Recommendations from My Clients
We decided to call upon a doula because we were in a hectic time during final stages of pregnancy, moving abroad only a month after our second child was due to be born meant we were packing, tired, stressed and beyond excited, we had used a doula for our first child and knew the support she gave was hugely important towards the wonderful birth experience of T. After looking around we came upon Rachel, we emailed and then spoke on the phone, our first phone call mostly involved us chatting for ages about babies, horses, doula stuff and everything in-between, I instantly knew Rachel was who I’d want at our birth, we arranged for Rachel to come over and see us, and I couldn’t have been more certain she was our gal! Throughout pregnancy Rachel was on hand, always steady, well humoured and totally on the ball when it came to questions, worries, anxieties and the usual little bumps that come on the road to babyhood. She also was a fab support to our first son T who is 5, always including him in the story of O’s imminent arrival and ensuring he knew how special his job as big bro would be. We planned a home birth using hypnobirthing and a birth pool the same as our first son’s entrance to the world. When labour started I messaged Rachel and told her, and she called and then came over and we sat, drank tea, laughed and relaxed into the flow, as time passed things stalled, but Rachel kept level headed at all times, including speaking for my wishes when midwives visited, ensuring we had all info for all options available to us, after 27 hours in labour I decided enough was enough and felt so tired so decided we would transfer into hospital, Rachel ensured we were totally informed before hand, and frankly without her completely impartial advice and assurance we would never have been able to readily make this decision, it was hard enough anyway, but having her there made things much easier, we left feeling confident that we’d made the right decision. My husband A drove our car and Rachel drove me, propped in the back with pillows and a promise not to let my waters break a swift (hour long drive) was painless as possible thanks to Rachel’s constant cool head, I felt I could completely relax and trusted in her totally. Once at the very busy hospital Rachel ensured our questions were answered and needs attended too, she stayed with us the whole time, supporting myself and my husband. Especially given the length of my labour it would have felt much more difficult had we not both had her support, jokes, cuddles and reassurances all bundled together. When O finally arrived Rachel stayed for long enough to share the special moment and then left us too be a little family, when she visited afterwards it was wonderful to let her have a nice cuddle with O, she feels like a member of the family and we can’t imagine her having not been part of the birth and if we ever have another baby we will be certain to try and drag her to Portugal (where we now live) to doula again. Both my husband and I would like to take the opportunity to thank you Rachel for all of your effort, care and love, your warmth, knowledge, support and expertise are second to none, we would (and will) recommend you to everyone we know who is having a baby in the future, can’t wait to see you out here, and thank you for being such a pillar of strength and a central part of our birth story and O’s arrival. Love you very much xxxx
From the minute we met Rachel I knew she was the right person for us.
We had had a planned homebirth with our first baby that had gone really well, and we wanted the same for our second baby. We felt that our choice of birth partner could be improved by having a Doula. However just before we met Rachel I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and advised that a home birth was not recommended. We were quite upset and anxious about this as our ethos had been that we wanted as little medical intervention as possible for something we viewed as a normal natural process.
I was advised by a consultant that I should be induced anytime from 38 weeks onwards due to the risks of the baby being big due to the diabetes and therefore the possibility of him getting stuck. This went against everything we wanted. Fortunately, the scans showed that the baby was a normal size and had not been affected by the diabetes.
Rachel gave us the support we needed to be able to question the professionals and get the evidence we needed to make an informed decision that we did not want to go for an induction and would allow things to happen naturally.
We had a lot of anxieties around being in hospital and we discussed these fully with Rachel and she had lots of excellent ideas to help us deal with those anxieties. We felt confident that she would be our voice if we were unable to speak for ourselves and that she had a clear idea of what we wanted or didn’t want. This really helped us to relax having had to change our mindset and feel that we would still be able to have a positive experience in hospital.
The night before I had our baby, I text Rachel to say that we felt relaxed, happy and excited and this was all due to her support and input.
The night I went into labour it all happened very quickly and our baby was born at home before anyone arrived. We feel this happened so quickly and easily partly because we had had such amazing preparation and felt very ready!
