Traumatic Birth Recovery.

MAM 3 Step Rewind Technique

I really want to tell you all about this exciting technique I recently discovered for relieving birth trauma, It’s called the MAM 3 Step Rewind Technique and I am just about to finish the training.

When I started working as a Doula I quickly realised that I was working with families who had experienced a traumatic birth experience the first time, and now were seeking the support of a Doula to support them through their second pregnancy and birth. It seemed to me that simply listening to them debrief their story was not enough to release such traumatic experiences, and I felt fearful that I could even re-traumatise them by getting them to relive that experience.

I really felt that I should be able to offer them something more. So I started to research the treatment of birth trauma and discovered this technique. And now I have done a case study I can honestly say I am blown away by the results! It really is so simple and dramatically effective. I could become quite evangelical about it!

It consists of three sessions.

The first is important pre work. We sit and chat and get to know each other, and talk a little about your experience, how you feel, how it effects your life currently and how you would like to be and feel in the future. It’s important to emphasise that you don’t actually have to tell me details of what happened if it is too upsetting for you, but you do need to give me sense of how you feel about it.

The second session is the rewind. We recap on the first session. Then I guide you into a deep relaxation, this is another essential part of the technique, we can even practice this before hand if relaxation doesn’t come easily to you. I then guide you through a visualisation to “rewind” your memory of the event. This has the effect of disentangling your memory with the negative emotions attached to it. You can then in the future remember your birth without feeling the negative emotions.

In the third session we recap and I make sure the technique has worked. It might be that other things have come up and more work needs to be done. But hopefully you will find that you can now remember your birth without the negative emotions.

Many people could benefit!

The great thing about this technique is that is can be adapted for any kind of trauma. It has been used with soldiers, assault survivors and cancer patients. So I am open to working with anyone who feels them could benefit. You do not have to be diagnosed with PTSD in order to benefit. Anyone who has experienced trauma and has had negative emotions or symptoms such as flashbacks, insomnia, night mares or panic attack’s could benefit.

Please contact me if you would like to try this technique.  It is possible to do this via Skype if you are not local.  I will be offering a 20% discount to the first five people who enquire.



What does metoo bring up for you? How does it make you feel?

Do you think I’m identifying as a victim? I don’t see myself as one. I don’t feel like one.

I have had men sexually assault and harass me. I think the reason I don’t identify as a victim is because it is so normal that I brush it off, it doesn’t bother me that much. Not because the things that have happened aren’t that bad. But because I’m desensitised to it.

BUT the things that happened to me were NOT ok, they were absolutely wrong on every level. By identifying with #metoo I’m not asking for sympathy, I’m not coming out as a victim. I am saying ENOUGH.

I want my daughter to grow up without having to look over her shoulder as she walks down the street. I don’t want her to have to police what she wears, where she goes or what she does, out of a fear of what men might do or say if she makes the “wrong” choice.

I want my son to respect women and treat them as equals. I don’t want him to grow up in a culture where objectifying women and porn is normal.

I want them both to have equal opportunities in life, and to not have to be or do something different because of their gender. That their value should lie purely in the their talents, experience and knowledge.

So here is my response to some recurring comments I have seen over the last week or so.

“Men are victims too”
Yes they are, but right now we are specifically talking about sexual assault and harassment, which is almost always male on female. We can talk about that other violence another time, please don’t try and distract from this specific issue by broadening it.

“I’m not like that, you are attacking all men”
No we are not, but if you are feeling defensive maybe you should be thinking about why that is. If you are a “good guy” what are you personally trying to do to bring down patriarchy?

“This is divisive”
Nope, sexual assault and harassment are divisive. Talking about it might make you feel uncomfortable, but that’s because you have been happily ignoring the division that already exists.

“How do I know whether you are a victim of rape, or just catcalling?”
I don’t owe you my story, you just need to believe me.

I really believe at the moment humanity is being called upon to face some really big divisions amongst us. This hashtag is a manifestation of this. We are being asked to look at what is holding us back at as species, get it out in the open, work through it and find a path of healing. It is painful and if we are called out as an oppressor our natural response is often defensiveness. I hope if you are a man and you are reading this, and it makes you feel uncomfortable, angry or defensive. Sit with those feeling for a bit. Then ask yourself why you feel that way. Try and unpick it and work though it.




Intelligent Tea Drinking

Intelligent tea drinking

It’s a skill.  Honestly.  Doula’s are really good at looking like we aren’t doing much, while actually doing a lot.

Us brits love it, it’s an institution and not to be messed with. I’m not really particularly patriotic about most things. But I do love tea. I love builders (hot and dark) in the morning, green at lunchtime and herbal thereafter.

But it’s not about just a drink.

It is therapy.

In tea drinking nations, it’s a cornerstone of hospitality. In Arab countries glasses or sweet minty tea appear as soon as you are greeted, this sweet beverage is brilliant if you are dehydrated. It can literally be lifesaving.

In the UK we are famous for offering tea as a solution to emotional and physical upset.

“Lets sit and have a nice cuppa and you can tell me all about it”.

“You’ll feel better after a brew”

We know it’s not just about the drink. It’s also about companionship and also listening. In a country where we aren’t known for our emotional openness, tea sometimes cracks open that shell. Sharing tea gives us permission to share ourselves.

It puts people at ease.

When I enter a woman’s birthing space, I always offer to make tea for everyone else who is there. It might have been a while since anyone had a drink. By offering I am showing that I am in service, that I am open to building connection with everyone who is sharing this moment with the parents.

It is soothing.

After the birth the new parents are practically required to drink tea and eat toast or biscuits. It helps to bring us all back to earth after the journey. In my own experience of birth I didn’t feel comfortable afterwards, until I had a bath and a cuppa.

