I am a birth and postnatal doula (a trained birth companion and supporter after birth) who moved from England, UK to Wellington, NZ in 2002. Doulas are fairly unknown of here in NZ, however, before my babies arrived, I worked postnatally within the Wellington community and hope to support at births again in the future when family life allows and when there are other doulas to provide back-up for me.
Whilst in the UK I was fortunate enough to meet up with a lovely group of like-minded doulas and together we set up a network of doulas - called "Doula UK" - see www.doula.org.uk. It is good to still be in touch with this network, even from this far away (such is the power of the internet!) because I am fairly isolated now from other doulas. However, I have met some wonderful midwives here in Wellington, who have been very encouraging to me.
Back in London I worked voluntarily with women from Holloway Prison who were facing pregnancy and childbirth whilst serving their sentences/on remand (see www.birthcompanions.org.uk).
I used to attend the infant massage sessions within the prison and was inspired to become a qualified infant massage instructor myself, so I trained with the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) in London (see www.iaim.net). IAIM has chapters all over the world in more than 30 countries and I was fortunate that there is a NZ one (based in Auckland - see www.nz.iaim.net) so I have been able to meet up with other infant massage instructors. I offer group and private infant massage courses.
In November 2004, I gave birth at home, in water, to my first child, Zoe, using calmbirth® techniques and with the wonderful support of my two homebirth midwives and my husband, Graham.
In 2006 I became involved with Simply Birth in Australia who gained the distribution rights for the wonderful La Bassine birth pool. In order to improve the possibility of women birthing their babies in water at home, I was inspired (read persuaded!!) to distribute the pool here in Wellington and nationwide.
At the beginning of 2007 I began my training to become a Calmbirth® practitioner and I qualified in September 2008.
I used the Calmbirth® techniques once again to birth my second daughter, Phoebe, who was born in water at home at the end of January 2009, after another very gentle, and relaxed labour.
Since the birth of my girls, my work is juggled in with caring for them. I have been facilitating regular Calmbirth® courses since May 2009. I am very excited about this part of my journey as it has really brought together everything that I have learned and experienced. I occasionally offer infant massage courses when time and family life allow, but I no longer practice as a doula.
In August 2014 I stopped selling La Bassine birth pools as I was no longer in a position financially to cover the increased costs of importation.