Giving birth should be your greatest achievement, not your greatest fear.
— Jane Weideman
 

What is a doula?

Doulas provide continuous support, guidance and support for the whole family through pregnancy, birth and the early days of parenthood. Filling a role that new mothers and families have always needed, a doula is there to listen and not judge.

She is not a friend. She is not a healthcare provider. She is a mother figure of the most ancient kind. Her life experience empowers you. She is a reassuring presence who will always listen to you and support you in your chosen path. She will remind you of your choices, and the reason you made them, when you doubt, are anxious or afraid. She sees you; the real you. Her understanding of your journey supports your self-confidence. She eases pain with a touch, a word, a look…. She is a doula.

 

Birth Doula Package - Basic

My birth package includes:

  • A free initial consultation in the comfort of your own home or via Skype to discuss how I can support you. This is an opportunity to see how we connect and to ask any questions.

  • A chance to debrief any previous birth experiences.

  • Unlimited contact via phone/text/email throughout your pregnancy and up to six weeks post birth to answer any questions or concerns you may have

  • A total of four ante natal/post natal sessions in your home to explore your options, offer information, help with any practical issues

  • Birth planning and preparation - exploring all options and scenarios, tips and support

  • 24hr seven days a week “on-call” period from weeks 38-42 of your pregnancy

  • Continuous emotional and physical support through labour and birth

  • At least one post natal visit - an opportunity to talk through your birth and answer any questions; get help with breastfeeding etc.

 

Why hire a doula?

Studies have shown that hiring a doula can result in:

  • a more positive birth experience

  • a shorter labour

  • reduced levels of fear and anxiety

  • lower caesarian rates or birth interventions such as forceps delivery

  • reduced need for pain relief

  • higher rate of successful breastfeeding

  • lower rate of post natal depression

  • improved parent-baby bonding

 

Ayurdoula Birth Package

This package contains all of the basic birth package plus:

  • Ayurvedic nutritional and lifestyle advice for pregnancy (at each session)

  • 4 pregnancy or post natal warm oil Ayurvedic Massages (at each ante/post natal session)

Ayurdoula Deluxe Postnatal Care Package

 6 visits (1 visit per week for 6 weeks)

  • Ayurvedic Meal Preparation

  • Warm oil Ayurvedic Post Natal Massage

  • Herbal bath

  • Self-massage instruction

  • Infant massage instruction

  • Belly binding instruction

 
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The Benefits of Ayurvedic Doula Care:

1) You learn about your own unique constitution; what nourishes it in terms of nutrition and lifestyle and what imbalances it and how to correct it. This is gold dust information that helps you for the rest of your life!

Self-knowing is the foundation for new life!

2) Following Ayurvedic (or natural) pregnancy and postnatal protocols help you feel more in control and in harmony and trusting in the process of birthing and mothering.

3) Ayurvedic postnatal care helps new mothers feel more nurtured and cared for, with often increased connection to baby, more balance, less stress, fatigue, exhaustion and post natal depression.

Every new mother deserves that kind of care!

My experience as a doula

I believe that giving birth to life is a huge gift. Birth is a natural, profound and spiritual experience that transforms a woman’s life. For me, nature is the key. Following a woman’s intuition about how she wishes to birth and care for her baby, in whatever way she wants to do this, is of paramount importance. Her body knows what to do. Sometimes we just need help to get our minds out of the way! I feel that if a woman is fully present in her life, she can achieve anything.

Every woman is different, every birth is different. But if you can give every woman space, time, information and some confidence to follow her own intuition, respect, love and care then she has every chance to make this incredible transition into motherhood on her terms.

I had two amazing, quick and straightforward home births with my children with no pain relief other than Ayurvedic massage and a hypnobirthing CD. This led me onto a passion for childbirth and the path of becoming a Doula. I trained in 2010 and have had many different experiences in that time including supporting single women as well as couples, attending home births, hospital births, VBAC, planned and emergency C-sections, induction and water births.

I also breastfed successfully both my children for 2 years and am experienced in assisting this if needed.

 
 

To find out more about my Doula Services please get in touch

 
 
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Kind Words

On first chatting to Vanessa via Skype she seemed kind and down to earth and we both liked her immediately. Meeting her in person was like meeting up with an old friend - easy to talk to and ask questions. The doula care in labour was AMAZING! As soon as she arrived in labour I felt calm and in control. My labour was long and complicated and I felt safe and supported with her being there. Her massages were excellent and she brought me the best meal I’d ever eaten at her first postnatal visit. Ayurveda helped me to learn about my constitution and the massage and breathing techniques helped me enormously in labour. Everything was what I had hoped for and exceeded my expectations - a warm, friendly and knowledgeable female presence to help me in my transition to motherhood. I was so grateful to have Vanessa by my side during my labour and birth.
— Radha Wilson Jeffries
Having a Doula was ultimately invaluable to my experience as a birth partner, Initially I wasn’t sure what to expect, I’d never heard of a doula service before, and wasn’t sure what she would offer that would be different to the role of the midwives, Vanessa helped me prepare for our planned home birth and made sure I knew what to expect and how I could help.
Unfortunately our original plans changed unexpectedly and we ended up in hospital, Vanessa came as quickly as possible and arrived at quite an intense part of the birth, she instantly brought calm to the room and I could sense that Radha was much happier with her there, throughout the birth she was extremely reassuring and kept me calm when things got a little too much, her being there also meant I could take a break when things got too much, and I knew Radha was in great hands.
I’ll never forget how much Vanessa helped in bringing our son into the world, we consider her an extended part of the family, I can’t recommend her high enough to anyone consider hiring a Doula.
— Mark Jeffries
Ayurdoula clients, Radha, Mark and Harrison

Ayurdoula clients, Radha, Mark and Harrison

 
Vanessa was my doula for my first and third babies. With my first I was very anxious and needed some support. It really helped with my transition to motherhood. I felt I would really benefit from her support again for my third child with two other children to manage.
With my third we had the Ayurdoula care and she gave me massages, made me food and lots of cups of tea and we talked about all sorts of things. She helped me with the other children and all of this really helped to calm my anxiety.
Preparing for birth she was able to talk me through my rights, the benefits and practicalties of a home birth. I feel she really understood my wishes and needs without me having to explain myself. During the labours she massaged my back which really helped with the pain and she was postive and also excited and her presence reassuring. Her guidance allowed me to have two positive and memorable experiences of giving birth.
If you can find a doula who you admire and look up to, and you are on the same page then it is invaluable support.
— Holly Hopper
Our son is now 6 months old and during that time I have been trying to find a gift for you which would thank you for how much you helped us all. I have been unable to find such a gift and I don’t have the vocabulary to put into words my gratitude.
You acted with compassion and brought immeasurable joy into our lives. I feel me and Holly would not have been so strong without you. You made Holly’s pregnancy, labour, birth and first six weeks of motherhood such a peaceful time with your reassurance and advice.
— Fynn Hopper
Doula & Ayurdoula client Holly with her 3 children

Doula & Ayurdoula client Holly with her 3 children

Vanessa and baby Iduna

Vanessa and baby Iduna

Just to say a big thank you for everything you have done for us. For being there when my beautiful daughter entered this world and for all the support you have given me as a single mum over these past few months.
— Love Phaedra x