We are so happy to have had Hannah as our doula! She helped us put everything in place to have the gentle homebirth we hoped for. Her kind, empowering approach helped me to trust myself to birth my baby without fear.
Oliver was born in water at home after a 3 hour labour. We used acupressure and ‘hypnobabies’ techniques and no other pain relief was needed. He came gently into this world through the water into my arms and fed straight away. After an hour of breast feeding and cuddling I birthed the placenta naturally.
Hannah did lots of work behind the scenes I wasn’t fully aware of at the time, helping everything to run smoothly. Welcoming the midwives, making sure I was fed and hydrated, filling and later emptying the birth pool. This meant I could stay relaxed and let my body and baby do what came naturally.
I might have made the birth sound ‘easy’. It wasn’t, it was intense and physical but through the support and preparation I felt strong and empowered and trusted myself and baby.
Someone afterwards commented that we were very lucky with the birth. We know we have been fortunate and this birth was very different to the birth of our first child. However we don’t feel it was luck. Without Hannah we could have had a very different experience. We are so grateful for what Hannah has done for us and can’t recommend her highly enough.
Karin & Nick
I was pregnant with my second child when I attended the Mindful birthing course in early 2014and met Hannah. The course had been recommended by a friend and I was keen to attend after her high praises (she was also having her second child). My first labour had not really taken the direction I had hoped / anticipated and after 36 hours in labour I ended up in a mainstream hospital with drip and drugs attached, strangers coming and going (albeit medical staff) and the eventual discussion of a ‘c section’ – quite honestly my worst fear….so I finally succeeded in a natural delivery but not one I would like to repeat. However my main reason for attending the course was to ‘inform’ myself better and prepare myself as I had suffered Post Natal Depression after my son was born and felt I could be pro-active I attempting to avoid a relapse.
The course gave me the confidence to plan a different birth, one that would be my choice. I always wanted a water birth but knew in hospital the chances would be minimal. I also knew that I did not like hospitals and did not feel ‘secure’ or ‘relaxed’ I them. With the support of my husband ad midwife I chose to plan a home birth.
On the mindful birthing course I was introduced to the word ‘Doula’. My husband works away for 3 weeks at a time ad although he was due to be at home on my due date we also knew there was a chance he may get delayed. I had already asked a very good friend to step in if my husband was away ad although she was more than happy she confessed to being slightly anxious about making joint decisions with me during the delivery. A Doula seemed like the logical answer to me – someone who would support me, support my wishes, communicate between myself and medical staff the but who also had the confidence to advise me and I guess someone I could do/say anything infront of and not be embarrassed that I would be sat opposite her at dinner any time soon!
Hannah was the first Doula I had ever met, she had a calm confidence about her coupled with a good sense of humour – the choice of Doula was made easy even though Hannah was gracious enough to provide me with some other names incase I did not feel she was the right one.
Attending the course allowed me to build up a good rapport with Hannah. She the visited me at home which allowed us both to see if the relationship would work. I knew I trusted Hannah implicitly.
Hannah was in contact regularly before my due date and then increasingly as my due date arrived. I was able to speak openly with her, text her any concerns and discuss how I was feeling physically and mentally which was incredibly supportive and reassuring.
I started having contractions at 10pm on Thurs 8th May. By 0330 they were too regular and strong to stay in bed. At 0610 I attempted to phone the labour ward to inform the midwife. I could not get through despite trying for 20mins. Eventually I spoke with a rather unhelpful midwife who asked if Ithought she should come to the house?……mmm, surely that was her decision? I abandoned the medical services and phoned Hannah at 0630. Hannah responded immediately and assured me she would be with me soon. By 7am Hannah was with me. I could not of asked her to do more – she rage the medical services, cleaned up vomit, ensured I was hydrated, answered the door, helped me into the birthing pool, refuted claims by the medical staff that I was wrong to be I the birthing, took photos, answered the phone, ensured my choice of music was played…..the list was endless.
The most beneficial part was when I was close to delivering my daughter and lost focus with my breathing, I asked Hannah to help and instead of the common ‘ breath, in, out etc’ advice normally uttered Hannah simply started breathing slowly and methodically whilst holding my hand – it was exactly the guidance and support I needed. I felt completely happy and relaxed as I delivered my daughter in the pool at home.
Hannah stayed after the medical staff had left and ensured I had everything I needed. My friend was happy to stay till my husband returned (he made it back at 6pm that evening). She visited soon afterwards with food and continued to support me during the following months. Quite simply hiring Hannah was the best decision my husband and I could of made.