted.
"Navigating pregnancy requires support, even second time around, but especially after a traumatic first pregnancy & birth & then a pregnancy loss. Throw in a global pandemic & I found myself searching for that much needed antenatal support.
Step in Sally, who guided us through birth planning, active birthing, breastfeeding - & most importantly, empowered us to achieve a VBAC when the medical professionals convinced us this wasn't an option. Whilst we had no time to implement the active birthing techniques we'd learnt (a 4hr labour was a shock to us all) we did have the most amazing birth experience & result!
Without my Doula I would have felt I had no options, but with my doula I felt empowered, strong, confident & able to safely request the birth we always hoped for."
"...Sally is a truly brilliant doula, full of wisdom, knowledge & kindness. As soon as I found out I was pregnant again, I knew I wanted to book Sally as my doula.
I met Sally when I was pregnant with my first baby in 2018 after getting advice on slings! After my first birth I knew I wanted a strong advocate & support for a planned homebirth & having seen Sally for breastfeeding support & sling consultations, I felt she would be perfect!
Sally was there for both me & my husband throughout my pregnancy. She visited me at home a number of times before the birth to help plan. Sally also arranged a Mother Blessing for me too, which was so special. She tailored it to how I'd like it to go & my friends & I had a wonderful day.
Towards the end of the last trimester, I was frequently texting Sally on WhatsApp & she was quick to reply with words of encouragement or something that would make me laugh. She lent me a birthing pool & various other bits of equipment which minimised what I needed to buy & prep for. Her Mama TENS machine was my very best friend on the day!!
Sally also did a Bump Cast for me at 36wks. It's not something I had thought of but I'm so happy I have it to look back on & remember my bump!
For the big day itself, Sally arrived quickly after I phoned her, armed with more things to help me throughout labour. She used a rebozo during contractions, which was comforting. She was a calming presence & ensured I had everything I needed. Not only that, but she intuitively knew how I was progressing & what I needed without me asking.
After a slightly heated phone call with maternity triage, she got me straight back in the zone with a relaxing shoulder massage with some of my favourite oils.
During transition she helped me to focus on my breathing & keeping my jaw & shoulders relaxed. Once we had Midwives, she ensured that my birth space was protected & no one was in the room that didn't need to be - having 6 medical professionals in the house in the end!
I needed stiches after birth & Sally stayed with me & held my hand. Afterwards she helped me to get clean & comfortable in my own bed & asked the midwife to do all the baby checks upstairs by the bed. She also helped ensure breastfeeding got off to a good start
In the postpartum period Sally checked on me remotely frequently & visited me twice at home, which was so lovely to to have the extra support & chat.
Sally went above & beyond throughout my pregnancy, birth & the weeks after. She is worth her weight in gold!
I had the birth I had hoped for & Sally was a big part of the reason it went so well. I can't thank her enough!..."
"...I can't recommend our Birth Doula, Sally enough- she is so knowledgeable & experienced.
I could not have achieved such a beautiful & positive homebirth without her & she will be the first to know when we are having another baby to ensure she can be our doula again. The only thing I would do differently is to book her for Postnatal Support as well as Birth!
Everyone should have a Sally - she helped my partner & I to make informed decisions & to feel empowered for our baby's birth. She also helped me with breastfeeding & slings.
Thank you so much for guiding us both into our new life as parents..."
Thank you so much for guiding us both into our new life as parents..."
Shannon & Louis
Shannon & Louis
What could be better than having one amazing doula looking after you? Two incredible doulas of course!
Sally and Sophy are the most caring, knowledgeable & empowering women I know and I feel absolutely blessed that they supported my husband and me when we had our daughter.
How it worked for us... Sally gave me the confidence to choose the type of birth I wanted, which for us was a homebirth. Her local knowledge of support groups & healthcare was fantastic and invaluable to me. Without her support to educate me about birth I feel our birth story would have been very different.
Sophy then went on to support us during labour. The moment that I knew I could relax in her presence was when she took out her slippers and asked if she could get comfortable in our home. This touched me greatly and made me feel that she ‘had my back’. She was a comforting presence throughout our birth, leaving my husband and I to it when we were coping but quick to step in when I needed someone extra to lean on.
To give examples two of my most vivid memories are:
When I was becoming stressed that I might need to go to hospital I expressed rather loudly that I didn’t want to get into a car. Sophy has later reminded me of her reply that reassured me so much I instantly relaxed and can’t remember anything more.
During what I now know was transition, I started to become self-doubting. Instantly Sophy was there reminding me of my affirmations, reminding me of my strength and ability to carry on.
One of the main reasons I originally chose to have a Doula was because I wanted my husband to feel he had someone with him (especially if I zoned out into labour land) and both Sally and Sophy helped him to be the most fantastic birth partner I could ask for.
Both Sally and Sophy have continued to help us during the fourth trimester and beyond. In the early days, on the end of the text message, often being able to reply with really helpful information and being able to signpost us to resources etc. quickly. Later on, we have benefited from support groups and training sessions they run.
I wholeheartedly recommend both of these fantastic women in whatever role they can support you with. They are worth their weight in gold (or oxytocin if we stick with the topic in
Thank you both, Robyn, Adam and baby Dawn