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Doulas

I have been a practicing birth and postnatal doula since completing my doula training with Birthing Wisdom in 2009. I cover Totnes and South Devon, including Torbay, Exeter and Plymouth.I love the process of getting to know each woman/family, tailoring my support to fit individual needs and circumstances, working together with the aim of enabling the mother and baby to experience an engaged and satisfying birth.  It is such a privilege to be invited to companion a woman/family through the enormous transformation of pregnancy and birth.

Sarah Baker

I have always been passionate about Birth and the postnatal period but it wasn’t until I gave birth myself that I truly felt the calling to train and work with women at this time.I completed my Birth and postnatal doula training with Olivia in 2018.I have also recently finished the breastfeeding peer support program. I believe that with the right support more women will be able to settle into breastfeeding and be able to enjoy it.I have been a qualified Remedial and Sports masseuse for 6 years and in the last year completed the pregnancy module.For the past year and a half I have been volunteering for radiant mama in Dartington. It has been a very nourishing experience for me.I love the connections that are made and fortified during this work. And there is nothing more gratifying that watching families flourish together.

Sarah Cook

I attended my first birth in my late teens but didn‘t train as a doula until 2000. Shortly after, I qualified as a hypnobirthing practitioner and I have been training in and teaching all aspects of birth work ever since. Now, at nearly 60 I draw from my large basket of skills and knowledge whenever I need to but the main focus of my work as a doula is to create a calm and connected space where labour can progress as it needs to and the new soul can be welcomed in joy. Much preparation is done together before the birth  (inc.Hypnobirthing), so that on the day we can meet the experience of Birth with presence, connection and a deep gratefulness for being part of the miracle of birth.

Olivia Seck

One of the things I love about working with birth and people in preparation for birthing, is that it is a rare space and time where honesty rises and demands voice. The sheer biological nature of growing a baby and birthing it- and oneself as a mother, a couple into parents- is that it invites a steady standing with reality. A coming to terms with who one is in that moment. From that place there can be an unfolding and a discovery of what would best meet ones needs, in this deeply personal adventure. From there, the shape of my job emerges.I offer ante natal, birth and postnatal support. I'm also very happy to do birth prep sessions with people who don't want a doula.I was lucky enough to live near to Olivia Seck and therefore be able to train under her in Birthing Wisdom...I enjoy ongoing contact with her and through her with Radiant Mama, where I offer massage.

Thea Henderson

About Doulas

When continuous labor support was provided by a doula, women experienced :
• 33% decrease in the use of pitocin (syntocinon)
• 28% decrease in Caesarians
• 12% increase in the likelihood of spontaneous vaginal birth
• 34% decrease in dissatisfaction with the birth experience
• more success in establishing. breastfeeding.

In most traditional cultures, there would be a wise woman working alongside the midwife, holding and comforting the labouring woman. More recently birth companions/doulas have been fulfilling this role for the whole birthing family. Modern birth companions/Doulas are women especially trained to give emotional and practical support during the pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal period,

What does a doula do? ( from www.doula.org.uk)
The services offered by a doula vary greatly according to the needs of the mother-to-be/parents-to-be. A doula’s role has to be flexible to fit in with the given situation . Every birth is unique and therefore every woman’s experience is also unique.
Before birth the doula will meet with the mother (or couple) face to face, up to 4 times and then be available by phone or in person for additional meetings if necessary.
During labour the doula is able to offer help and suggestions on comfort measures such as breathing, relaxation, movement and positioning. The doula can also encourage the father to participate in the birth to a level at which he feels comfortable. The doula’s most important role is to provide nurturing, continuous support and reassurance.

After childbirth the doula may follow up with a couple of postnatal visits to help the new mum settle at home with her new baby, or alternatively, the mother may decide to employ a postnatal doula. The actual tasks in the practical support postnatal doulas provide varies enormously. One of the big benefits of having a postnatal doula is that they are there to support the family, not carry out a specific task, so they do what is needed (within reason!). They can provide emotional support for mothers and couples, offer breastfeeding support, be a help around the house, look after baby while mum/ partner nap or have a bath, help with older siblings, make meals, help with dinner time or the school run, help overnight so the parents get more sleep. Whatever is needed to help a family relax and have a positive experience of life with a baby.