“When my wife first mentioned a doula to me before our first child’s birth, I almost felt ‘why isn’t my help alone as a husband enough?’, and eventually we decided to not go ahead with a doula. The birth was hard, and there were so many unexpected things I didn’t know about the birth process that we had no guidance or balanced opinion on at the time from the staff at the hospital.
With our second child’s birth we decided from the outset to hire a doula – partly because of the first birth, and partly because I was going through a serious illness at the time and we needed the additional support. This was in combination with planning for a birth at home. The difference that Trisha made was to bring non-medicalised methods and approaches to the table that we couldn’t have used properly on our own. In the run up to the birth this included things like getting the house ready for the birth, reassurance as well as exercises and movements to make the last few weeks of pregancy easier.
During the birth itself, having Tricia with us allowed us all to keep the environment calm and relaxed. As labour progressed, Tricia’s knowledge of the intricate stages of labour was such that we were able to not worry about what would happen next… and when it was time she worked amazingly with the midwife to help deliver the baby. The birth went smoother than we had imagined possible, and with no medical intervention. This absolutely would not have happened without a doula. Thank you!” Martyn
“From our first meeting with Tricia we felt calmer and more confident about the birth. The preparation work that Tricia did with us, without a doubt, made the birth less daunting. She challenged us to rethink some of our presumptions around labour offering a wide range of evidence to support our re-education. She also made sure we thought through every possible scenario and decide what we would do in each. Due to this preparation, when the labour did not progress as hoped, we already knew what interventions we were happy with at each stage making decisions very easy when it mattered. The partner support offered by having Tricia present during labour was invaluable. Having someone there who was an advocate and supporter helped us deal with the various turns that labour took. As labour was on the long side, it also allowed my husband to have a couple of quick naps while I was never left alone and unsupported. After the birth, It was also incredibly helpful having someone else to be able to discuss the labour with as we processed what had happened and why. In terms of post natal support I cannot thank Tricia enough. Having someone on hand to answer the million questions that arose surrounding breastfeeding, sleeping, crying, postnatal healing and all the other topics even vaugley baby related has been beyond helpful. I am very pleased that we made the decision to work with Tricia and should we have another baby would hope to work with her again.” Maggie Dempsey
“I clicked with Tricia straight away and I am so glad she became our doula as her help was beyond my expectations! She is super responsive, always available and has a great understanding of what new mums go through! She kept me calm and grounded during the whole birth first at home and then crucially as I decided to transfer to hospital as I could feel my baby was not coming down. She helped alleviate my fear of hospitals and made me feel in control! I can’t thank her enough for this. After the birth, as I was sore and tired, she visited us and helped with breastfeeding and offered reassurance. Overall she is the best investment we made for the safe and empowering arrival of our wee girl. Sienna is such a happy and calm baby and I’m sure she benefited from Tricia’s kind nature as much as I did!” Laeticia Huguet
Tricia was our doula for the birth of our second baby, an attempted VBAC. She was utterly invaluable in informing and enlightening us on our choices, helping support us in navigating the system and supporting us in standing firm on our position in hospital appointments so we were fully prepared. As such, we went into the birth knowing we were working with our timeline (not the one the consultant wanted to impose) and confident that whatever happened we would be the ones calling the shots, something we had both felt didn’t happen with our first experience. Tricia was a huge support during the several days of labour that ensued and when we made the decision to have another section, the absolute right decision for our baby, she was there as a sounding board and source of support. We both felt so differently after this experience, and that is 100% down to feeling in control as a result of Tricia’s involvement. There are just so many questions we wouldn’t have known to ask if she hadn’t informed us. She is such a bubbly, kindly, non-judgemental woman, who really makes you and your partner feel at ease and who just wants you to have the best birth for you, whatever that may be. I would not hesitate in recommending her as a doula, or for any of the other services she provides.
“Tricia was the only doula we interviewed as we both fell in love with her. She was the right mix of knowledge and nurturing, exactly what we were after. She was very supportive throughout my pregnancy and helped me during my key appointments to fight for the birth I wanted. She was also very helpful with me getting over my trauma.” Taciana Jackson
“Tricia was my doula for my second pregnancy and played a huge role in it being such an amazing, positive experience for both me and my husband. Her passion for and knowledge about pregnancy, labour and babies made me feel incredibly empowered and confident.” Jacqueline Nisbet
What are you hoping for you in your birth?