Rachel came with us to the hospital and was with me in the ambulance. We still had to go and have the baby’s blood sugars checked and to deliver the placenta. Rachel was there to support us from making cups of tea to holding my hand when things were uncomfortable and staying with me, so Paul could get some breakfast and get over the shock of having delivered his son!
Rachel has been a source of support since William arrived. We would recommend her to anyone thinking of having a Doula as her non-judgemental and supportive approach really inspires confidence in your abilities and decisions.
From the moment I said ‘yes’ to Rachel being my doula, she fully committed herself to me and the journey towards birth. I felt I could entrust Rachel implicitly with my fears, anxieties and concerns around the birth of my baby boy. Rachel listened intently and responded by instilling me with confidence and knowledge so that I was fully prepared for whatever course my birth journey took. I felt that Rachel fully informed me of the facts around giving birth in all scenarios from home, birth centre and hospital which gave me a solid foundation on which to base my decisions. The pre-birth sessions were a great way to share tea, information and to get to know each other. Through these rich sessions, I felt that Rachel was not only my doula but was also becoming a friend.
In this way, Rachel was also not only able to provide practical, hands on support but also emotional support at my most vulnerable time. Additionally, Rachel fully supported my mum who was my birth partner by including her wishes and fears every step of the way.
As D-Day drew closer, the nights felt lonely and long as I entered the latent labour phase that lasted 3.5 days. Rachel was on the end of the phone offering me unconditional support through texting, phone calls and visits in the middle of the night (which turned out to be false alarms). Rachel was calm and patient through all this turbulent time. Rachel’s communication has always been faultless – keeping in close contact and monitoring me and my symptoms like a hawk. She drew on her wealth of experience to advise me and never failed to go the extra mile to find out more information to help ease my distress and anxieties.
During the birth, Rachel was my ‘right-hand maiden’, my voice and advocate – listening and responding to my every need and request from spoon feeding me Manuka Honey to phoning my friends on my behalf and requesting, where possible, that my birth plan was adhered too. Rachel never failed to amaze me with her stamina, positivity and intuition to be in the right place at the right time. She understood what I needed and when I needed it.
As I have already mentioned, Rachel was not only a great support to me but also my mum who had been feeling very helpless as I was encountering a long and traumatic birth. Rachel was sensitive towards mum ensuring she was fed and watered – Rachel managed to bring out the best in my mum at a very worrying time- putting her at ease.
Rachel always put my needs first from the moment I booked her to two weeks after the birth. Rachel’s expertise in breastfeeding was a godsend after Joey was born as I received first-hand, one-on-one guidance and support as to how, why and when!
I would absolutely recommend Rachel as a doula to all expectant mammas and papas. Rachel overflows with the encouragement, support and attention that a midwife doesn’t have time to offer. Rachel’s services were worth every penny and the emotional support and friendship that I received from Rachel was a bonus and completely invaluable.
Rachel, I can’t thank you enough for being there; every inch of the way.
You will stay close to my heart as I look back on this time. I will also ensure that Joey knows about how you got us both through!!
Thank you x x
Hi there Rachel,
Just thought I’d drop you a quick note to say a big thank you, and to let you know how wonderful you are. You provide an excellent service and to be honest, I’m not sure what I would have done without your help. Your suggestion to get in the bath helped so much, as did the use of your pool, we’ve been telling everyone about it and how amazing it was for relaxation and above all the pain relief.
I’m so glad to have had your support throughout Sheryl’s pregnancy too, your advice along the way helped us both so much. Baby Jasmin is doing great, Sheryl has recovered in record time and we’re all having a lovely time. Ruby loves having a little sister and I’ve told her that she’s the best big sister in the whole world.
I think if every woman had a birth experience with a professional doula like yourself, they’d all have such positive memories which would stay with them for their entire lives.
Thanks again and all the best
P.S. If ever we get pregnant again, I won’t hesitate to call you.
When I was pregnant with our first son five years ago I liked the idea of a water birth but as our local hospital didn’t have the facility and I wasn’t very knowledgeable on home birth we did what most do and opted for a hospital birth where I had every pain relief including the epidural.
Although I had no problems in my labour, when I found out we we’re expecting our second baby early this year I knew I wanted a home water birth.
My fiancé was against this, I was a little nervous and had forgotten most of my last labour, so we booked birth preparation with Rachel.
