Birth Doula



What is a doula?    

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The term ‘doula’ (pronounced doo-la) originally signifies a ‘woman who serves,’ but its modern interpretation extends to a woman providing support throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and the postnatal phase. This role is occasionally described as ‘mothering the mother.’

Watch Doula! the film

In traditional societies, a pregnant woman is enveloped by the guidance and encouragement of seasoned women in the community. They offer support during pregnancy, assist in childbirth, and nurture both the mother and her newborn in the initial weeks or months. This cultural practice has faded in many Western societies, but the efforts of doulas are helping to revive it. While not assuming a medical role, a doula offers continuous support to the mother and her partner throughout pregnancy, the entire labor process, and the postpartum period.

What can a doula offer the mother for the birth?

A doula can assist in discussing your birth plan/wishes, addressing any concerns or anxieties you may have about labour in advance. She offers guidance and support in making decisions about the birth setting and planning. Leading up to the birth, she remains available for any questions, concerns, or issues that may arise. Acting as a liaison with medical professionals if necessary, she listens to you and your partner, providing advocacy when needed. The doula can maintain a continuous, calm, and knowledgeable presence by your side. Her primary purpose is to be with you and support both you and your partner throughout this period.

Following the birth, she facilitates the transition through those initial days, providing encouragement with breastfeeding if necessary, addressing queries, and engaging in a debriefing of the birth experience with you.

What can a doula offer the partner?

During childbirth, having a doula present enables the birthing woman’s partner to focus solely on being a supportive companion, without the added responsibility of being her advocate. This is especially crucial when the partner is experiencing vulnerability themselves.

Following the birth, a doula can support the partner by helping with domestic tasks. This allows the partner the opportunity to spend quality time with the new child and the recovering partner. Additionally, the doula provides support as the partner adjusts to their new role and learns to care for their baby. Once the partner returns to work, a new mother might feel isolated or overwhelmed by full-time motherhood. Knowing there is someone to offer support, provide answers to questions, and ensure she has time and space to relax can bring relief to a partner unable to be present due to work pressures.

Who am I?

Claire provides support to couples in Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas, firmly holding the belief that every woman can have a magical and beautiful birth experience. Serving as a birth and postnatal doula, Claire collaborates with mothers and their partners, offering assistance, information, and empowerment before, during, and after labour and birth.

With a doula journey dating back to 2005, Claire has been a dedicated Birth Doula since then and added the role of Postnatal Doula in 2010. She was an active member of Doula UK from 2005 to 2012, contributing in various volunteer capacities, such as Regional Representative coordinator, Regional Representative for Northamptonshire, Board of Directors member, Doula Mentor, and Doula Mentor Joint Co-ordinator. Claire has also been involved with the Maternity Services Liaison Committee in Northamptonshire.

Claire’s passion for doula work emerged during the birth of her first child, strengthened during her retraining at LCM, and flourished with the opportunity to journey with Dr. Michel Odent and Lilianna Lammars (Paramana Doula).

As an experienced doula, Claire has supported couples with diverse birth preferences, including home births, hospital births (including a remarkable breech water delivery), VBACs, and elective Gentle cesarean sections. She has supported over a thousand families, being present with those who chose a doula for support during pregnancy, labour, birth, and the postpartum period.

In addition to her doula services, Claire is a qualified massage practitioner for pregnancy, labour, baby massage, and development. She advocates for accessibility to doula services for every woman, offering assistance to clients with lower incomes through installment plans.

Claire adheres to a Code of Practice, holding insurance through BGi UK, and possesses an up-to-date Enhanced CRB Disclosure certificate. Feel free to explore her pages and reach out with any questions.

Please note that all of our support packages / programmes work alongside your ante-natal care which you receive from you GP practice. We are not a replacement for your GP or midwife but work co-operatively with them.

I have supported many couples here are some of them ….

  • Assisted birth (ventouse) under spinal in theatre; 
  • homebirth; 
  • VBAC with elective section; 
  • Vaginal birth with blood clotting disorder; 
  • elective c-section (baby large for dates); 
  • vaginal birth (monitoring with clip & bicornuate uterus); 
  • Home water birth, transfer in due to retained placenta and pph;
  • Vaginal birth (3 hours); 
  • VBAC – ventouse birth with epidural in theatre; 
  • undiagnosed breech vaginal birth;
  • Induction due to pre-eclampsia successful vaginal birth; 
  • transferred home water birth with ventouse birth in sitting position; 
  • home water birth transferred in with ventouse birth (lithotomy); 
  • elective c-section
  • hospital vaginal birth on knees due to blood pressure concerns; 
  • elective section;
  • vaginal birth;
  • repeat emergency c-section; 
  • home water birth with baby birthed in caul; 
  • hospital breech water birth; 
  • elective section;
  • home water birth transfer due to stitching and loss of blood; 
  • repeat client homebirth; 
  • speedy vaginal birth (2 hours);
  • supported Group Strep B vaginal birth in water
  • repeat speedy vaginal homebirth with transfer in for baby  (needing creating assistance) and mum with high blood pressure 
  • Northampton Birth Centre – vaginal birth
  • The Spires, Oxford – Vaginal Birth After Caesarean using pool for pain relief.
  • Planned Home breech birth transfer in to labour ward & went to c-section  
  • Planned COVID-19 Homebirth – speedy 2nd birth
  • Gentle Cesarean advocate for clients with NGH. 

Claire teaches from her bespoke studio “The Space” based in Northampton and also offers Rebozo workshops and Cerrada (also known as Closing of the Bones) … to both couples and others working with clients who may or may not be pregnant.

There are 2 packages offered:

Birth Support Package I – clients who would like a doula may be current clients or new clients to Ripple Effect.