What is important to you?
What’s keeping you awake at night about your birth or having a baby?
What’s making you come to this page to find support?
What do you think doulas do? What can we provide?
What on earth is a doula?
We provide continuous support for the whole family through pregnancy, birth and the early days of parenthood. We fill a role that new mothers and families have always needed, we are there to listen, give confidence and not judge. We offer flexible, practical and emotional support we work in women’s own homes as well as in birth centre and local hospital.
We are usually experienced women who have all undergone training. We do not offer clinical skills and are not medically trained.
So what are the benefits of having a doula?
- Increased likelihood of spontaneous vaginal birth (12% increase)
- Decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery (14% reduction)
- Reduced risk of Caesarean birth (28% less caesareans)
- Reduced risk of instrumental birth
- Reduced need for painkillers or epidural during birth (9% reduction in use of ANY pain relief)
- Reduced rate of induction of labour (31% less women use syntonocinon)
- Shorter labour time
- Increased parental satisfaction with the birth experience
- Increased likelihood of initiating breastfeeding
- Increased likelihood of successfully establishing breastfeeding & breastfeeding at 6 weeks
Here are what I also feel are the additional benefits:
- Get you into a positive mindset
- We ensure we have all scenarios covered before the day of your birth – meaning, that there are no decisions to be made on the day ensuring a much calmer, positive experience
- Your partner can go to the loo, get food, have a snack and relax and enjoy the birth. They can hold your hand, look after you and give you the love and support you need (as we are supporting them very much too so that they can do that role – not feel that they need to be a birth expert). The one thing you need at the time that your baby arrives is a partner who is totally connected, who understands what’s happening and what their role is at that time.
- We save you money on helping you to buy what you ACTUALLY need
- We save you time and energy on finding information on the web, going to classes, and signposting to good services – we’ve walked the path many times and we’ve learned many lessons and have an army of other wonderful doulas around us
- We can save you money on formula (if you are choosing to breastfeed – around £400 per year!!!!)
- We give you the BEST possible start for your family by fully nurturing and supporting you meaning you have a massive advantage over your peers
- We lower your chances of postnatal depression and other perinatal mental health illnesses
- We support your relationship with your partner through this transition by helping them to know how to support you through gently demonstrating how they can supporting you and nudging them to find out about the needs of new mums
- We give you permission to say no – that’s no to birth interventions you don’t want, to feeling pressure to do things as a new mum
- We help you to say yes – yes to help, yes to birth, yes to enjoying being a new mum
Many people are turning to doulas as they want support to have a MUCH better birth and early parenting experience. We know that we can do that through:
- Antenatal preparation
- Being there at the end of the phone for whenever you need us
- Providing you with continuous care through your antenatal period, labour, birth and first few weeks
- Being on your side 110% all the way through your experience
- Being that person you can confide in, that you build trust and who will support you in every decision you make
A doula is for you if:
- you want to have the best birth possible
- you want to reduce your chance of having a caesarean or episiotomy (never guaranteed)
- you are worried/anxious/fearful about your birth
- you have special circumstances – fertility issues/previous loss/VBAC/twins
- you’ve experienced birth trauma (please check out Francesca’s case study)
- you want a homebirth or as natural a birth as possible (please check out Jacqui’s birth story. Please note – I do very much support all birth choices)
- you are on your own and you need extra support (please note, that if you are on your own, I will recommend that I do shared care with another doula – I can explain more when we meet)
- your partner is anxious and they need support
- you want to reduce the risk of a perinatal mental health illness (PND/anxiety etc)
So what does it actually look like – what do you get?
