Every woman deserves a Doula

Recommendations from my clients

I asked Rachel to be my doula quite late on in my pregnancy, as it had taken myself and my husband a while to decide upon whether we wanted an extra person present for the birth. We were her first clients but she was very enthusiastic, confident and likeable so we were pleased that we had made this decision. She understood that we weren’t really sure how “hands on” we wanted her to be-I wasn’t sure whether I would be put off by having anyone around during labour, and reassured us that she would stay in the background if that is what we wanted.

We had some problems with the midwives and a lack of support for a home birth towards the end of my pregnancy, and Rachel was very supportive through this. She lent us some AIMs booklets which gave us information on our rights and how to enforce them. She also discussed our case with other experienced doulas for advice. Rachel also found us some handouts on breathing techniques and positions during labour which were interesting and useful.

During labour Rachel arrived very quickly after our call and I was in a zone where I didn’t want to talk to anyone, so she came in quietly, and offered her support. She managed to connect with our 2.5 yr old son-who is not always confident with people he doesn’t know and played with him and supported him whilst he witnessed the birth.

She offered non-obtrusive support to me by breathing slowly when I was breathing too fast which reminded me to slow down and relax.

We had the birth that we had hoped for, with our son present-which was really important to us as a family and probably would not have managed without Rachel’s presence.

H & A

Just thought I’d pop over and write a little bit about the excellent service that Rachel provides. Rachel was my doula for my 2nd baby and 1st homebirth.

I had a terrible time with my first baby, involving lots of intervention, drugs and hospital stay and after researching, decided on having a doula for our 2nd baby. I think a lot of the problems I had with my 1st baby were due to lack of support, and I know through this, I then lost the plot. My husband fed off my own fear and felt useless beside me, so although he was with me the whole time, he didn’t offer me the support I needed.

So everything was different with my 2nd baby. Rachel was on hand right from the very beginning. She went over the experience we’d already had, assured us that it could be very different and gave us both support during the pregnancy. I was in regular email contact with her throughout my pregnancy and she was very, very patient with all my queries and niggles. She reassured me the whole time, giving me the boost I needed every so often. Rachel was also a font of knowledge when it came to trying to turn my transverse baby. She suggested treatments and sources of information and was super organised in helping me achieve my goals.

Towards the end of pregnancy, Rachel even put up with all my false labour starts, and helped me through regular braxton hicks! It wasn’t until I got to 36 weeks and my baby finally turned that we made a decision to try for a homebirth. Up until that point, Rachel was going to attend the birth at Penrice (or treliske) and be our support in a clinical setting. But, with the idea of a homebirth securely planted, when I finally went into labour after many nights of false starts, Rachel was on the phone in the middle of the night offering support. She came up to us an hour later and was by my side the whole time.

I’m not sure how to put in words how Rachel helped me, but I felt safe when she was around. She supported me emotionally, and physically by giving me much needed hugs every so often. She enabled my husband to have a much more active role in supporting me, by nudging him to help when she could see I needed it.

At the final stage of labour, Rachel was the only thing that got me through. She helped me come back from losing it temporarily, made me concentrate on my baby, not my fear, and very shortly after, I had my baby in my arms.

I truly believe that Rachel was the only reason I got my homebirth, because she gave me support that I couldn’t have got from my husband (or midwife). I trusted her entirely, and her experience helped me to achieve my goal to have a homebirth. Having Rachel by my side was an invaluable experience, and one that I wouldn’t hesitate to repeat in the future (except two babies is enough for me!). I would recommend Rachel to anyone having a baby, over and over. She just gives such incredible support 🙂

S & E

A big recommendation for Rachel who was our Doula for the homebirth of Elizabeth 🙂

My first birth was horrendous and rammed home every fear I had about hospitals, blood and needles! By the time I was 12 weeks on with my 2nd baby I was pretty much hysterical about giving birth again. Unfortunately for me the first time round I didn’t know about Doulas and the support they give and to be honest if I had I probably wouldn’t have gone down that route thinking that it would all be fine.... (like a lamb to the slaughter) in hindsight I am quite annoyed that the antenatal ‘support’ and I mean support in the loosest possible terms was so lacking! I would recommend ANYONE having a baby to have Rachel and listen to her! If I could turn back the clock and kick myself into having a Doula I would most definitely.

