Hi, my name is Laura.
I became interested in birth the minute I became pregnant with my first daughter in 2010. I devoured every book I could, attended pregnancy yoga, did the hypnobirthing thing... I was hooked! After many years seeking 'purpose' in my life, being pregnant for me, just made sense of everything.
Before this time, I had spent several months in Thailand & India seeking to still my mind and learn to meditate; I had studied psychology and sociology at Bangor University, and had trained and worked as a yoga teacher at the same time. I had worked for many years in our local health food shop and I had volunteered for great organisations doing good work. I feel like all of the above were perfect training for motherhood, and subsequently, for work as a Birthkeeper!
It was when I was pregnant with my 3rd and last child in 2016 that I realised that this work was my calling in life. I met many wonderful teachers at a Birth Conference that year which set me on my path to working with pregnant women and their families.
At this conference, I began to learn the traditional art of the Mexican Rebozo from Angelina Martinez, who is a 4th generation midwife, still living and practicing in rural Mexico. I have since taken two more trainings with her in Rebozo for Pregnancy and Postpartum, and in Herbal Treatments for Fertility. She is an incredible woman whom I feel blessed to have met, and a portion of all my earnings from Rebozo work goes to supporting her work with the native mamas and midwives of Mexico. You can read more about my Rebozo work here (fertility & pregnancy) and here (postpartum).
In early 2017 I trained with Red Tent Doulas which champions women supporting women, like it always was.
Soon after, I completed my pregnancy yoga training with Uma Dinsmore Tuli, a powerhouse of feminine energy! And I began to hold pregnancy and postnatal yoga classes in Bangor. This was such a beautiful way to gather pregnant women and to create community for them at a time of enormous change. I cherished those classes, and yet when the first lockdown came around in 2020, I knew it was time to pause the yoga and to dig a little deeper into life as a birthkeeper.
This led me to train for an intensive 18 months with the Matrona school of Holistic Midwifery. I graduated from there in late 2021, certified as a Holistic Pregnancy and Childbirth Consultant. In Nov 2021 I also took the opportunity to train with the legendary Michel Odent and Liliana Lammers on their Paramana Doula course.
Through all my studies and experiences with families and birth, it is becoming very clear to me that the medical management of normal healthy pregnancies and birth often (not always) does more harm than good. I am seeking to offer alternative care to families throughout pregnancy that puts them at the centre of every decision they make. I seek to nourish, listen, respect and uphold the families I serve, whether alongside NHS care or independent of it. I am not a midwife and I do not offer clinical care; I am a woman with heart who will listen and love you as you are. I will encourage you to be your happiest healthiest self, and I will support you through any difficulties that arise along the way, primarily by reminding you that you hold the answers.
I am Mother to 3 beautiful children whom we home educate. I intended to birth all 3 of them at home, but with my first pregnancy I ended up being persuaded to give birth in hospital at the last minute. The next two were born at home!
(Btw, the beautiful twins in this picture are not my children...I was fortunate to play a part in welcoming their sweet souls to earth!)
2022 saw me joining an incredible group of women to study with and learn from Traditional South African Midwife, Ruth Ehrhardt. She is the author of one of my favourite - and certainly the most concise - birth book, The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour. I completed her 1 year course in 'SiIent Birthkeeping' in March 2023.
You can view a full list of my training and qualifications here.