What I am 'do-ulaing' right now
People often ask, "What does a doula do?" So here are just some of the things I am currently doing in my role as a doula.
Updated October 2023
Definition and description
Doula (doo-lah) noun
"A doula is a trained companion who is not a healthcare professional and who emotionally, practically and informatively supports another person through a significant health-related experience, such as pregnancy, childbirth, early parenting, miscarriage, induced abortion or stillbirth, or non-reproductive experiences such as dying."
Here are some of the amazing clients I am currently working with...
I am officially back on call! It has been over a month since I have been on call for birth and it has been a wonderful opportunity to rest, restore and reflect on my working journey and to give space to my own personal journey. Behind the scenes, I have been doing a lot of work to understand myself better and improve how I show up in my personal and working relationships. I believe doing this work of connecting with my inner child, my body and my own core values, has a profound affect on how I show up as a doula. A lot of the work I do when supporting people is to hold space for who that person is in the moment whilst also supporting them to connect with themselves at a time when they are their most vulnerable and also their most powerful selves. By finding my own voice, power and connection I can support other to too.
I love the diversity of the clients that I support and the diversity in their journeys to becoming parents. From people on IVF journeys as same sex couples and as solo mums, to people from varying faiths and ethnicity, their stories always present new learnings and continued work for me to understand the birthing and parenting journey from different perspectives. One thing all of my clients seem to have in common is the connection to themselves and wanting to be in power during their births and as they transition into the postpartum period. This commonality is where I bring my strengths in fighting for the rights of women and birthing people and supporting them to step into a place of empowerment and connection.
Although I have not been attending any births over the past couple of months, I have continued to offer postpartum support to clients who I have supported throughout their pregnancy and birthing journeys. Being able to walk alongside people during this time and continue to hold space for the biggest transition of all brings me so much joy. I get to see people thrive even amongst challenge and offer practical and emotional support as they learn to be parents. A huge joy for me this month has been connecting 3 mothers who I supported during their (separate) births and I have watched them create their own connections with each other. To create a community in the often challenge period of motherhood is where I think we all gain so much wisdom and strength from, especially feeling like we are not alone.
My life in a snapshot
Me, Myself and I
As well as being a doula and photographer, I am a single, co-parenting mama to a wonderfully strong willed, creative and clever daughter
During my break from being on call, I have been able to really focus on myself and fulfilling my own needs. One of my key ways to recharge and to connect with myself is being able to travel. Not being on call allows me to travel further and I took this opportunity to attend my first retreat, in Barcelona. The retreat itself was also an opportunity to connect with my inner child and to integrate the work I have been doing for the past 3 years with relationship work. The experience really was life changing and challenging all at the same time. Connecting with new people as well as parts of myself that I had forgotten about (like my joy) made for a very vulnerable growth experience. I have gained new tools to challenge negative thinking, daily routines that allow me to start and end the day with myself and made friends from different parts of the world that will be valued connections for life. It has also inspired me to use my voice that I had lost connection with and a desire to create my own communities of connection in the future.
If you would like to support my self care journey, you can share with me using my Ko-Fi account.
Working to make positive change in the pregnancy, birth and early parenting world.
Birth World Work
As well as working with clients 1-2-1 to help them have the birth experience they want and deserve, I also offer work in the wider community to support more families and offer accessible support for all.
My work at Birthrights is continuing to grow and as well as supporting people through our advice service, I am also working with my fantastic team on building an awareness campaign around the maternity crisis and the impact that disbanded homebirth teams, are having on women and birthing people choosing to birth at home. Here is the link to my Birthrights Blog