She came to our home, so we felt very relaxed and comfortable.
Rachel went through the birthing pool, what to expect in the different stages of labour, effective positions to cope with contractions, even how to protect our home from any mess!!
When she left, I saw my fiancé had written a ‘To do’ list ready for the big day, so I knew then I was getting my water home birth!!
I delivered our second son in our home, most of the labour in the pool and very relaxed… As I had pictured it candles and all!
I know if it wasn’t for the confidence Rachel gave us, I would never have convinced my fiancé on the home birth, so I thank Rachel very much!!
My husband and I were keen to hire a doula for the birth of our second child as I was hoping for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean). We felt that having a doula as additional support would give me the best possible chance of achieving this.
After our first meeting with Rachel we knew that she was the doula for us. She was very positive, friendly and down-to earth.
I decided that I would like to plan a home birth, which caused some concern amongst some of the midwives and consultants as I had had a previous caesarean. Knowing that Rachel would be there to support me for the birth meant that I felt confident enough to stick to this plan instead of being persuaded to plan a hospital birth.
Rachel has an extensive library of books covering many topics and we were able to access these which was really helpful. Our two antenatal sessions were very useful and interesting. We could discuss any issues that we wanted, and they were also a good opportunity for my husband and I to air any concerns or worries we might have had. Rachel was also a great help when writing the birth plan and she also accompanied me to an appointment when my husband was unable to. This was a huge help to me as I was quite nervous beforehand.
As my due date came (and went!) Rachel kept in touch and when my labour finally started in the early hours of the morning she arrived at our house at about 5.30am. She was great with our very inquisitive 6-year-old son before he went to his Gran’s house. Rachel’s presence was very reassuring and calming and she was a source of practical, emotional and physical support in a way that a midwife and even my husband couldn’t be. My husband also found her very supportive and although my labour was long and slow Rachel remained positive throughout which in turn stopped me from becoming concerned.
After 30 hours at home we decided to transfer to hospital as I was very tired. Rachel followed us to the hospital and stayed with us the whole time. A real bonus is that as Rachel works at Treliske and has attended several births there she knows some of the staff. She really came into her own at the hospital and I’m so glad that we had her there to act as a ‘gatekeeper’. I felt safe and protected knowing she was there. As it was, things progressed quickly and without complication and Rachel’s presence meant that our son was born via VBAC with minimal intervention and pain relief. Rachel stayed with us for 3 hours or so after the birth, which meant that she had been with us for 36 hours in total.
I firmly believe that having Rachel as our doula is the reason, I achieved my VBAC, which will be a source of happiness to me forever. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Rachel as a doula. She is amazing!
Almost immediately after our first meeting with Rachel, she became known not as our doula but was renamed ‘doodoo’ – an affectionate nickname she received from my husband a good sign for me that he felt at ease and could comfortably rely on her support. He was going to need it!
Over the months of getting to know Rachel we found her to be consistently professional, focused on making sure we were well prepared, well read and emotionally ready for all that we came up against – the joys and the challenges.
We had an amazing home water birth at which Rachel baled water down my back for six hours (that’s dedication!) and then unfortunately had to transfer to hospital as I had a retained placenta. Rachel was with me in the ambulance and then, even though labour had lasted twenty-four hours, she stayed with my husband to support him and the new baby while I was in theatre, not leaving till she knew I had come around and we were all ok.
Baby Marley and I had to remain in hospital for a week and ‘doodoo’ was always with us by phone, text and in person, reassuring us every difficult step of the way. We are lucky enough to have supportive family nearby but the fantastic thing about the relationship with a good doula is that she is slightly removed, less emotionally attached, knowledgeable and experienced in childbirth so therefore was perfect in being able to help us through such a life changing experience.
Her skills did not stop there! Additional guidance and expertise with breastfeeding was so valuable in making sure our new son had the best nutritional start possible – vital for his immune system and development. Equally important it helped to re-establish the early bonding that had been lost due to medical intervention and separation between mother and baby.
Iain, Marley and I cannot rate this special lady highly enough. She is 100% dedicated, kind, compassionate and absolutely loves what she does. This is no ordinary doula and we would certainly not have been without her!
A very heartfelt thank you to our Doodoo!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 was 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 :-)
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.