Pregnancy, birth, babies and parenting are topics that have felt like home to me since I was a child. The memory of my youngest sister being born at home in the next room when I was was six years old is one I will cherish always and one that led me to birth work. I grew up hearing positive birth stories which shaped my first understanding of birth, for which I continue to be grateful.
My first step into birth work was training as a midwife in University College Cork, Ireland. After graduating I moved to the UK where I practiced for nearly three years before deciding to lay down midwifery. During my time training and working as a midwife I loved providing one to one support to parents as they journeyed through pregnancy, labour, birth and into the first few days of new parenthood. It was such a privilege and there were many magical moments! Deciding to leave midwifery was a very difficult decision, but it was the best choice for my wellbeing. Happily, it has led me on a new and unexpected path.
In 2018, I completed the Holistic Baby and Child Care course run by Emerson College at the Rudolf Steiner House in London. The course covered child development from birth to three years and focused on providing respectful and child centred care to children from birth. We learnt about the theories of Emmi Pikler (founder of the Pikler Institute in Hungary) and Steiner education. The course felt like a great addition to my midwifery foundation, to expand my knowledge beyond birth into early childhood.
My Current Work
Currently, I use my experience and knowledge to continue supporting parents. I do this by offering birth and postnatal doula support, leading my parent and baby groups and facilitating the Positive Birth Movement group in Horsham. My wish is to support parents in preparing for birth and life with a newborn, and then walk alongside them so they feel supported, informed and positive about this momentous time in their life.
In January 2020 I will be attending the Conscious Birth Doula Training Course, which includes TIDE (trauma informed doula education). I am excited to build on my knowledge and expand my doula skills. I have a particular interest in the trauma informed piece of this training – which is why I chose this course. Trauma, from a previous birth or experience in your life, may be triggered and brought to the surface during pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. Having this trauma informed model of care means that as well as understanding the impact past trauma can have on parents’ experiences, I can support parents to make plans to feel as safe and in control as possible during this time.
I have had the joy of working part time for two years at FairKind Child, an ethical shop in Horsham with lots of toys and wellbeing products for families. I loved working in this environment and meeting families who are interested in supporting Fairtrade and local businesses.
Inclusivity for all individuals and families is fundamentally important to me and a core value in the way I interact with the world. This means that beyond treating everyone equally, I am aware of the structural inequality in our society and work with people to ensure they feel safe and that their unique needs can be met. Being a part of the queer/ LGBTQ community myself, I am especially keen to reach out to and work with other same sex, queer and trans parents. I hope that as your doula I can support you to navigate the pregnancy, birth and postnatal services to ensure that your individual needs are understood and met.
A Little More About My Life
I live with my wife, Sally, and our cuddly cat, Bella, as resident Friends at a Quaker Meeting House. Sally is a therapeutic social worker and I learn a lot from her work about the importance of early infant attachment. Other than my work, I am nourished by working on craft projects, being in nature, watching birds, taking photographs and sharing time and food with friends.