The work Rachel did with me and my husband in the lead up to my 2nd daughter’s birth was fantastic, I was planning to give birth at home (as far away from medical intervention as possible) and I learned an incredible amount of information from Rachel (I hasten to add not the medical profession) that had I have been told the first time round I am sure could have prevented the problems with the first birth.

Rachel’s support helped my husband and me to communicate our fears in a safe and supported way meaning that neither of us was shielding the other but rather supporting each other fully, her knowledge meant I had someone to ask when the consultant baffled me and when I couldn’t speak to my midwife. Best of all Rachel taught me to believe in myself and my body’s ability to do the job it was designed for, I was ready and fully prepared to give birth when it was time, even though in the lead up she had to reassure me constantly, listen to my constant wobbles and hold my hand when the doctor took a blood test.

In the end when labour really kicked in having Rachel with us was a huge comfort, as soon as she arrived we (me, my husband and mother) all relaxed, she supported us all. I will always remember Rachel’s calm during the moment of transition when I experienced panic and doubt she talked to me and brought me back from that precipice and I birthed my daughter in my own home in the arms of my husband and finally understood this precious moment is one to be cherished as a magical empowering experience, not a horror of fear! I will always think back on that night under the full moon with tears in my eyes of happiness!

A & M

Rachel has been a wonderful post-natal Doula.

As we didn’t have any relatives nearby and had new baby twins she helped us to survive the first few days and weeks with immense care and thoughtfulness.

She is very skilled at caring for babies and encouraging new parents to achieve the best for their babies. Rachel is positive and supportive and made a huge difference to our lives at this momentous time.

Our twins adore Rachel and over the last year she has helped them to develop into happy and settled little people. She is always professional and is utterly reliable, we count ourselves very lucky to have found her to help us with our twins. We believe that Rachel is an outstandingly talented Doula.

A & D

Having met Rachel at several postnatal pilates and yoga classes the decision to ask her to be our doula was an easy one. Rachel's approach was friendly, relaxed and enthusiastic.

We were her first twin pregnancy clients and her dedication to her ongoing professional development meant that we had up-to-date information, opinions and theories. In preparation, Rachel attended twin-specific-pregnancy training and through a passionate and genuine interest in our needs she was always able to provide advice and reassurance. To help us along the way, Rachel was always willing to seek further advice and information to support our pregnancy and as a result she offered us a range of additional information though a catalogue of books and websites.

As part of her role as doula Rachel ran a series of antenatal sessions which focussed on birth preparation, labour and postnatal recovery and also provided guidance on birthing options. Throughout our pregnancy Rachel was available any time via email, telephone or to meet for a chat. The twins are our first children and so this level of dedication was invaluable to us; there were many questions throughout and Rachel was always ready with a reassuring response. In addition to this, Rachel liaised with hospital staff so that we could have our own twin-specific tour. During the lead-up to the birth Rachel was on-call 24hrs a day and ensured that she was always accessible.

A key factor in specifically asking Rachel to be our doula, as well as the antenatal support, was her role as Breastfeeding Peer Support Worker for mothers who are able to breastfeed. Breastfeeding can be tricky at the best of times but with two babies to nurse we considered having as much support and guidance as possible to be very important to us. In addition to the support we had from Rachel, we were able to take advantage of some of her excellent links to other professionals and networks (twins groups and information, Exeter and Truro Pilates Studio, Yoga with Sally, Bambino Art Photography plus various beauty and massage for pregnancy practitioners).