- An EXPERIENCED (trained since 2004) doula to guide you through your choices, navigate the maternity system and to be there during your labour, birth and early parenting experience
- Regardless of what happens – you have someone to be there entirely for you
In pregnancy –
- Frequent communication and meetings (minimum of 2) to discuss your birth and the first few days with your new baby
- Birth plan support addressing all the different options openly and assessing each one
- An individual book list and where I have hard copies, you can borrow any books
- A list of the best classes and resources in Edinburgh for you to use – I can liaise with providers and get you booked in
- Attendance at antenatal appointments where requested (this will be dependent on my own other commitments)
- Therapeutic support for previous birth trauma/anxiety/tokophobia
During labour and birth –
- Ensure quiet, calm, continuous birth support – from the moment you call me to your birth until your baby is safely here and in your arms
- Providing safe and secure space physically and emotionally during the birth – this might include managing the environment, keeping the number of people near you to a minimum, ensuring that you’re uninterrupted as much as possible
- Gentle massage
- Guide you with positioning, keeping you active and ensuring you’re adequately nourished and all your needs are met
- Support any Dad/birthing partners there at the birth to be central support and facilitate positive and gentle communication
- Gently supplying you with information (if necessary) so are aware of choices with regards to any interventions with minimal fuss
- On-call is provided 24 hours a day for each birth from 38 weeks gestation until birth unless there are specific circumstances (ie twins or other circumstances)
Once baby is here –
- 2 home visits to give you space to debrief your birth, support your breastfeeding and discuss anything else that’s happening with your new baby including signposting to services/classes
- 6 weeks of regular text and email support
- Homemade meal and snacks
Here’s a lovely birth story of a recent homebirth I supported.
(If you want to know Why Doulas Matter – this is a fantastic book to read)
“She is a lovely, caring, knowledgeable woman and would recommend her in a heartbeat.” Alison Guzman
- Help you to breastfeed your baby/babies
- Support your physical recovery from birth
- Providing up to date evidence-based research on areas such as sleep, feeding and general baby care
- Being there to re-assure parents and answering any of those normal parenting questions
- Demonstrating all the normal baby-care such as changing nappies, bathing, sleep, babywearing
- Giving mum an opportunity to look after herself following the birth so she can have a chance to sleep, bathe or relax (birth and pregnancy can really take their toll on a mum’s body – particularly if you are have had twins or triplets)
- Let mum have space to talk about her birth, new role as a parent and how she’s feeling
- If you have twins or triplets, can also advise how to tandem feed helping to synchronise their feeds and gain some precious sleep
- Helping you get out of the house; whether that be for a doctor’s appointment or just going to the shops (this can be especially daunting with more than one)
Want to know more?
When should you get in touch?
From the moment you are interested in having a doula – often people book me from the moment they find out they are pregnant.
What happens next?
Contact me with details of your estimated due date, any issues or concerns or anything I should be aware of and I will then confirm I’m available for that time and we can check if we like the sound of each other. If we do, then we will meet at a mutually convenient location. I will then walk you through the remaining process.
How much does it cost?
- Birth Doula Fee is £3000
Breakdown of fee – this covers attending your birth, being on call for 24 hours a day up to 4 or 5 weeks, all your antenatal/postnatal appointments, breastfeeding support, telephone/email support and meals post birth.
Doulas notoriously undercharge for birth support. Given the huge investment we make in time including being on call for often 4 weeks at a time and the impact on our family, our income from other sources whilst supporting you, juggling our lives so we can be fully present to support and care for you, our training and CPD, insurance and so much more, this fee is a reflection of that.
How do you pay?
Suggested instalments are 1/3 (non-refundable deposit) on booking, then 1/3 at 38 weeks and the final instalment to be paid 14 days after the birth.
I am, however, extremely open to other payment options should it make it easier for you – ie you could pay £300 per month over 10 months even if after baby is born to make it more accessible to you.
If price is an issue and you are in real need of support, for whatever reason, please get in touch regardless and I can chat through options with you. I am particularly passionate at supporting women who have experienced birth trauma or are scared of giving birth. If this is you, please get in touch and we can sort something out.
Price should not get in the way of support and I believe very strongly in that. I will work with you if you are in real need even if you’re not in a position to pay the full fees.
Due to my own family commitments, I don’t take on bookings with an estimated due date in July, August and December. I also limit my birth support to 3/4 births a year due to the other work I do and my own young family. If you are interested in birth support, please get in touch as soon as possible.