Doulas What We Do And Why You Should Hire One.

Congratulations you’re pregnant!

Now’s the time to start thinking about employing a great Doula.

What ‘s a Doula?

  • A Doula is a professional Birth Partner, usually an experienced mother herself, she will have attended many births and supported women and their families through pregnancy, birth and in the postnatal period.
  • Some offer additional services such as homoeopathy, massage, aromatherapy, hypnobirthing, nutritional advice, yoga sessions among others.
  • Most work as part of a small team or duo, ensuring that nothing can prevent them getting to a mother, most doulas move heaven and earth to support their women. Personally, I’ve missed birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and even religious celebrations to attend births and I wouldn’t have had it differently.
  • Having a Doula with you throughout labour significantly reduces your risk of intervention (source)
  • Doulas work with you, your partner and family, ensuring a calm environment for you to labour in.
  • Postnatally, when you are focused on your newborn a Doula will ensure you get the rest you need. Taking over household chores, cooking nutritious hot meals. In fact, many have a meal preparation service where they will cook and freeze several main meals of your choice and freeze them for you.
  • Reassurance is a big part of a Doulas role, reminding you that what is happening’s normal. Newborns are funny little creatures and it’s great to have a sympathetic woman to call on day or night to ask all your questions to.

Continue reading “Doulas What We Do And Why You Should Hire One.”

A Few Big Changes.



Since my last post over a month has past, so much has changed in that month, the biggest change is that we’ve moved to a new home in a new town.

This has meant lots of adjustments and some really very challenging situations to deal with.

We are generally very positive people, we always try and see the good in every situation and be thankful and we are incredibly blessed, thank God.

Our strength is being tested, our children have enjoyed making friends here but at the same time have found some of the locals are not as welcoming, being the newbies has its draw backs, one of which is that they are easy targets for bullies, our son was recently attacked in the street and punched in the head, this needed stitches. He was caught completely by surprise and is struggling to get his head around what happened, re living it over and over imagining how he could have handled the situation differently. Its a terrible thing for a fourteen year old to experience. It hasn’t made him fearful as I was worried it might, instead he seems quietly to be preparing himself to meet his attacker again and settle the score. Not in an aggressive way more in a “you’re not so cocky when you are on your own” way.

Both myself and his father tend to handle tense situations verbally, with wit and humour rather than violence and we are glad to see the boys have inherited this trait, nothing worse than trying to bully someone and they make a smart remark that has your mates laughing at you.

We’ve of course reported this to the police, they will be round to take a statement, lets hope he still remembers what happened by the time they arrive.

The good that has come out of this is that he knows we are always on his side. We are clearer about our goals and aims (to move out of this town for starters) We know our children are not trouble makers at all and because of this we’ve never really taught them to defend themselves physically, only to walk away. They are not angels, but they are not bullies either.We now plan to remedy this with self defence lessons, something the boys have been requesting for months.

When we moved out of London we let our guard down and allowed the boys a lot more freedom than they’d had before, this event was a good wake up call to us, its not a good idea to get complacent with the safety of your children ever. Thank God it didn’t happen in London as the chances are it would have ended with a stabbing rather than a lucky right hook. Now our second son has a rather manly scar and a little more street smarts, rather than a punctured lung or worse.

The other great change is to my career path, I’ve been a working Professional Birth Partner/Doula for over ten years and I adore my work, I get the privilege of being present at births, bond deeply with women who often become like sisters to me. However its a very hard job, the hours are killer and being on call is easily the worst part, not being able to travel without my on call bag, never sleeping because I keep waking to check my phone, darting off  in a cab in the  middle of the night to a strange hospital to spend hours working with no breaks, no team to support me. So yes changes had to happen. I am now training in a completely new field, watch this space for news 🙂

What to look for in a Doula.

I’ve been working as a professional birth partner or doula for nearly 10 years, heres my top ten tips for choosing the best doula for you.
Congratulations you are making a smart choice by deciding to hire a doula.