Birth Support Package II – for those that would like the last minute support of a Doula when they have gone into labour and have been in class or attended The Ripple Effect – Hypnobirthing & Empowering birth course.

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Birth Support Package I includes the following:

  • Holding your space whilst journeying through the maternity system.
  • 4 x one to one antenatal sessions, which will take place in the comfort of your own home on a day and time that suits you.
    We will cover all aspects of labour, birth & beyond and if applicable take the time to reflect on previous pregnancies/births.  These will be 2-3 hours per session.
  • Access to the client area of the Ripple Effect website which has a whole host of resources to support you when researching options and looking for information.
  • Access to birth preparation area of the website – client protected password with empowering birth presentation and postnatal presentation.
  • Any books, dvd’s and cd’s relating to pregnancy and birth that I have may be borrowed.
  • On call for the birth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from 10 days prior to your due date until week 42
  • Continuity of care throughout your pregnancy, labour and birth plus 12 weeks postpartum.
  • Use of Aromatherapy oils & Homoeopathy remedies if you wish to use them.
  • TENS machine available (cover cost of replacement pads)
  • Guidance with the first feed and what to expect in the following hours and days.  Plus signposting as required.
  • Stay with client and partner after birth of baby and support as appropriate – shower, settling (if birth location permits this).  Usually about 4-5 hours post-birth.
  • 1 postnatal visit (2-4 hours) usually within 10 days of the birth, taking time to reflect on your experience and giving you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about you or your baby and what to expect in those early weeks.
  • Advice and support available via phone or email from time of booking until 12 weeks post birth.
  • Additional visits can be arranged if required. (charge applicable)

You also have the options of:

  • Option of hiring a birth pool at rate of £65.00.  Clients will need to order a liner (payable directly to the supplier … a discount order code will be supplied for one of the retailers).
  • The use of a TENS machine – no charge for unit (charge of £15.00 for replacement pads included with final invoice).

It would be helpful if you had the use of a birth ball to use at home and during your birth.  Ask family and friends they might have one lurking in a cupboard … it will need to be anti-burst.

The postnatal visit is to discuss your birth experience, and to help and assist you in the post-natal period. It lasts for approximately 2-4 hours.

Birth Support Package I

A birth support package with Claire is £950.00 plus mileage (45p per mile).

£350.00 Deposit at time of booking
£150.00 due Week 26
£150.00 due Week 28
£150.00 due Week 30
£150.00 due Week 32
£additional expenses due at the postnatal visit

Birth Support Package II  – Last Minute

A birth support package with Claire is £550.00 plus mileage (45p per mile).

Sometimes we aren’t always sure if we want to have a doula with us at the beginning of our pregnancy journey … classes with Claire are very personalised so she is often very aware from class discussions or you sharing your thoughts and birth wishes over the weeks together, especially those that have done 2 or more blocks of classes … Claire offers her clients the following support … If you start your labour journey and feel the overwhelming urge for support and someone to hold the space for you and your partnerthere are many scenarios which may make you think “I need the support” e.g. induction of labour, when your wishes aren’t quite going where you want them to be  … if Claire is available she will happily join you wherever you need her to be and stay with you to hold the space and be your Birthkeeper along with your partner …  the fee would be paid after the arrival of your baby.

Staying in contact with her when you think labour has started would be helpful.

The fee for this is £550.00 for the birth plus mileage or taxi fare and if you wish to debrief post birth then this can be in the form of a face to face appointment or perhaps organising a birth after thoughts appointment at the hospital with a named midwife … cost £60.00.

Please have a chat with Claire about this service …

TESTIMONIAL please click to open and then click the “back” button

testimonial SW

MORE INFORMATION


Birth Doula Booking online form.

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I AM CURRENTLY NOT OFFERING POSTNATAL DOULA SUPPORT DUE TO MY TEACHING COMMITMENT

What is a Postnatal Doula?

A postnatal doula offers the family:

Emotional support for mother and baby
Physical care of mother and baby
Assistance with establishing feeding (breast and bottle)
Advice and help to the family re: adjusting to the new baby/babies
Assisting with the care of older children in the family
Assisting with the household: some will do light housework this would include washing up, laundry, putting washing on the line, hoovering and small amounts of ironing, shopping, cooking and any other reasonable requests.
Some doulas will be happy to look after or take the baby out while the mother gets some rest or has a relaxing bath.

The role is quite varied, however the main task is to make sure the mother is resting enough and getting the fluids and nutrition that are essential after childbirth. Too often mums are rushed back into normal day-to-day activities and lose out on the “lying in” period that many women in the third world experience. With the help of a postnatal doula a mother can enjoy some of the benefits of a prolonged “lying in” period. This will help her bond with her baby and spend extra time with any older siblings. As a postnatal doula we are about empowering a family to take care of itself and we facilitate this by helping around the house and offering encouragement and suggestions.

As a postnatal doula, I offer practical and emotional support to the new mother and father in the home following the birth of the baby (if they close to book this as an additional service).  This service would usually last between 3 weeks and 3 months depending on each families circumstances.

At the preset time I am offering as part of my Doula packages 12 weeks support via telephone and email.

Postnatal Support Packages

If you would prefer to book my face to face services, the hourly charge is £15.00 plus travel expenses at 45p per mile. (the mileage rate is negotiable if you are more than 20 miles away).

How to book.

If you are interested in booking Claire as your doula, please contact her to arrange a complimentary appointment for you to meet and to discuss your birth plans.

Postnatal Support: £15.00 per hour with a minimum 20 hour booking for postnatal support plus mileage (45p per mile).

Once you have decided that you would like to book Claire, please contact her to discuss what you are looking for.  Once this has been received, your dates are booked into her diary and your appointments are organised.

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