Finding out about my own pregnancy in February 2020 just as we had bought our first house was the scariest but most magical time. I struggled with pregnancy sickness, which no one seemed to fully understand and I had just had surgery in January to treat endometriosis. This quickly became a very lonely and stressful experience as we entered the pandemic and national lockdowns with no one really knowing the risk to pregnant women. Suddenly, the pregnancy I had always imagined looked very different and navigating the maternity system became very difficult.
Time was on my side, however, so I read as much as I could about pregnancy, hypnobirthing, labour, breastfeeding, infants and watched as many positive births as I could find. It fascinated me.
I saw Doulas mentioned many times but didn't realise their worth until it was too late. Experiencing the early days of motherhood in lockdown was intense and emotional for me, losing my Grandad on the day my baby was born. Having a postnatal doula on my side would have helped with so many things... managing my expectations, advocating for leaving hospital sooner, identifying my daughters tongue tie sooner, easing me into breastfeeding more gently and just generally having someone to keep me company and talk through my feelings of that time with someone who wasn't living it with me. And, for me, someone to support me to nap!!
Being able to provide this support for other families is an immense honour and I hope it pays forward and promotes the sense of community new families need, but has been lost along the way.
Education, Experience and CPD
This year I have completed training in the compassionate mind approach, understanding diverse motherhood, pregnancy sickness support, action on postpartum psychosis, SANDS bereavement webinar, birth trauma and parenting across cultures.
Chester MVP 2022
Community Engagement Lead
Recently I have begun volunteering with our local MVP in order to gain feedback to improve maternity services in our area. Alongside my current role in the NHS, I am passionate about the quality of service provisions to new parents and families in our area.
Biological Nurturing Workshop
I attended this session on laid back breastfeeding in order to improve knowledge and skills around the positioning and how to support someone to use this position.
Maddie's Miracle 2022
Trustee and Volunteer
Maddie's Miracle is a breastfeeding and perinatal support charity set up with the aim to bring quality breastfeeding support to areas of the UK who desperately need it through virtual support and the conversion of a bus into a mobile breastfeeding unit.
Physical Health and Wellbeing Practitioner in Specialist Perinatal Mental Health
Monitoring the physical health of families experiencing moderate and complex perinatal mental health issues who may be taking medication or supporting their wellbeing through episodes of mental illness. Working in a multidisciplinary team of mental health practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists and occupational therapists, we aim to provide rounded care to those in our caseload to ensure that parents and babies are supported through the process of perinatal mental health struggles.
Preparation Course August 2021
Through virtual group sessions, independent discussions, debriefs, online course materials and individual project work, this preparation course teaches the values of a doula, the evidence base for the practice and practical skills to bring to families. The support from the Developing Doulas community is ongoing following graduation.
University of Chester 2017
MSc Family and Child Psychology
During this postgraduate training, modules included child and adolescent development and mental health, family transitions and lifestyle, and family psychology in society. Comprehensive research modules were also covered as well as completing a research dissertation module.