If there’s one thing I love about being a doula, is meeting and working alongside other birth professionals, such as midwives, doulas, pregnancy yogis, aromatherapists, reflexologists, chiropractors, masseurs, doctors, breastfeeding consultants, physios, fitness gurus, and so on. There is so much support out there for pregnant mums and pregnant people in our community, but sometimes it’s difficult to find the help or support you need. This is why networking is so important.
I’ve been very lucky to meet some pretty amazing people since I’ve become a doula, and I feel very grateful to know so many professionals to signpost my clients to if needed.
One of my favourite contacts is midwife Nicole Schlogel, who runs her own aromatherapy for pregnancy and baby positioning clinic in Lisburn, including a vegan pregnancy coaching program. Many of my clients benefit enormously from a pregnancy massage in the last semester, not only for relaxation purposes but potentially for making more room in the pelvis to help baby get into optimal position for birth. So I was absolutely delighted to receive a Happy New Year message from Nicole, also gifting me a ‘pregnancy massage’, just so I know what my clients are enjoying, when I signpost them her way! The massage was truly blissful, and Nicole used aromatherapy to set the scene, and even gave me the wee bottle of oil she used for the massage. She really has magic hands, so soft and wise, knowing exactly what spot needs that wee bit more of attention. I loved my pregnancy massage, even though I’m not pregnant! I felt totally spoilt and extremely relaxed, and isn’t that just what most pregnant mummies and people want to feel as they prepare to meet their precious wee baba! I certainly will continue to thoroughly recommend Nicole, and if you don’t believe me, I suggest you give it a go!
Find out more about Nicole and her practice at https://www.thepregnantvegan.com/
It’s three years since I began this amazing doula journey, and 35 births later plus supporting an additional 6 families postnatally, I am still in awe of the magic of birth and how the presence of a tiny wee baby can affect each and every one of us. No matter how much preparation goes into coping with pregnancy, labour, birth and bringing baby home, I still see the jubilation and nervous mixture of raw emotion when baby meets mummy and daddy in those early days. I love it! I feel so very privileged to offer support at this precious, intimate, life-changing event and I will never tire of doing so.
And this leads me on to why I have had my head in the clouds this past weekend. I humbly received an award for ‘Doula of Distinction’ at the NI Positive Birth Conference in Belfast amidst many of my birthing heros. Check it out! Not only the headline presenters, but so many strong, fierce mummies together with health professionals and volunteers all endeavouring to improve the perinatal experience for families in Northern Ireland. Wow! It was truly amazing, inspirational, emotional, raw – a bit like birth really.
One of the many lovely things about being a doula is waiting on receiving a call or text from your client to say she thinks she might be in labour. Sometimes it’s completely out of the blue when baby decides to make an early arrival, or usually it’s when mum has gone past her guess date and she is beginning to think that baby will never come! I completely empathise with the parents once mum reaches the magical ‘guess date’, and then one day passes, another day and perhaps even a week….or two! It can feel overwhelming as the family try to be patient and chilled, but really they are so excited at the prospect of meeting their wee baby that it’s difficult to keep emotions under control. Seriously, how many times can you clean your house or keep filling up the freezer! Just one more time!
As a doula, I am experiencing similar anticipation. I often think to myself, if I just tidy this cupboard that I keep meaning to, then I’ll get the call……or if I just run a wee bit faster, then I’ll get the call…you get the drift! Of course it doesn’t matter how many cupboards I clean, or how fast I run, the baby will come when it’s time. I know that, but it doesn’t stop me from thinking like that as I play the waiting game too!