5 years ago – I would have laughed if you’d have told me I’d be supporting families to prepare for birth and their babies

For those who have known me for a while will probably know the story of how something just clicked for me the day Charlotte was born.

What clicked was that I had finally found what I wanted to do, I wanted to become a hypnobirthing teacher, a birth worker, someone who could support families to start to feel more confident when it came to birth.

Before I fell pregnant with Charlotte, I spent most of my life feeling anxious about something – whether it was something to do with my health, work or making sure that I was pleasing others.

I often look back and really ask myself the question – was it really the hypnobirthing that made such a difference to my life.

And the fact is. Yes. It did.

It helped me to really begin for the first time to explore things from my own point of view, tone down the other voices I had in my mind for so long.

The fact that much of the things that I learnt and continue to learn about the way that our mind and body work as one, how we really can influence how we feel within our mind was the most empowering thing I’ve every experienced.

I was in control of how I felt, and if ever there was a time where I felt anxious, scared or nervous – I knew now that it was important to acknowledge it, lean into it.

On the day Charlotte was born, so was I – my whole perspective of myself completely changed.

I had grown a baby, I had birthed a baby and despite what some would class as a few hiccups along the way (a preterm baby and a hospital transfer in labour), I was able to hold my own and stay firmly in control throughout my whole birth experience.

I knew for the first time that I could control my mind much more that I had previously believed to be true. This feeling, which to me felt so overwhelmingly important yet hidden in plain sight is the reason why I chose to do what I do today.

Through my own experiences of using hypnobirthing in 2 very different scenarios, using breastfeeding and amazing 4th trimester support to help me to heal from a more challenging 2nd pregnancy – I’m more passionate than ever to support families to do what works best for them and their babies.

What is a doula and how can they support me prepare for my new baby?

When it comes to pregnancy, birth and the fourth trimester – a doula is an incredible resource.

Their role is support a family throughout pregnancy and postnatally, being their supporter – their carer. Someone who has got their back – no matter what.

So what does that actually mean?

It a nutshell, a doula can support you in a variety of different ways – traditionally, there may be specific roles that a doula may support with (every doula will provide you with information to do with where they can offer support).

During pregnancy, a doula is able to provide you with support by attending appointments such as scans or midwife appointments – they can be there as an advocate, supporting you during conversations about your choices when it comes to your baby and birth.

Doulas are very knowledgeable about pregnancy, birth and the 4th trimester and therefore they can be incredibly useful at providing you with additional information, resources such as books and can signpost you to a variety of different services and professionals too.

When it comes to a birth doula, they can provide emotional to support not only to you but any birth partners that you may have – they can support you getting into different birth positions, provide gentle massage, advocate for you when it comes to your birth preferences (they don’t provide medical advice, they are there in a supporting role). Many people think that a doula is just for a home birth that’s simply not the case, they can support during all types of birth including a caesarean birth.

Postnatally, doulas can be a great support when it comes to helping with your baby – whether that’s looking after them whilst you nap or shower, provide you with emotional support, do errands such as walking the dog, taking older children to school, cooking nutritious meals or tidying up around the house.

Pregnancy, birth and the early days with your baby are incredibly special, having the support of someone who you and your family can rely on to provide you with nurturing and care is just the best.. you are only going to birth your baby once!

If you are looking for an antenatal doula or postnatal doula in Leeds, Harrogate or Bradford – feel free to get in touch and we can arrange an interview to see how I can best support you and your family prepare for your new arrival!