Finding Your Wild… Birth
Adela Stockton (author of Gentle Birth Companions) defined a doula as being "kind of like a birth auntie". A doula will work with you before, during and after birth, offering holistic support, practical help, and guidance.
|"Without Victoria’s support I think my fears would have overwhelmed me into taking medical action that I didn't need or want. But never through telling me what to do... she is incredibly calming; it's an amazing gift. Victoria has incredible intuition and is amazing at listening, empathizing, understanding---just generally being amazing. She is also 'present' in a way that's rare too. Having spoken with a few doulas before settling on her, I know not all doulas are like her. She was literally born to do this.” Nadia|
Some of the areas I can support you with before birth are:
- Creating your birth vision and translating that into a practical and realistic birth plan.
- Helping you uncover and release anxieties and fears you may be holding about pregnancy, birth and motherhood / fatherhood, including those that come from any previous births, society’s portrayal of birth (think about any films you have seen with birth in them – screaming while lying on a bed come to mind? Yep – we can shift that) and any ancestral fears stemming from your parents’ or even grandparents’ birth experiences. That way you are free to create a new story without anything holding you back.
- Giving practical advice and guidance leading to a deeper understanding of what to expect during labour, looking at the phases of labour and how to recognise what is happening within each one. This helps you trust your inner sensations which means you will be less likely to be wondering what’s going on and more likely to use your energy to birth your baby. We will also look at the baby's journey and explore ways to connect more deeply to your child while still in the womb.
- Helping you to find the best comfort measures for deeper relaxation and birth, including - movement, positions, massage, rebozo (scarf massage), aromatherapy, homeopathy, sound, visualisation and breathing.
- Working with your partner to increase their confidence and ability to support you.
- Exploring how pregnancy and birth can effect relationships and helping you and your partner (if you have one) make the most out of this unique time in your lives
- And very importantly, exploring what those first few hours, days and weeks will be like with your little one. There can be a tendency to focus on pregnancy and birth without so much guidance and planning for the ‘fourth trimester,’ the month when you and your baby are getting used to this radical shift in circumstances! So we will spend time looking at how you can help this transition be as smooth as possible and ways of maximising nourishment, health and nurturing for you all.
"The insightful, compassionate and non-judgemental support that Victoria gave us made a world of difference to how prepared we felt for the birth... Furthermore, working with Victoria encouraged our communication as a couple as her visits were a time for us to share our feelings about the birth and the baby." Faith
I am on call for you for two weeks before your estimated due date until your baby is born, and when called I will remain with you throughout your birth, providing a supportive, relaxed, intuitive and consistent presence until baby is here and you are all snuggled in together.
I will also visit after the birth to check in with how you are. Throughout this entire period you can contact me whenever you want, via email or phone, from the time we start working together up to 6 weeks after the birth. (Of course, you will still have my number, so you can get in touch after that too if you need to – I have a special place in my heart for all of the families I have helped to birth and love to hear how you are doing).
|Victoria's strong but oh so gentle support and intuition has been really so amazing that it’s hard to get into words… there were so many points during labour that I heard her in my head – going through how to breathe and the noises to make and what to expect… even though she wasn’t talking to me at all during that time: but she’d prepped me and cheerleadered me so well in the months leading up to that day that I was READY — and without her I don’t think the birth would have been anything near as beautiful as it was.” Nadia|
Every doula has their own skills, experiences and way of working so it is very important to find 'your' doula - the person best suited to you in your life, for this pregnancy and birth. A good way to tell if a doula is right for you is to ask yourself if you feel able to be natural and fully yourself with her, if you feel safe, and if the idea of seeing her regularly makes you feel happy and supported. If she has done her job well, you will look back on the birth with a sense of peace about the outcome, feeling that you made the right choices and that you were fully supported throughout.
If you would like to explore working together, give me a ring or email me and we can arrange a free initial visit. If we do decide to work together, the cost is £600 for 4 antenatal visits, being on call exclusively for you for a month (with 24 hour phone contact available during that period) and 1 postnatal visit, plus 6 weeks of phone / email contact after the birth to help you get into the swing of things and iron out any worries or issues.
You can always add extra sessions if you require more input. It is £60 per session, lasting at least 2 hours each time (including all transport and resources). I work in Bristol, Weston Super Mare and surrounding areas.
Perhaps see you soon but until then, I wish you a beautiful pregnancy and birth.
|“An entire blog post just about how Victoria helped, coached, encouraged and supported us could easily be justified!! We cannot thank her enough.” Nick|
|"There were books, birth balls, beads, massage -- so many tools that she brought to support us -- but ultimately it was just something undefinable and almost magical that she brought...”