I have been working as a doula and facilitating antenatal classes since 2008. I am passionate about women and their birth partners feeling confident as they approach their birth experience together and have had the pleasure and honour of supporting over 200 families during pregnancy, birth or postnatally. I have a calm and grounded presence which seems to help both during birth and during the early weeks with a new baby.
I am a Recognised Birth & Postnatal Doula with Doula UK and I am one of the Berkshire Doulas – we meet monthly for tea, cake and peer support. I also mentor new doulas for both Doula UK and Nurturing Birth, supporting them to reflect upon their care and support of women and their birth partners, so that they learn and grow into the best doula they can be. For your peace of mind, I have an Enhanced CRB check and full Public Liability Insurance.
I am a volunteer member of Reading Maternity Voices Partnership based at the Royal Berkshire Hospital which exists to review and improve local maternity services for women, babies and birth partners. If you have given birth locally within the last two years and you have feedback to give about your experience of maternity care, please click and give your feedback via our online survey. This work has led me to be involved with the implementation of the Better Birth recommendations for kinder, safer maternity care, written by Baroness Julia Cumberlege following a national review of maternity services in 2015. I am also a founding member of National Maternity Voices and represented them on the Better Births Stakeholder Council, ensuring women’s voices are heard in the development of maternity services, until I took on a project for NHS England developing the 15 Steps for Maternity a toolkit for seeing maternity services from the perspective of those who use them, and now I am working with the Maternity Transformation Programme to ensure women and families’ voices and Better Births is co-produced.
I am married to Barrie and we have a daughter called Amelie who was born in our home in 2007. We chose to have a homebirth after attending Juliette Ward’s Lamaze Active Birth classes and it was definitely the right decision for us. This experience inspired me to train as an antenatal teacher with Lamaze International and at the Active Birth Centre. I was not aware of doulas when I was pregnant, but a lovely friend called Tina offered to support me after Amelie’s birth. Her support was just like that of a postnatal doula and absolutely invaluable to me. This experience inspired me to become a doula.
When I’m not doulaing, you might find me spending time with Barrie and Amelie doing fun stuff like walking our lurcher Ernie, the cinema or eating out. I particularly love vegan cake, zumba, running down hills and all things sun… sunshine, sunsets, sunrises. I believe life is for living… to the full. I’m also part of a group of friends called the Journey and we share life together, trying to work out who we are and who God is along the way. I love to eat and drink and find it the best way to get to know people, so if I end up journeying with you, there’ll probably be tea and cake involved.
- Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator Training with Teri Shilling of Passion for Birth
- Active Birth Teacher training with Janet Balaskas (founder of the Active Birth Movement) and Michel Odent (French Obstetrician and childbirth specialist)
- Doula UK approved Birth & Postnatal Doula Training with Kicki Hansard of Birthbliss and who won the Pregnancy & Birth magazine Doula of the Year 2009
- Natural birth workshop with Ina May Gaskin, infamous midwife and author from The Farm, USA
- Breastfeeding workshop with Dr Jack Newman, founder of Breastfeeding Inc
- Aromatherapy Massage training at Neal’s Yard Remedies for whom I am also a consultant
- I have also attended workshops in Homeopathy in birth, Natal Hypnotherapy, Hypnobirthing, Breastfeeding, Tongue Tie, Acupressure for labour, Abdominal Massage, Laid Back Breastfeeding, When Survivors Give Birth: Effects of Early Trauma on Birth, and Closing the Bones and Baby Loss.
I was nominated for the MAMA Awards Doula of the Year 2014. This was truly an honour and I was privileged to make the final three along with fellow Doula UK doula Rebecca Schillar. As part of my nomination I was asked to prepare a presentation of my work as a doula, which you can see here. My utmost thanks goes to all the families featured, as well as the families not, with whom I have had the absolute pleasure of journeying with at such a precious time.
Lisa: Call me on: 07747 806033 ~ or contact me here