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Birth Doula Package

Prenatal sessions to prepare for birth and beyond; full labour & birth support; and nurturing postpartum care

My highest wish is for birth to be remembered as the natural, physiological process that it is, alongside the greatest rite of passage that we can experience as human beings. I wish for all babies to be born safely and happily into their mother or father's arms and that those first crucial moments are held with great respect by any caregivers present - so that a lifelong bond of love and trust can be formed between parents and child. My intention as a doula is to support this sacred journey from conception to postpartum, to be an empowered experience, where all emotions are welcome, and where all choices are respected and upheld.

 
Mother and baby in autumn


Antenatal Support

Typically, I support Mothers and their birth partners throughout pregnancy, birth and the early postpartum. We get to know one another and build a relationship of trust. I may support you to find evidence based information about a variety of topics and choices you may be faced with in your pregnancy. We meet several times during your pregnancy to talk about your hopes, your worries and your needs. I aim always to listen deeply, and to offer guidance or support where appropriate, but I understand that some things cannot be 'fixed', and that simply talking things out loud can provide welcome relief. Usually I travel to your home to meet with you and your birth partner. I will offer a Rebozo Therapy as part of at least one of our antenatal meets. If for any reason it is not possible to meet face to face, we will hold our meetings on Zoom. Each session will be shaped according to your needs which can be discussed in our first meeting and reviewed regularly throughout pregnancy.

Where possible, I also offer every client a Mother Blessing – akin to the Baby Shower, but the focus is on gathering support for the last few weeks of pregnancy, for birth, and for the early weeks of parenthood. It can be a gathering as big or small as you wish, with or without your partner (or children) where your closest friends and family will gather to pledge their love and support to you and your unborn child; where you will be nurtured with kind gestures, simple gifts and generous offerings of meals, baby sitting, washing up, massages, etc when the baby arrives! It is optional, but highly recommended. It is always an occasion of joy, tears and often an overwhelming sense of feeling loved and supported. Afterall, they say it takes a village to raise a child, and this occasion really brings that to life.

Birth Support

I have supported a wide range of births in my time as a doula – from planned to unplanned home births, caesarean births, unassisted/freebirths, twins, single mothers, first time mamas, second, third, fourth and fifth time mothers! My role in each birth is completely different. My intention is to show up and to serve whatever is happening to happen in the best possible way for Mother and Baby - which usually means minimal input or disturbance, and a calm environment.

Sometimes my role is very practical: helping with birth pools, keeping everybody fed and watered, working out comfort logistics for mother to position herself in such a way that she can be active in her labour, but resting in between surges; massaging mother's back or hips; phoning midwives or hospital; caring for the birth environment so that the mother can get on with her labour without disturbance.

Sometimes my role will be emotional & psychological: helping to dispel fears or worries in the minds of birth partners and birthing women alike; being a calm, grounded presence in the room. Emotional states are contagious - if one person is stressed, everyone can feel it. If one person is calm, everyone can feel that also. I am also available to talk through different options and scenarios if needed so that decisions are made with proper understanding and consent, though ideally most of this work will be done during pregnancy.

Sometimes my role is energetic/spiritual: A magical thing happens in a birth space of minimal disturbance, everybody present gets drawn into this Oxytocin bubble of love. Often times a woman does not want to be touched or spoken to in her labour, but she does not want to feel alone either. So I sit quietly and I close my eyes with each surge she has, I breathe with the mother and I am 'with' the mother, fully and completely, and she feels that and benefits from it – especially if there are other distractions around the room – people talking or whispering, moving around, doing clinical checks, etc. It helps her to stay completely focused on the enormous task at hand. I am also always holding the highest vision for her birth in my heart and mind. When her will and determination falter, she doesn't need lots of words and convincing that this really is what she wanted, but just someone else to hold her vision for her, while she has a wobble, recovers her strength, and gets back on track. If this is the only thing I 'do' at a birth, I know my presence has been worthwhile.


Postnatal Care

In many traditions around the world, the first 40 days after giving birth are said to be the most important in a woman's life. She needs a community of support around her – and her partner needs that too. She needs to be well hydrated, well nourished and her strength rebuilt gradually and slowly. Her sole focus for that time should be her own rest, and nurturing her baby, preferably at home where they can have plenty of skin to skin and time to master the art of feeding.

My job as a doula is partly to supply you with good food, helpful resources, gentle touch, a space to process your birth and more... But it is also to help inspire the community around you to rally round and do their bit to support your rest and recovery. This is why I believe the Mother Blessing is so important. Mothers who can rest and be looked after in the first 40 days are less likely to experience postnatal depression, and the Chinese say it is a time to heal all lifelong illnesses!

As part of your postpartum recovery I will offer you a 'Cerrada' or Closing Ceremony from indigenous Mexico. I have had the great fortune to learn directly from an incredible Mexican Traditional Midwife the art of Rebozo and how it is used to wrap, rock, swaddle, soothe, bring comfort and support to mothers and their babies throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period. The 'Closing' is one of the highlights of my work; where we honour the mother for all she has been through to bring her baby to earth; we physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually 'close' that chapter in her life and in her body, supporting her to feel more fully 'herself', her new self; and for her to feel she is seen, understood and recognised for all her immense sacrifice and hard work. I usually ask for your partner/mother/friend to be present to help with this, and for someone else to look after your baby so that you can deeply receive and rest. Again, this is totally optional, but highly recommended!

 
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Birth Doula Package

What is included:

One FREE consultation to have a chat and decide if we are well suited to take this journey together

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  •  4 prenatal meets (incl. rebozo massage where possible)

  •  Phone and messaging support throughout pregnancy

  •  4 weeks 'on call' for your birth, from 38-42 weeks (6 weeks on call for twins, at no extra cost)

  •  Loan of birth pool if required (and if available)

  •  Support for entire labour, birth & bonding period afterwards

  •  6 weeks phone/messaging support postnatally

  •  2 postnatal visits

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£1000

NB: my travel costs are included up to 25miles from my home near Bangor. 
Distances of up to 50 miles will incur an additional fee of up to £40 per home visit. If you prefer to meet closer to my home for some of our sessions this can be arranged.
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Optional Extras:
I would like to offer the following sessions to all my doula clients as I really believe in their value, however I understand that for some, the additional cost is prohibitive, so I leave them as optional extras. 
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  • Mother Blessing : £150

Includes one meeting to arrange the day with yourself and a close friend or family member, plus a 3-4hr celebration on the day.

Can happen any time from about 4weeks after birth, but requires a 2-3hr window where baby can be looked after by somebody else.

We will of course debrief your birth in the postnatal visits, but this is perhaps for months later if some things remain unresolved/unintegrated. Would work well with the closing ceremony either as 2 separate sessions or one longer one, together

  • Extra home visit(pre or postnatal): £60
    (Reduced rate as part of this package)

  • Additional Phone call (approx 1hr): £25

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I am open to payment plans and to valid exchanges that mean we both receive what we need from this relationship.
Please get in touch for more information.

 

It was the exact experience that I wanted - a peaceful, concentrated birth with my baby happy and calm throughout. I can’t believe this but I did it at home without any drugs, with minimal technology, and surrounded by love.

Your role as my birth doula was essential to this. I want to say thank you for helping me get there.

Sophie Foster