Hi, my name is Claire and I am a Birth & Postnatal Doula living in Highclere, Newbury with my husband and children.
My love for pregnancy, childbirth and all things baby related I can 100% thank my children for. Becoming a mother changed me and my whole outlook on life in such a positive way and lead me here, to supporting other women through their journey. I have learned along the way, that however strong a person you are, it is so easy to underestimate the benefit of having support around you at this important time in your life. Hiring a Doula provides you with that support person, whose sole purpose is to bring physical, emotional and informative guidance before, during and after birth.
I work with expecting mothers (and their partners), to help them tailor their birth and new baby experience to be how they want it. Knowing your options and the pros and cons that go with them, will give you the confidence to make informed decisions for yourself about what you really want. Whether it’s a home birth, hospital delivery or elective c-section, this is your experience and whatever path you choose I will endeavour to ensure the wishes and needs of both you (and your partner) are met.
The word "doula" derives from the Greek word doulē meaning women slave. While we aren’t slaves, we are here to serve the birthing woman and make her as comfortable as we can. Studies have proven that support from a Doula has a positive impact on the labor process, reducing pain, length of labour and need for medical intervention.
During our antenatal meetings, I will listen to what you want, help you put together your birth plan, talk through any concerns or issues you are having and direct you towards evidence based information to help answer these concerns so you can feel confident in your choices.
During your delivery I will stay with you and ensure both you (and your partner) are well looked after. My priority throughout our time together will be the physical, mental and emotional needs of the expecting mother and to safeguard your desired environment and atmosphere. I will not come between you and your partner (if there is a partner) and will not take away from you partner’s role. I will also be a support person for your partner and I will encourage you both to work together through this very special time.
Bringing your baby into the world will be one of the most powerful, wonderful, life affirming moments you will ever have. These memories will stay with you for a lifetime, so I believe having a positive birth experience is key for everyone involved.
Postnatally I offer both emotional and practical support in your home. Having a new baby in the house, (especially if it is your first) can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. The “babymoon” period is so significant and so short, it is such a special and important time. I will do whatever is needed to ensure you get time in your bubble to bond with your baby, without the interference of daily life and chores looming over you. If you would like, I can talk through your birth with you and address any questions or feelings you have about your experience.
There isn’t just one correct method of how to handle being a new mother and I will be there to help you find and develop your own personal way of doing things. I'm there purely to support you, not to tell you what to do. I will help you with establishing breastfeeding or with whichever feeding method you have decided on. I can look after older siblings, walk the dog, do light housework/laundry and cooking for children and/or you and your partner if required. Whatever you need during those first few weeks.
We decided to have a Doula, as we knew that having two other children under 3, my husband wasn’t going to be able to be with me much in the early days. We knew I was having a c section so things were a little easier to plan.
The first night as my husband left to look after my other children, there was a knock at the door and I was just so relieved to see Claire’s face looking at me. We’d had a few difficulties with both my baby and myself and I was an emotional wreck. Claire naturally picked up my baby and sat with her as she slept and told me to rest. As the baby needed feeding she would gently wake me to breastfeed her and then she would take her to wind her and change her and put her to bed.
She looked after me like I was one of her own children, making me tea, making sure I ate to keep my energy levels up and brought my baby to me each time she needed feeding or needed her Mum for cuddles, so that I didn’t strain too much after my section. She spent the whole night with me and was there all the next day. I was feeling so ill and to have her with me was the best thing I could have asked for. I still don’t think Claire realises how much she helped me and ‘saved’ my emotional state of mind those first few days.
Even after I’d had Elodie, Claire was on call for any questions I had or emotional support that I needed. I cannot recommend her enough.