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My name is Natasha and I am 51. I was born and brought up in Kenya, coming to boarding school in England age 10. I lived in South Africa on and off between 2009 and 2017. I have experienced 5 of my own births, which have varied from highly medicated to completely natural. My five children are between 25 and 12, two boys and three girls. My births have been the most significant events in my life, never to be forgotten memories. Birth is so unique and amazing I personally can't compare it to any of my other life experiences. Although I have no regrets I do have a lot of things I would have done differently if I knew what I know today! What I have subsequently learnt about birth has made me value what I can offer to other mothers and why I am a doula.
ABOUT ME AS A DOULA
I love supporting mothers during birth and postnatally because of the difference it can make. I want use my experience for you to have the best experience you can. It gives me the chance to support you as you go through your own unique experience. It's about owning your own birth experience, going into it prepared with balanced information, encouraging and supporting you in how to make it your own powerful, personal experience.
I love to give that one on one care, doing my best to make it a time where you feel supported and nurtured. Our partners are invaluable in the emotional strength they can give, but it's often new to them. Some partners can feel helpless or anxious about how to be there for you. I can offer suggestions during your labour so your partner can feel more involved if that is what you both want. Remaining sensitive to both of you is important to my role as your doula.
Personally I find whatever I do in life that has the right kind of support makes it so much less stressful and easier to bear! If I had known the value a doula brings, I definitely would have had one with me for all my births (despite the cost implications!). Benefit of hindsight! If you are undecided and want to know if having a doula is what you need, you can read "The Doula Book" (How a Trained Labour Companion Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth) by Marshall Klaus and John Kennel.
If you would like to see if I am the doula for you I will come for an initial meeting. If you decide I am able to offer you the support you want, we will set up two ante natal meetings to get to know one another and talk about your preferences. I will then be there for you answering your questions as best I can, giving you balanced information and guiding you to helpful resources throughout your pregnancy by phone and email. As we approach the birth, I will schedule an on-call period two weeks either side of your due date. When you go into labour I will be there for you from when you need me, throughout the birth, until you feel you no longer need my support. I generally stay with you for an hour or so after the birth until you feel settled.
We will then have one post natal meeting to talk through the birth and see how you are doing. It's great to process your experience with someone after the birth.
I benefited from postnatal support after I had my fourth child at home as I had a friend's daughter stay with me for a while. The support helped me not to suffer from my usual post natal depression. The relief I felt to know someone was there to talk to and help with household chores that sometimes seemed overwhelming was such a relief. I remember bursting into tears over a basket of laundry with my third child! My work as a postnatal doula is to continue that level of support I have given you during the birth.
Adjusting to having a baby can lead to overwhelming emotions and questions, at a time when you are getting less sleep and your body and hormones are recovering. I can give feeding support, be someone to talk things through with, or just offer practical help with household chores. I can be there as your postnatal doula, until you feel ready and settled enough to manage without that support.
Clients for their first birth, after IVF treatment:
Your calmness, kindness, encouragement and containment were unfailing despite the many hours and the numerous things you had to deal with. Obviously it is an event we will never ever forget, and you, your energy, your presence is entirely woven into the tapestry in our mind's eye that is that experience for us.
Andy (Ist and 2nd baby)
It was so lovely to be able to positively discuss childbirth with Natasha, what would be happening with my body as I had contractions, my options for pain relief, different positions I could be in, and stages of labour. I felt instantly comfortable during our meetings, as Natasha is a very warm and loving person, she is accepting, open to our emotions, and thoughts, and has an amazing wealth of knowledge and experience. My husband and I really enjoyed meeting with her and going over our birth plan before our big day.
I remember feeling very safe, knowing Natasha would help create a peaceful environment no matter where we were. There was a moment when we first got to the hospital when she held me and teared up as told me that she knew what I was going through and that we would get through it together, from that point on she instantly had my heart and total trust. I give Natasha full credit for making it through those 16 hours, but she will still tell me to this day that I was amazing, and that it was all me!
Alisa (Ist and 2nd baby)
When I fell pregnant with my second child in 2011 there was no question who we wanted as our doula, we called Natasha and met with her. I ended up going into labour 2 weeks early and only an hour into my labour I could feel the baby quite low so we decided to go collect Natasha and drive to the hospital. As soon as Natasha was in our car I felt much calmer and she supported me through my next few contractions. My waters broke soon after and we breathed through several urges to push. Luke Anthony was born in our car after only a few pushes. Natasha was amazing she handled the situation with such peace and calm. I would highly recommend Natasha as a doula. I believe every expectant parent should have an amazing woman like her to support you.
Alisa Bleich (2nd child)
The whole birth went wonderfully. Because of her support and direction I was able to deliver my baby without the need of any drugs or painkillers whatsoever and had a totally natural birth free from any complications.
Celeste (First, second and third baby)
It was such an easy experience as she continued coaching me and remained perfectly calm even through the traffic jams. I gave birth quickly and easily and once again without the need for any drugs. I couldn't have done it without her. She is the best birthing companion I could hope for and I would definitely recommend her to anyone.
Celeste (2nd Child)
I asked her to be with me for the birth of my third child as I couldn't imagine not having her there to help me. She was just as much of a help and support.
Celeste (3rd Child)
Being with us was a bless when little Edward arrived in our life because with your support was much easy and great experience for every woman in that moments.
I would be very glad to have Natasha's assistance again with future additions and I recommend her as a highly-qualified and skilled doula for any expecting mother or mum-to-be. Her support, both physical and emotional during such a special time in my life will always be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Natasha!
Rosa Colaco (4th birth, first with a doula)
Thank you so much for being with me during labour. I don't think I could have made it through without your help. You gave me the strength to make it till the end.
Angelina (first baby)
J hired me as a postnatal doula as she had had such a difficult time caring for her first baby after a caesarean. She didn't think she needed a birth doula but ended up hiring me at the last minute. She had a beautiful VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) home birth and was thrilled by the experience. Her husband "E" hadn't seen the need for a doula at a home birth but was so happy; "You have given my wife the experience she has always longed for and will probably never have again".