I have met many people who have influenced and have had a profound effect on me, particularly the people who I have supported in my work as a Birth Doula and my peers.
Following a 20 year career in fashion and some changes in my personal life I decided to train as a Doula and completed courses with Doula UK and Nurturing Birth. I practised as a Post Natal Doula for around 10 years before becoming a Birth Doula.
There are many aspects of being a doula that I have loved; building trusting relationships with my clients and enjoying close friendships with those who have come into my life through my work. The experiences we have shared have taught me so much.
There is so much information available for parents-to-be which is wonderful, however working out the path you want to take can be overwhelming at times.
Searching on internet parent forums can also lead to an influx of opinions, some of which can be very strong. Everybody has their own views on sleep training, breastfeeding etc but we must remember is that each of us have our own experiences and finding what is right for you is so important.
Having a Doula there by your side can help take away some of the uncertainties. The non-judgmental, protective and well-informed support from a Doula helps give you confidence in yourself and the choices and decisions you will make.
All our lives have been deeply affected by the global pandemic that began in 2020. It has certainly made things more complicated for births, with restrictions being put in place for both hospital and home births. The support of partners has not been as straightforward as in the past which has been so difficult for both partners and families.
However restrictions might affect your circumstances you still have choices and a voice. A doula can be your advocate even if they are not able to be at your side during the birth, the support we can give leading up to that moment can make such a difference
My experience has been very broad; I have worked in my local hospitals of Frimley Park and the Royal Surrey, all of the larger hospitals in London, in birth centres and in my client’s homes…even in a yurt!
Over the years I gathered many contacts covering a diverse range of fields from natural and holistic treatment such as Cranial Osteopathy, Optimal Fetal Positioning and information about Microbiome collection for babies born via C-Section to more conventional support such as Placenta Encapsulation and Stem Cell collection.
I am also an active member of the MVP (Maternity Voice Partnership) at the Royal Surrey Hospital and meet with the team there on a regular basis.
Booney Smith MHbA