"I've just read an article which asked 10 women to describe back labour and as I read I recalled the horror of my first child's birth. The pain I experienced was off the scale - it was so traumatic and it ended with an epidural, failed forceps and emergency c-section. The second time around I desperately wanted a 'normal' birth - a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) but naturally I was worried about experiencing that level of pain again. My husband and I knew we needed a confidence boost and some coping strategies. I posted our concerns in a VBAC support group on Facebook. Someone suggested I might benefit from hiring a doula.
"To anyone visiting this site thinking of having a doula! Go for it! Michelle is brilliant! She was my doula back last June (2011). In the lead up to my due date she helped me write up a birth plan giving me tips and ideas of what to include...which turned out to be very useful. She arrived quickly to the hospital when I went into labour and was fantastic. Supporting me emotionally, massaging me. Keeping me topped up on ice cold water, she was also there for my husband. Which relieved him for pee breaks and helped him to support me too. Having her there really calmed me down she was so encouraging! Then after the birth she helped my little man find his way to the boob and stuck around until we were all settled. Then once we were home she stayed in regular contact with me and helped me with any queries I had. Overall such a calmer more positive experience than my first birth. She's kind caring and very supportive! Thank u so much Michelle. If i have another i NEED you there!"... S & E, Wolverhampton
"When we first met Michelle I was so scared about my forthcoming birth, now I'm so excited and looking forward to meeting my baby"...S & S, Birmingham
"When my wife suggested having a doula at the birth of our first baby I was a bit skeptical as after all this was to be a very special moment in our lives which I wasn't sure should be witnessed by a stranger and to be honest I thought the whole idea sounded a bit hippyish! However I'm pleased to say I couldn't have been more wrong. Once we had met and spoken with Michelle I felt much more at ease with the whole idea particularly when I realised that having a doula would also be a line of support for me as well as my wife which for a first time dad was very reassuring, knowing there would be someone there who had been through the experience before and could help translate any medical jargon that may be thrown at us.
It was great to have Michelle on hand to ask questions about the birth in the run up and on the day Michelle attended hospital and was on hand keeping things calm until I could get there from work as it all happened in a bit of a flurry! When the midwives made suggestions Michelle was on hand to interpret and I know her presence made my wife feel more relaxed which had a knock on effect for me too. All in all having a doula was for me a very positive experience and actually some of the best money I've ever spent! We will certainly be calling on Michelle when baby number 2 is on the way!" C & J, Gnosall. Staffordshire
"Having a doula and that doula being Michelle is one of the best decisions we ever made. Not only did she provide excellent support during pregnancy from comforting words of advice during emotional times to providing useful equipment like a birth ball, aromatherapy oil and books to read but having her there during labour was wonderful as she was so encouraging and her presence helped make me relax, especially when I thought my husband wasn't going to make it! She also provided support after the birth helping with breastfeeding and other useful tips.
If you are considering a doula but aren't sure we would strongly recommend one as not only is it a support source for mom but also for dad too! We would also undoubtedly say that Michelle is the doula to choose as she has such a wealth of experience and knowledge and is such a lovely person, we couldn't think of anyone else to have by our side during such an emotional and special time." C & J Gnosall, Staffordshire
"Due to breastfeeding problems with my 1st child and as this time I was planning a homebirth. I decided to hire a doula for the birth of my second child. I found Michelle through Netmums and as soon as she came to visit me I knew we had similar views and that she was the doula for me. I can't express how pleased I am that I had decided to have a doula. When I actually went into labour everything went extremely fast. So fast infact that the midwives never made it to the birth. Michelle kept me calm, helped me get in the pool, reminded me that I could do it, that I was ok and that *the lack of midwives wasn't a major issue*. I was able to calmly deliver my daughter myself in the birthing pool which was the most amazing experience of my life and I know that without Michelle there it would have been a panicky and scary one. After the birth Michelle stayed with us until we were all clean, dry and tucked up in bed and gave excellent breastfeeding support throughout the first few weeks. Every birthing woman should have a doula like Michelle Thank you so much for everything. It was much appreciated. My birth experience was positive rather than panicky thanks to you"... A & J, Bridgenorth
* I would not encourage anyone to give birth without a midwife present, but if the situation arises remaining calm is important.*
"Thank you so much for all your support we've really appreciated having someone we can talk things through with and help us think about our birth plan. Although we didn't get the homebirth we wanted with your help we felt confident to ask for things that made the birth really special for us. We love having baby **** and are really pleased that her start in life with us was so positive"... E & N, Birmingham
"Thank you for everything you have done for us, we appreciate it so much and really couldn't have done it without you. Michelle, worlds greatest doula"... K & R, Derby
" At first my husband was really unsure about hiring a doula but after struggling to get the birth we wanted we agreed to meet with a couple. After meeting Michelle we knew we wanted her support for our birth. She was such a great support to both me and my husbands that after we had our wonderful home birth my husband had to agree hiring Michelle was the best decision we made."... L & S, Telford
*I never give out personal information about my clients on the internet but if you would like a personal recommendation I can give you contact details, with my clients permission*