Here’s a few things you might like to know about me…..
- I ****LOVE**** supporting Mums and Dads – whether one to one or through classes – I can spend hours and hours and hours (including 3am prosecco fuelled discussions) chatting about birth and parenthood. I am probably a teeny tiny bit obsessed.
- If you had told me I would be a doula 10 years ago, I would not have believed you – never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be a doula (or even know what one was).
- I have birth in my blood – my great Nonna was the local wisewomen in the village in Italy and as such helped many of the women there to give birth.
- I trained as a doula in 2013 as I really struggled with my own transition to being a parent – every time I looked to get help – I felt all I could find were Gina Ford clones and I struggled to find someone to support me to be the positive, relaxed and gentle parent I wanted to be and to let me find my own way (this is central to my support).
- I became interested in EFT in 2014 and started tapping on my own body about all sorts of issues… in 2015, I finally did my training and am now pleased to be integrating EFT into my work – if you have no idea what EFT is… tap here – it’s amazing, powerful and effective.
- In 2016 I decided to do further training to support parents who had experienced birth trauma or other trauma that was affecting them during pregnancy or birth
- In 2017, I founded the Birth and Baby Academy – on online community with access to resources, programmes and short courses to support parents to have a much better birth and parenting experience – as my belief is that it can be better. Parenting needs to start from a place of love, not recovery.
- From the moment I found out I was pregnant with my twins in 2008, I became infatuated with birth and homebirth. I feel very passionate about women’s choices and how women FEEL about their experiences more so than any specific outcome.
- I have twins who are 9, a 7 year old and I recently had my 4th baby – all boys, all crazy, and all the centre of my world.
- In my spare time you’ll find me surround by my tribe sitting in circles, chatting birth and parenting, walking along Scottish beaches or doing a downward facing dog.
- Clients often call me their sounding board – I couldn’t think of a better term for what I am – letting them explore their instincts, thoughts and ideas and then helping them come up with a plan of action based on their own opinions (maybe with a gentle nudge or hug here or there).
I have been working closely with parents since 2009 including a large amount of voluntary work for the local Edinburgh twins club and, more recently, co-founded Juno Perinatal Mental Health Support supporting mums with perinatal mental health. I established Edinburgh Birth and Baby in 2014. I am a member of the Maternity Services Liaison Committee for NHS Lothian and co-facilitate a Positive Birth Movement Group. In 2016 I became Doula UK rep for Scotland East and Scotland West.
I was honoured in June and December 2016 to be invited to both the House of Lords and House of Commons as a Perinatal Mental Health Campaigner.
In my (very) spare time, I blog on my thoughts around pregnancy, birth, motherhood and babies – something I’m so passionate about as I believe that the importance of this transition into parenthood is under estimated (including my own first hand experience and as those I’ve worked with).
We really don’t understand the importance of looking after ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally through our pregnancy, birth and with our new babies and accessing the right kind of support.
We are also in a time of change socially and culturally – living away from our traditional support networks but being surrounded by social media and the age of information (ie google) that it can be hard to work out how we want to parent through the “noise”.
And we are learning all the time about how newborns “function” after so many years of authoritarian parenting we are moving to an era of baby-led/gentle/calmer/positive parenting which is based on science and how babies and humans actually work.
Here’s a list of my favourite blogs (as they’re all quite personal to me):
- Why pay for a doula when a midwife is free
- Why are Humans Bad at Giving Birth
- The Fears of Birth
- Is he good?
- Things I wish I’d known about birth
- Expectations and Realities of Parenting
- 10 things I love about twins
- Parenting post infertility
Below is more of the ‘standard’ information about my training to date and my professional affiliations.
- Doula UK Recognition (April 2017)
- Post-dates pregnancy with Sara Wickham (March 2017)
- Shiatsu for Birth Practitioners with Lucy Trend (February 2017)
- Birth Trauma Recovery with Mia Scotland (November 2016)
- Safe Sleep Workshop with Helen Ball from Infant Sleep Information Source, Durham University (November 2016)
- Pregnancy loss and the death of a baby: Sands training for doulas Sands Lothians (April 2016)
- EFT Practitioner (May 2016)
- EFT Level 1 (September 2015)
- EFT Level 2 (November 2015)
- Doula – course completed (October 2014)
- Postnatal Carer (NEST Postnatal Care/Maternity Nursing qualification (Level 3 from the Open College Network in November 2013)
- Breastfeeding Counsellor – Infant Feeding qualification from Mother and Baby International (June 2014)
- Breastfeeding for Lay Supporters (October 2014)
- Infant Mental Health and Development – Butterfly Baby Clinic (November 2014)
- Wombspace (gaining understanding of womb health) – Bushra Finch (February 2015)
- Perinatal Mental Health Awareness Training (February 2015)
- Motherwarming – postnatal support (May 2015)
- Mental Health First Aid (May 2015)
- Loving the Multiples – twin related doula course (September 2015)
- First aid certificate for Babies and Children with St Andrew’s first aid (completed December 2013)
- Doula UK rep for Scotland East and West since October 2016
- Co-facilitating a Positive Birth Group in the Edinburgh and Lothians
- Juno Perinatal Mental Health Support in Edinburgh – establish peer support for parents with perinatal mental health illness (since April 2014), running a weekly group, Vice-Chair since March 2015
- Founding member of Edinburgh Birth and Baby
- Member of NHS Lothian Maternity Services Liaison Committee
- Edinburgh and Lothians Twins and Multiples Club (ELTMC) (2009-2013) – various positions including Chairperson from 2012-2013
- ELTMC – the establishment and facilitation of the twins/multiples antenatal class (successfully running since November 2011)
- ELTMC – hosting support groups for families with twins/multiples discussing topics such as weaning, travelling with babies, returning to work, feeding, equipment, children’s health and more
- ELTMC – peer-support for new mothers trying to breastfeed their twins (since January 2012)
- ELTMC – running weekly feeding group for multiples to support twin/triplet mums to feed and to discuss all types of feeding from breast, combination feeding and bottle (since March 2014)
- Member of Doula UK, Professional Recognition received in April 2017
- Member of the AAMET International
- Registered with the PVG scheme in Scotland
- Fully insured through Balens
Prior to being self-employed, I gained a degree in Computing in 2003. I worked as an Information Manager in NHS Lothian, Research Coordinator in Queen Margaret University and latterly I worked as a Development Officer for the Mason Institute at the University of Edinburgh which focused on medical ethics. I worked within many teams to gain funding through proposal development. Whilst I’ve had a successful career and loved working, I changed career to follow my passion – that is parents and babies following the substantial voluntary work I have undertaken since 2009.