Within my Somerset based practice, I offer guidance and support through the sometimes bewildering array of choices, helping you to make informed decisions at your own pace.
I have much experience in the birthing room (over 20 years) and have supported women alone and women working closely with their partners, in hospitals, waterbirths, birthing centres, homebirths, caravans and outdoors. I am a strong advocate for your own choices and a firm believer in encouraging your empowerment.
I have 2 grown up children and live in Glastonbury, Somerset, but spend much time travelling around the U.K, Europe and the world, educating Doulas and Conscious Birthing Educators, conference speaking and attending births in far away lands!
Within my Doula service, initially, we have the opportunity to meet for a free co-interview, to see whether we feel we could work together. Once this is established, and we've all 'slept on it', I offer you my full and committed support and am available between our appointments via e-mails/texts/whats app or whatever means best suits you.
There are usually two to three prenatal appointments, roughly 2/3 hours long each. We might also just meet for a cuppa, a swim or a walk between appointments, to simply have some downtime together and get to know one another without an 'agenda'.
I often spend time during pre-natal sessions working with partners/husbands too, in order to help nurture their ability to be fully present and supportive during labour and birth, and to ensure they make the most of this incredible time.
Sometimes men worry that Doulas are going to 'steal the limelight' of this special time, 'elbow' them out, making the space a 'women only' environment or simply take over. It's a common misconception. Any good Doula will do quite the opposite and work hard to encourage, advocate for and protect a deeply bonding and loving time between you, whilst she stays quietly out of the way, remaining solidly present and ready to step in if and when you might need a hand, a break, some information or encouragement. This is very much my stance. My passion is to watch your relationship blossom into a new family, with love and connection at it's roots.
I am as passionate about helping to inform and empower partners/fathers-to-be towards full participation of the whole childbearing year, as I am about supporting single mums, and stepping up when you have a partner who has chosen or might need to take a 'back seat'. The diversity of this role is part of its appeal to me and there's never a dull moment, as I'm always learning from you!
I go on call around 2 weeks before your estimated due date and remain on call until two weeks after your due date, attending your labour and birth wherever you might be, staying afterwards until baby is born and you're ready for me to go; usually at least a couple of hours later.
At your Birth, firstly I entirely trust your ability to do it! Offering a firm belief and faith in the process, built upon experience rather than just hope alone, I provide a sacred witnessing and honouring of your birth space, fine tuning my service to your own religious/cultural/spiritual beliefs and facilitating a loving and warm environment.
For those times when you may feel you need a little help, I offer the use of acupressure points and massage as natural comfort measures and can bring homeopathic remedies if you're interested (although I'm not a Homeopath, just very experienced with seeing what remedies work during the process). I also encourage Active Birth positions to allow easier descent of baby, when appropriate. I'm not in judgement of your choices, this is your birth and my only priority is to inform and support you with whatever choices you might make before and during the labour and birth, and again afterwards, as new parent.
I'm there for you as an advocate, a nurturing supporter and a strong companion but also help with the more practical things, like when to call the midwife, fill the tub, go to your chosen Birthing venue and remember to light candles and put your music on, should you request it.
After the birth, I come and check in with you and your new family once or twice, providing time for you to de-brief from the experience and ask any questions you might have around the birth, feeding baby and moving into your new role as parent.
The cost of this service is £850 and in some cases travel expenses may apply. A concessionary rate is available for those with proof of low income.
If the on call period and ensuing labour and birth are to take place out of my area (Somerset, Devon, Wiltshire) then there may be a need for a tailor-made package, which would have its own unique fee.
Please contact us for further information, or to book your free initial consultation.
I also offer individual Childbirth Preparation sessions in Somerset or in your home, should you not require birth attendance.
Birth Doula Testimonials
''After a traumatic first birth, we (myself, my husband and our little boy) wanted a different and more positive experience for our second. Kate absolutely supported us to achieve it - we couldn't have done it without her. It's hard to capture everything that she did, but it's probably best summed up by three things...Information - Kate had loads! To help us understand real "risk", to make our own decisions and choices, to understand alternative perspectives, and to explore helpful things that we might not have done otherwise, like using homeopathy and reflexology in labour. This helped us choose our own birth journey rather than blandly accepting "the guidelines" that others wanted us to. Confidence - to manage ourselves through pregnancy and birth and to be demanding (in a nice way!) of our healthcare system and the people we met along the way. When we wobbled about anything Kate was always there with a confidence boosting cuppa, catch up or a what's app message. Calm, confident, positive and firm, she helped us stick with our instincts about what was right for us. Practical support - so many examples! From coming to our home birth home visit to help us ask questions and be clear about our wishes, being present at our birth as a tower of physical and emotional strength and support, to being there for us afterwards with amazing soothing herbal remedies and suggestions for post-birth recovery. Nora came into the world on 9th May in an empowered, calm and happy birth, a healing experience for which we will never be able to thank Kate enough.'' Emma.