Melbourne Doula

Welcome to 'Melbourne Doula', the place where I share what birth work is teaching is me, and what I am learning from the wonderful families who have invited me to share this most special season of their lives. Here you will find information about me and the doula services I provide, birth stories from remarkable women and their loved ones, as well as all kinds of resources to enrich your own journey of discovery. And welcome also to BLISSFUL HERBS, the home of beautiful herbal teas and bath herbs to support wellness through every season of life.

About Julie

My journey of discovery began while observing the standard treatment of birthing women in hospitals wards as a student nurse in New Zealand. During our training, which was considered progressive and holistic at the time, we were taught how the anatomical parts of the body function to cause a baby to be born, and about the interventions, and the scientific rationales for those interventions, that staff do to birthing women.
It was only when I began researching in preparation for my own births that she discovered a whole range of knowledge that had been overlooked during my training: what women do themselves, for themselves, by themselves to birth their own babies.
I found a book called 'Homebirth' by Sheila Kitzinger in the library in Hong Kong. The beautiful images in that book filled me with a kind of envy .... all I could think was, "I want a go!"
This led to my husband and I choosing to have our first baby at the home we were then renting in Ireland, having found a skilled home birth midwife to attend. The hands-off, quietly present care of this midwife who told me ‘women instinctively know what to do’ set the standard for empathetic, respectful care of birthing women for me. As a 30 year old first-time mother, I laboured for 24-hours in and out of a home-made birth pool before our daughter was finally born in the wee hours of the morning, by the light of an open fire.
Since then, we've had two more daughters and a son. We were in New Zealand for the second and third births and were able to benefit from maternity services that provide for women to choose their own midwife and to give birth in the place of their choice - home, birth centre or hospital - all fully funded by the Government. We planned another homebirth for our second baby girl but she suprised us (not for the first or last time, either!) by being born in a shopping mall! Well, we made it to the baby- care room. This was our 'home away from home birth'. Unusual setting, but once again, caring support from the people with usmade even this birth a special experience. Our third baby girl was also safely born at home in New Zealand. 8 years later, when I was 43 years old, we had our first homebirth in Australia. This time our baby was actually born under water - and in his caul!
For nearly 16 years, we were involved in Christian volunteer work in different parts of Asia. In 2004, we returned to Australia for our children's education. Having begun attending births in Asia, I now decided to train formally as a doula with Optimum Birth. I completed the course in early 2007 and since then have supported women choosing to have their babies at home, in birth centres and in hospital. I have continued my education in the art and science of herbalism with a special interest in herbal support for women during the mothering journey.
I am continually inspired by the innate strength and wisdom that women employ during pregnancy, birth and mothering, and I feel it is an honour to accompany women and their loved ones in their unique journey.

Our vivacious young women:

and our darling boy: