sacred candles burning

Frequently Asked Questions

A birth doula supports you (and your partner) to help you have the best birth possible by providing practical and emotional support.

Long ago, the local wise woman would have attended births. She would have protected the birth space and ensured that the lights were kept low and the fire remained stoked. She would have created an atmosphere that was calm, positive and encouraging, perhaps knitting quietly, during early labour. When the surges were stronger she might have given the mother a massage, some herbs or a spoonful of honey. She would have whispered soft words of encouragement and warmed towels in front of the fire.

As a modern-day doula, I strive to follow in the footsteps of these wise ancestors and ensure a woman-centred presence in the birthing room, be this at home or in hospital. The birthing mother is the goddess to be served and venerated. I keep the faith that her birth journey will unfold beautifully. I like to work with you in advance, to prepare for your baby’s birth, be with you during your labour & birth and support you afterwards.

I work in the UK covering South East Wales and the English borders. Specifically I cover:  

  • Monmouthshire (Monmouth, Abergavenny, Chepstow)
  • Herefordshire (Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Kington, Ledbury, Leominster)
  • Gloucestershire (Gloucester, Stroud, Coleford, Lydney, Cinderford),
  • Worcestershire (Worcester, Malvern, Evesham)
  • Newport
  • Torfean (Cwmbran, Pontypool, Blaenavon)
  • Blaenau Gwent (Abertillery, Ebbw Vale, Tredegar, Blaina, Brynmawr
  • Caerphilly (Risca, Aberbargoed, Abercarn, Bargoed, Bedwas, Blackwood, Crumlin, Caerphilly, Gelligaer,  Newbridge, Rhymney, Ystrad Mynach)
  • Powys (Brecon, Hay-on-Wye, Crickowell, Bulith Wells, Presteigne, Talgarth, Kington)
  • Plus other parts of South East Wales, including parts of the Cardiff postcode area and many rural areas)
  • Monmouthshire (Monmouth, Abergavenny, Chepstow)
  • Herefordshire (Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Kington, Ledbury, Leominster)
  • Gloucestershire (Gloucester, Stroud, Coleford, Lydney, Cinderford),
  • Worcestershire (Worcester, Malvern, Evesham)
  • Newport
  • Torfean (Cwmbran, Pontypool, Blaenavon)
  • Blaenau Gwent (Abertillery, Ebbw Vale, Tredegar, Blaina, Brynmawr
  • Caerphilly (Risca, Aberbargoed, Abercarn, Bargoed, Bedwas, Blackwood, Crumlin, Caerphilly, Gelligaer,  Newbridge, Rhymney, Ystrad Mynach)
  • Powys (Brecon, Hay-on-Wye, Crickowell, Bulith Wells, Presteigne, Talgarth, Kington)
  • Plus other parts of South East Wales, including parts of the Cardiff postcode area and many rural areas)

When you engage the services of the right doula, it will feel like having a good friend with you at the birth, a person who really cares about your experience. A friend who you can guarantee will turn up to your birth. She will have talked over likely scenarios with you and so know what your needs and desires are likely to be during birth. She will be informed, non-judgmental, warm and yet assertive.

I work antenatally with you, as I believe good preparation for birth is vital. We cannot foresee every eventuality, but it really does help to have done some solid research, preparation and groundwork. I enable women and their partners to work through issues from previous births and from their own births, using a variety of techniques.

Not at all! I will support your partner too and have always had fantastic feedback from partners. I aim to bring you closer, so that you can lovingly birth your baby together. Sometimes this means a degree of counselling, so that you can communicate honestly with one another, in advance of the birth.

I am passionate about women’s empowerment and the journey we take through life, which may include motherhood. Helping families to have positive experiences of childbearing is wonderful work to be involved with. I believe that as long as a woman makes her own informed decisions during birth and doesn’t feel coerced in any way, then this is an empowering experience, regardless of what actually happens. We cannot control birth and indeed, need to allow the journey to unfold. That said, I still think we need to aim high for the best birth possible. This will means different things to different mothers depending on their journey. For many mothers, this means a normal birth, with no intervention and the utmost respect for birth as a sacred process.

I take a humble approach to being a doula and aim to be invisible in my work.  I will be there, quietly in the background, fetching water and massage oils and passing them to your partner or offering them to you myself. I will do my utmost to ensure that your birth preferences are adhered to and that you are not rushed or coerced into making decisions. I will happily muck in and do what I see needs to be done, from making cups of tea for midwives, to reading stories to toddlers & filling birth pools.

If you are managing beautifully, then I won’t ‘do’ anything. I shall simply witness you, unobtrusively and lovingly, in your birthing power.  Equally I am happy to be there with you for every single surge, holding you and massaging you, whilst your partner relaxes. Whatever is wanted and needed.  I am doula of requirement.

I hold a strong belief in the importance of a fourth trimester – the three months after the birth where a mother has the chance to bond with her new baby, establish successful breastfeeding, strengthen herself and adjust to her changing life. This is a key time for your partner too, to adjust to their new role.

I am a great believer in the magic of breastfeeding. Not only is it the perfect food for babies, but also gives immeasurable comfort and solace. It is also a fantastic way to help heal a difficult birth for the mama and to establish a beautiful bond. I am a committed volunteer Breastfeeding Counsellor and co-run support meetings twice a month in Monmouth.

Not at all! Some women feel more comfortable birthing at home; others at hospital. I am happy to offer doula support wherever it is needed. I carry no prejudice about women choosing to birth in hospital. I recognise that everyone’s story and circumstances are unique. There are many good reasons for choosing hospital birth.

Doula UK is the leading organisation for doulas in the UK. It was founded in 2001 and is a not-for-profit organisation.

A Doula UK Mentor supports newly trained birth doulas over at least four births. They give the same support to postnatal doulas, over at least eighty hours of postnatal work.  Mentors then accredit doulas as ‘Recognised’, when they have shown evidence that they can practice without on-going mentoring.

  • Completing an approved doula preparation course. This covers both practical and emotional aspects of birth and the postnatal period.
  • Being mentored by a more experienced doula.  This ‘Recognition Process’ helps clients benefit from years of doula experience.
  • Learning and developing through the support network of Doula UK
  • Having appropriate insurance.
  • Providing clients with a clear, written agreement
  • Abiding by Doula UK’s Philosophy, Code of Conduct and Infant Feeding Guidance.
  • Following social media guidelines and safeguarding policies. This protects client confidentiality.

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