After the birth Rachel also offered postnatal support and concluded her role as our doula with a postnatal visit. We are grateful for all the support and friendship we received from Rachel and remain in contact.

J & M

I would like to sing the praises of Rachel McEvoy from Nurturing your Birth.

I also trained as a Doula and I cannot fault the support Rachel gave to me and my partner.

She was doula for myself and my partner for the birth of our daughter and I really don’t know it would have been without her.

She helped me to achieve my home birth (she also covers hospital births and sections)and gave my partner the freedom to look after our son (3yrs) so that he could also be present and witness his little sister being born.

She helped me through my pregnancy and held my hand through the whole thing and was a real rock who kept me steady. She is not a replacement for your husband/partner but a supporter for you both

Everyone should have Rachel as their doula, as the one on one care was second to none and Rachel is a lovely, caring and bubbly person.

She is also recognised with Doula UK and holds a certificate of training from Nurturing Birth one of the leading doula training bodies. She also has UNICEF Breastfeeding Peer Support training so you could not ask for a better qualified person.

Whether it’s a first, second, third + child or twins, home, hospital, birth centre or a planned c-section Rachel has experience of it all.

J & J

My partner and I decided we would like to have a doula present at the birth of our first child together. We don't have any relatives around and I felt that I wanted to have a woman there to support me, who wouldn't judge me, try to tell me what do or be in a hurry.

We had heard so many negative stories about births in hospitals and very little respect being paid to couple's wishes and integrity. I had quite strong views on what I wanted for my birth and I wasn't prepared to hand over the control to medical staff. We were not able to have a home birth, we would be going to a birthing centre, so as well as supporting us, I wanted our doula to be someone who had gotten to know us, knew our wishes and who would be able to speak on our behalf if needed while I concentrated on giving birth.

After an initial consultation with Rachel, we both agreed that she was someone we would like to have around for this special time. She was very enthusiastic and well informed. She asked us what we wanted out of our antenatal sessions and we agreed on what we would cover in these meetings. Among other things she helped us draw up a personal birth plan, talked about optimal foetal positioning, provided material on massage techniques and lent us loads of literature. We discussed topics such as water birthing, guarding the mother’s space, pain relief, skin to skin, natural 3rd stage, what if things don't go to plan? etc.

As my due date approached she was available over the phone and email, and I was able to consult her for example after I had 'the show'. When I went into labour, things progressed rather quickly and she came to our house in no time, despite icy roads, and went in the car with us to the birthing centre. My partner really appreciated this as he could focus on driving and had help getting everything ready to go.

During my night of labour she was a tremendous support and relief for my partner and me and enabled my labour to progress steadily, without need for any pain relief, until our daughter was born in the early morning. Even though she must have been exhausted she helped me feed my little girl straight away, which made it possible for me to deliver the placenta by myself. Rachel also helped take photographs and held my hand while I unfortunately needed stitches so my partner could hold our baby.

A few days later she came to our home to check up on us and give us a chance to talk about the birth. Rachel was also a great help in getting breast feeding established.

I can warmly recommend her to anyone thinking about hiring a doula for first or subsequent pregnancies.

C & M

Rachel was a marvellous birth Doula for the arrival of our twins. She supported us before the birth and helped us to go through a positive process in working out how best to have our babies whatever might happen on the day.

As my husband works away for much of the year Rachel accompanied me to the Consultant and I felt much calmer about all the decisions as a result. With a footling breach presentation we ended up with a planned caesarean and, although we were told that Rachel wouldn’t be able to be in the delivery room with us, when the day came she was able to be there after all.

She really helped me to remain calm during the procedure, encouraging me to breathe through my moment of panic. She was a complete star in the aftermath when we were in a state of shock with two healthy and happy babies and two utterly exhausted new parents. Rachel had the presence of mind to ask the nursing staff about the possibility of a separate room so that my husband could stay and help with the twins which made the situation much better than it otherwise could have been.

Rachel was there whenever we needed her and we really can’t recommend her highly enough.

A & D