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.

What Does a Doula Do?

This is what one of my clients had to say in response to this question:

Before birth:

* Helped me discover who I was

* Helped me let go of so much shit!!!

* Loved me

* Took us to Birth Week - a series of workshops and lectures held each year in Kallista

* Gave me birth beads and birth candles

* Filmed my blessingway

* Shared books, dvds, videos, art work and poetry with me

* Nurtured me like a  mother

* Took me to the local Australian Breastfeeding Association gatherings

* Hours upon hours on the phone talking birth, life, love, relationships, spirituality, you name it!

* Taught me pelvic exercises and helped me 'map' by pelvis and understand how it moves and flexes as I move into different positions

* Took me swimming and helped me explore how to use water for easy positioning and relaxation and 'spiralling' during labour

* Transported me to heaven with stress-relieving pre-natal massages

* Gave me list of everything I'd need to get ready for the birth and baby.

During birth:

* Lent me a birth pool and birth ball and heat packs

* Laid out all the towels and drop sheet, arranged pillows, blankets, set up mattress on the floor

* Hand fed me, making me feel like a queen

* Brought me special home-made rehydration drink called 'Labourade' made from lemons from her garden that her little girls picked and helped her squeeze

* Offered me drinks through a straw

* Filled the birth pool

* Massaged me

* Held me as I shook from the surges of hormones (it sounds so small and yet it meant EVERYTHING to me)

* Helped me work through three major crises of confidence during birth

* Helped me discover who I was

* Helped me love myself

* Loved me

* Helped me surrender to birth

* Helped me find my feet and work out what my way to birth was ... I was a bit lost for a while, and her suggestions clarified for me what I wanted and what I didn't want.

* Nurtured me like a mother

* Gave my partner sleep breaks

* Bought me flowers

* Gave me encouraging pep-talks when I became impatient and exhausted and felt my limits were being tested

* Took AMAZING photos

* Sat with me when I didn't want to be alone

* Cleaned my kitchen - several times throughout my three-day labour

* Kept my bucket near me (imperative! ) for when I felt nauseous, held my forehead and wiped my face, and cleaned up after each time I vomited

* Believed in me and my ablity to see our birth through, despite the crises of confidence and how long it went for

After Birth:

* Cleaned the house, gathering up all the floor and furniture covers

* Did several loads of laundry - hung it out, brought it in, folded it

* Prepared my toilet all ready for everything I needed post-natally - clean undies, maternity pads, peri-squeeze bottle, clean cloths for cleaning drips - so that everything would be easily to hand

* Siphoned the birth pool empty, cleaned it out, let it dry in the sun, and packed it up

* Prepared a herbal bath post birth and gave us herbs to make our own in the future - available HERE

* Sat around talking and laughing with us

* Stayed until she was sure we were happy for her to go (and the house was clean xoxox)

* Helped care for bub's placenta

* Helped me learn how to hold my bub during breastfeeding and what a good latch was

* Checked in with me regularly to see how I was going physically and emotionally after birth

* Found me a Lactation Consultant when I needed extra help

* Gave me a one-year subscription to the Australian Breastfeeding Association and made sure I had the 24-hour hot-line number

* Always (and still does) shares the joy of it all.

Our family, our daughter, will always have a special place in her heart and she will always have a special place in ours for what we experienced together. She was 'with-family' every step of the way, and even now when we see her it is exciting and joyous. She helped me have the birth experience I always dreamed of - an unmedical one surrounded by loving women who get birth and more importantly who get me!

In one of our many conversations, my doula said she believes the work of a doula is to love. And the very first time we spoke she said that she believed it was just as important that a doula make the pregnant/birthing woman feel cherished/loved/special as it was for her to respect normal birth. She was just what I needed after a drought of maternal affection and respect.

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