During my time working as a doula I have helped and supported hundreds of mothers, partners and newborns on their journeys into the world. It all began in 2009 when I trained with the pioneer obstetrician in waterbirths Dr Michel Odent. I have continued to enjoy my doula work each and everyday since. However being a doula is not the only thing I have done - I hope the text below gives you an insight into my journey to doula’ing and beyond.
My journey to becoming a doula
- I am the eldest of four, with a 15 month gap between each of us. When my sister was born my mother always said my nurturing ways kicked in and I instantly became my baby sister's second mum. My instinct even at that young age, was to care for her and this continued with the birth of my two brothers.
- It was no surprise then that I qualified as a Norland Nursery Nurse. After working on the maternity unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, I went on to specialise as a Maternity Nurse within families. I loved both my maternity work and to travel, so I combined the two; working all over the world from Oslo to Hong Kong, from Auckland to New York. Whilst doing this work I loved listening to the new mums talking about their different labours and births whilst I cared for their newborns and supported mum.
- After a few years it was time for me to settle back in London. Here I started my own company - Chelsea Baby Hire, hiring out baby equipment to London visitors and tourists with their young babies and families - it was the first company of it’s kind in London. At this point I had my wonderful son. I eventually sold Chelsea Baby Hire as I wanted to concentrate more on my son, as the business was expanding quickly and demanding too much of my time.
- For almost 11 years, up to September 2012, I worked at a very busy doctors' surgery with 14,000 patients in Battersea, as a Health Care Assistant. I had my own clinics carrying out ECGs, Ambulatory BP monitoring and New Patient Health checks. In addition to this, I organised the postnatal clinics for the surgery's new mums and their baby’s 8 week checks. This was interesting and stimulating work but I missed the close contact with pregnant women hence in 2009 I trained as a doula. As well as my private doula work, I also work part time two shifts a week on the Birthing Centre at Chelsea and Westminster hospital as an NHS Doula and truly enjoy every shift I work.
- For 6 years I was South West London’s Regional Rep for Doula UK. It was great fun as I enjoyed being in touch will all the local doulas, organising meetings and get togethers for sharing ideas, experiences and for networking purposes but now I can just enjoy the meetings without the stress. To keep me in touch I am also on the Maternity Liaison Services Committee (MLSC) at St George’s hospital.
- Outside of my doula work I volunteer (and have for the past 15 years) for a charity who provide emotional support by phone, These jobs all mean I require enhanced and current Criminal Record Bureau clearance certificates. Finally my passion in life is travelling which I do every year between births :-)
Photo of me on the right and 2 of my siblings
1978 When I was a Norland Nursery Nurse
My wonderful son aged 6 months and I