1, Word of mouth, if you’re recommended a doula by a friend or family member then make sure to contact her.

2, Avoid any doula with hidden extras, the doula who charges you for the cab to the birth or who will add costs to your bill for her food and drink during the birth. Ask about costs.

3, The doula with “DOULA” branding, its fine to pass a card or leaflet but I’m suspicious of doulas who wear t shirts with their logo and number on.

4, A control freak doula, I’ve witnessed a doula tell a women “your birth will be s*** if you don’t hire me ” eek run, run from this kind of doula.

5, The same goes for if your doula has a negative attitude to anything you want, its YOUR birth not hers.

6, The doula who talks endlessly about how perfect her births were, this is YOUR birth. Its your story not hers. Good doulas try to never mention their own births incase it influences their clients choices in anyway.

7, Hire a doula who has trained with a respected expert, I did my course with Michel Odent a retired OB who attended thousands of natural births as well as medicated births,There are many great courses but there are also lots of crap ones, do a bit of research, many many people are “training” doulas, the truth is there is no course that can prepare your for working with women the way actually getting to births will.

8, Consider whether you need a doula, do you need to hire a doula? I’m not suggesting you substitute your mother or sister,(many a birth has been stalled because the mothers mother is around!) eeek ! I’m suggesting that after reading about birth, watching videos on natural birth and believing in your body’s ability to birth that you might find that you hire a doula and when you go into labour never get round to calling her ! This isn’t an issue for most doula’s as they usually cover this in their contract or agreement. As the client you need to ask about what if I don’t call you to the birth? Some doulas will charge full price, some a percentage and some just the deposit, take into account that the toughest part of the job of birth partner is being on call, 24/7 for weeks on end its exhausting.

9, Do NOT hire a doula who has a negative attitude to midwives or other health professionals, i’ve heard of doulas telling clients to go against the recommendations of midwives, its ok to question why a decision is being made or ask for time to think but to refuse on the say so of a doula is not on. Doulas are NOT health professionals, we are hired to secure your emotional well being.

10, Be wary of doulas who don’t use a contract or agreement of any kind, they often change their minds or fail to turn up when called to a birth and you could be left out of pocket.

I love love love attending births its an honour and a privilege and I remember every single birth I’ve attended.

Ideas To Boost Your Income.

We all need more cash, theres a recession you know !
Heres a few ways to get out of the red.

Ebay, de-clutter and earn some cash.

Successful Blogging, generates advertising space and if you review you might get sent freebees.

Selling books on amazon, start with the ones on your self you don’t need but add to your sales by looking for books in charity shops, TKMax, bookstores and car boot sales, rare books make money, no one wants your dog eared copy of Pride and Prejudice ( or mine for that matter) but we once sold a copy of a Zelda guide for a nice lot of cash.

Gumtree, sell all kinds of things and services here.

Face painting, its a demanded skill, buy some and get practising on yourself and the kids !

Henna body art, as before get practising! especially popular in Muslim areas the night before Eid, I have a friend who set up a table in East London on Eid night a few years ago and made over £250 in a few hours of manic hennaring (is that a word?). Weddings, fetes and pregnant mama belly art, lots of ideas.

Learn to code on Tree House and make templates, logos and banners to earn extra pounds. Invest in yourself.

Use whatever you are good at, life gives you lemons, make lemonade (or however the saying goes) you’re a great gardener/make up artist/cleaner/tutor/ artist. Get busy and make yourself a few quid using your expertise.

Train as a Doula, a doula is a professional birth partner, there are courses available across the world and even online, read as much as you can on the subject and get to as many births as possible. A London doula can make up on average £700 a birth. It takes dedication and patience but its the most amazing job.

Book Keeping and Accounts, the tax deadline is creeping up on us, I’ve been helping my husband do his accounts for years and believe me I’d LOVE to be able to pay someone to do it for us !

Write, everyone is at it these days and the new technology means we can self publish on Kindle and Nook and other platforms for free.

Right I’m off to write a book whilst covering a birth, practising henna on myself and face painting my kids 😛