I became a doula seven years ago to offer calm and gentle support to women during their births, as well as to make sure they are well informed so the choices they make are right for them. I am non-judgemental and empowering, a dependable advocate where needed and always sensitive to the needs of the partner and family. I will always be guided by your wishes! I have had breastfeeding training from an international board certified lactation consultant and began my own breastfeeding journey 38 years ago with my twins. However, I respect the choices made by my clients around infant feeding and support them completely.
I am a mother of four grown-up children and a grandmother of eight, my most recent grand-daughter having been born in January 2018 at the Whittington Hospital. I was privileged to have been my daughter’s doula.
I will travel to most local hospitals and birth centres in North, N.West and Central London.
I provide separate ante-natal birth preparation for those not choosing to have a doula at their birth, as well breastfeeding education. Getting your baby correctly latched isn’t always easy but it is essential to avoid nipple pain, engorgement and frustrated baby syndrome! To ensure I am providing you with the best care, I attend a variety of doula-interest courses regularly and am currently studying lactation support under Indira Lopez-Bassols, IBCLC. I am looking forward to completing her Breastfeeding London course in September.
As well as being a doula, I am a qualified and experienced couples’ counsellor, having worked in the past for Relate, and as an Infertility Counsellor at the London Women’s Clinic in Harley Street, where I supported couples undergoing fertility treatments; I am therefore well aware of how emotions can overflow at times of stress, and the importance of a calm and understanding presence. I take everyone into account when I work with a family and have had appreciative feedback from new dads who feel they also had their emotional needs met.
I have worked steadily as a doula since 2010, supporting clients and their partners at more than 60 births, in many London maternity units. You can read some of their excellent feedback on the Testimonials page. I also attend homebirths and always provide two postnatal sessions as part of my standard aftercare for my birth clients to help them get to grips with baby-care and to answer the many and varied questions that always crop up.
I have had personal experience of two VBACs (vaginal delieveries after a C.Section) and I have supported many clients who have achieved this. My philosophy is to remain determined but flexible, so that if things need to change, you feel decisions are taken for the right reasons and your wishes are respected. Being well informed is key and my antenatal sessions are geared to this. Birth should be a joyful experience whichever route it takes. Those first precious moments of skin-to-skin bonding straight afterwards are miraculous and are usually possible even during a C. Section.
Due also to having worked in a primary school environment teaching phonics, including one-to-one with children with complex needs, I have a wealth of patience and understanding. I have the invaluable experience of bringing up a large family of my own and caring for my wonderful grandchildren.
I am a peer breastfeeding support volunteer weekly at the Royal Free Hospital.
With my guidance, my clients are usually able to achieve a good ‘latch’ and breastfeed their babies soon after their birth. This has been a wonderful start for them which they have greatly valued. Breastfeeding often takes time and patience to become established and I occasionally recommend a visit from a lactation consultant colleague if a problem proves difficult to solve. Whilst advocating for breastfeeding as best for baby, I am happy to advise on safe bottle-feeding as well if this is your preferred method. No-one should feel guilty about how they feed their baby. Should your baby need a tongue-tie procedure I can recommend specialists. I can also refer mums to complementary practitioners who specialise in treating pregnant women and babies, eg cranio sacral osteopaths, massage therapists and paediatricians.