Whilst teaching pregnancy yoga, I became very drawn to the idea of not only helping women throughout their pregnancy but also during the uniquely powerful and transformative time of labour and birth. I discovered that Doula work is very much like teaching yoga - I bring attention to the breath, to tired muscles, to emotional blockages, and to the free space between moments of tension. With gentleness I guide my yoga students and birthing mothers to experience the wisdom within their own bodies. By sharing my offerings as a Doula and Childbirth Educator, my goal is to hold space for mamas in a safe, non-judgmental, and loving way. It is my mission to bring empowerment to all women on this journey.
W H A T I S A D O U L A ?
Birth is sacred and women supporting women through labour is an ageless tradition common to all cultures. Traditionally, labouring women were surrounded by family members and experienced women from their community. As childbirth became the domain of the medical profession and women moved into hospitals for birth, women lost their essential connection to one another during this time of intense physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual work.
Women/couples need to be supported and nurtured so their babies can be welcomed with love and respect. The word doula comes from the ancient Greek meaning 'a woman who serves'. Thus, a doula serves as a guardian helping women/couples journey through the transition of childbirth and motherhood in a smooth, positive and nurtured way. In essence, a doula believes in ‘mothering the mother’, offering continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement and respect.
Doulas are not trained medically (that is the role of the midwife) but are knowledgeable in many medical aspects of labour and delivery. Should a birth become complicated and require medical assistance, a doula will remain by the woman’s side and assist her through the decision making process.
Numerous studies have documented the benefits of having a doula present during labour. With the support of a doula, women are less likely to have pain-relief medications administered and less likely to have a caesarean birth. In addition their births tend to be shorter.
M Y B I R T H D O U L A P A C K A G E
P R E G N A N C Y S U P P O R T
Throughout your pregnancy I am available via text, call, facetime, email etc for emotional support and to answer any questions you may have
I offer (at least) 2 antenatal sessions so we can discuss your goals and/or fears of birth, and I can help you create your birth preferences document
We will cover the physiology of birth, the stages of labour, how to work with the perfectly designed hormonal process, breathing techniques, comfort measures, active birth positions, your birth options, how to create the right birth environment, the role of the birth partner, and hospital procedures
I will be on call for you from 38 weeks to 42 weeks
If you would like any pregnancy yoga classes with me (1:1or with your birth partner/pregnant friends) this will be at an additional cost
L A B O U R & B I R T H S U P P O R T
I will be there for you during your entire labour and birth process
Trained to listen and love, I will hold space for you in a safe, loving and non-judgmental way. I will nurture you and encourage you to courageously open to your primal nature and trust your own power. I will protect your space and privacy, create a peaceful atmosphere and give confidence to your birth partner so that they can calmly support you. I will help your wishes to be respected and heard by your care providers and will liaise with the midwives and doctors
I can provide suggestions for labour positioning, and if needed offer tools to help you feel comforted, such as essential oils, breath and body awareness techniques, reiki, visualisations, positive affirmations and counter pressure
F I R S T B R E A S T F E E D I N G L A T C H
I will be present for the first couple of hours after your baby is born, to offer initial breastfeeding support and help you achieve the first latch with your baby
I will encourage/advocate for skin-to-skin contact and family bonding time
P O S T P A R T U M V I S I T
We will have one appointment post birth to follow up and check in. We will chat about your birth and this will help you to process your experience
I will be there to answer any questions and offer additional breastfeeding support
I will be available for you via phone or email for 6 weeks after birth if you have any questions or concerns
My Birth Doula Package is charged at a flat rate. Please contact me for more details
T E S T I M O N I A L S
"As first time parents, we were very excited but at the same time nervous about the whole pregnancy and labor. After attending a birthing class my husband was finally convinced that we needed to hire a doula. We learned about Emily from my yoga and birthing class instructor; she was one of three potential options. As soon as I visited Emily’s website I wanted to set up a meeting with her. Emily met with my husband and I and we felt an instant connection. We both knew we wanted her as part of our team. Emily was exactly what we were looking for - warm, caring, loving, a good listener, and knowledgeable. We just knew she was the one, and our search was over. Before the date of my labor, Emily was always available any time I had a question or concern. The day of my labor she was the first person I called and she was ready to meet me at the hospital. I could honestly say I had the perfect labor and a major part is because I had Emily by my side. Emily made sure the hospital staff was following my birth plan. My delivery room was just perfect, Emily set it up just the way I wanted, with candle lights, dimmed lights and great relaxing music (playlist also provided by her). With the help of Emily, I was able to stay off bed and not attached to a monitor. I was able to walk around the room, sit on the toilet, swing my body side to side, and sit on a birthing ball. Emily would guide me and helped me get into a different position to ride my contractions. There were times I felt I was ready to give up and asked for an epidural, but Emily was there to give moral support, she would massage my back, and coach me through the whole process. My precious baby boy came into this world after four hours of labor and three pushes. Emily stayed by our side for a couple hours after birth making sure we were ok. During our hospital stay and after we came home, Emily kept in touch with us answering any questions or concerns. Once I felt ok, Emily came to visit us at home, making sure I was breastfeeding correctly and she even brought us some yummy treats and a beautiful and thoughtful gift. We are extremely happy and fortunate to have found her and glad we chose her to be part of this amazing experience. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her. We couldn’t have made a better decision"
- Maryering Castaneda, from New York
"From the moment we met you we felt inexplicably reassured. Your approach to the prenatal sessions was always really educational without overwhelming. Your pregnancy classes were so nourishing. You leading us in meditation and breathing practices allowed us to feel grounded in your presence and that we could trust your many years of experience to guide us during the birth if we ever felt lost. Your positivity put us at ease before and during birth. I personally felt you holding space for me so peacefully and I felt supported by your wisdom and calming presence. It was such a blessing having you hold a Closing of the Bones ceremony after - the perfect end to a beautiful birthing journey together. If soul mates in doula form exist you were you ours! "
- Rosie King, from London
"Having dear Emily join my birthing tribe was THE best decision I made in my childbearing year. I did not get to have the birth I had hoped for, and there was unnecessary trauma and negligence that came from the hospital's end, but Emily united our family in that unsupported birth (I imagine her when I look back as hugging my husband, my daughter and I metaphorically). She made sure that I met my daughter with dignity and grace, even when there was none in the hospital. I will forever get tingly-nosed thinking about her brushing my matted hair and spraying coconut water mist on my tired face. If there is one thing I would not change about this past year other than having the most amazing daughter, it is having Emily on my side. Love, grace, expertise, and joy...that is Emily and what she brings as a Doula"
- Ashley Brenninkmeijer, from London
"We feel so lucky to have had you as our doula, Emily. Your constant loving care, support, good humour and general lovely presence made everything bearable. You gave me strength and courage when I needed it most, and to my husband as well...thank you from the bottom of our hearts - you are a very special lady"
- Tess Newall from London