It is reassuring.

Lastly I wanted to share this little story, which for me demonstrates the power of simple acts.  That being present, and being in service to others, is really all we as Doulas often need to do.

“I remember lying there, coming round and not really wanting to open my eyes because I was really tired and my throat hurt.  But I knew I had a baby and there was some concern about him, so I forced my eyes open and looked across the room.  It was really hazy, but I saw the medical team, you and my husband drinking tea and I thought ‘well that’s ok then, they wouldn’t be doing that if the baby wasn’t alright.’ And I closed my eyes again.” (Permission to share)

Collaboration with The Doulaship <3


I am very excited to announce that I will be teaming up with the fabulous Aquila from The Doulaship.  Aquila also did her doula training with Kate Woods at Conscious Birthing and is a yoga teacher.

We really believe that we can be most effective by supporting each other, and by hosting events together.  We are open to shared care for families seeking a birth doula.

A couple of great things we are putting on together:


12th June @The Chapel in the Garden

Pregnancy and Birth are a deeply sacred time, as a new soul is brought into being. 

This event is for pregnant people who are looking for a space that explores the magic of this time in their life, as they transitions into motherhood.


If having a doula there for the birth and postpartum feels like too much, how about just for one day? 

​Getting that special personal support, just for one day. We sweep in and make you feel special. 

The package includes:


And a delicious vegetarian meal made for you and of course lots of cups of tea. 

​This is a perfect gift for friends and family to offer to expectant mothers. 

Please contact myself or Aquila for more details.

All the times I was glad I was breastfeeding my toddler

Breastfeeding strike…. not the end

When my daughter was 11 months old she had horrendous teething pain, the pain led her to bite, and the biting made Mama scream, which made baba scared…  and led to a breastfeeding strike.

This was our biggest challenge so far on our breastfeeding journey.  I was gutted at the prospect that I might not make it to a year.  I got as much support as I could, read as much as I could.  A few people suggested that she was weaning, but I knew that was not the case, and I wasn’t ready to stop either.

So I fed her my expressed milk over the next week, trying each time to offer her the breast first.  I wonder if I would have gotten through it if she hadn’t already been eating solids.

Eventually one day in a room full of breastfeeding dyads, she latched and I almost cried for joy.  We were back on track!

I’m sure that some people would wonder why I bothered.  Should I have taken the opportunity to wean?!  Well I am so grateful we continued and these are the reasons why.


Now my little girl was not a massive fan of food at first, most offerings would end up nibbled and rejected.  But at least I knew that breastmilk was providing her with one decent food.

Sometimes you hear the myth that “breastmilk has no value over the age of one”.  This is false and science has proved that breastmilk provides many essential nutrients in the second year (and beyond).


Sometimes it seems like every time I think “that’s it I’m weaning!” my toddler gets ill.  Suddenly I’m grateful because when she is off her food and drink, breastmilk is all she will eat!  But mostly because I know that as soon as she gets ill my body starts to make antibodies that help her to recover quicker.  Breastmilk is sometimes the only medicine she will take.

Over Christmas we all got a nasty virus, and my daughter was particularly poorly, refusing to eat or drink and her breathing was becoming difficult.  I was getting worried and was close to getting medical help for her.  She hadn’t breastfed for a couple of days.  But I knew if I could get her to take some milk she would feel better.  That night she fell asleep and I was sneaky, I latched her on in her sleep and she had a dream feed (like she did as a baby).  When she awoke she was smiley and sparky and over the worst.

Another time she had croup, which again I nearly called for help.  This time I cuddled her upright, sang to her, comforted her, and breastfed her.  We both fell asleep together and when she woke up the croup had gone!

Reassurance and Comfort

When my daughter was 20 months old her little brother arrived.  By continuing to breastfeed her alongside him, she has the reassurance that she hasn’t been replaced.  This has done a lot to limit sibling rivalry and help them to bond.

Breastfeeding helps us to reconnect when she comes home from a day at preschool.

Toddlers all have their little tantrums and upsets, and I find that I can easily distract her by offering a boob.  It’s amazing how it can completely change her mood sometimes.


Breastmilk contains melatonin at higher levels in the evening, which is believed to help children get off to sleep and sleep for longer stretches.  I find that the bedtime breastfeed helps my daughter calm down and get ready for sleep.  She generally sleeps through the night and has done for many months.  But if she does wake up, I quickly let her breastfeed for a minute or so, and this moment of comfort generally helps her quickly drift off back to sleep.

Setting boundaries

So all this sounds very nice.  But what about those times when I haven’t wanted to breastfeed?  There have been many.  With my children now both over a year old, feeding two toddlers can be demanding and exhausting.  I have had to set some gentle boundaries to limit my oldest to 3 long feed per day, and as many quick (10 second) feeds as she wants.  This has worked very well.  I also no longer tandem feed them in the day, as they are too big to squash onto my lap without me getting very claustrophobic and a fair amount of bickering as they fight for space.  I only tandem feed at bedtime before their story, which works well for everyone.

We have talked a lot lately about weaning, and she tells me she wants to stop when she is three.  Which is very soon….  we shall see.  I’m looking forward to finding new ways to nurture her.  I am sure there will be lots of extra cuddles!




What does a doula do?

“I am a Doula..”

“That’s a very honest answer…. erm what EXACTLY do you deal in?”

“Is that a bit like a hippy midwife?”

“Oh great, I need someone to make me a ring”

All the above are genuine responses to my answer when people ask me what I do.  No I’m not a art/drug dealer, or a jeweller (although I used to be) and I’m  definitely NOT a midwife!

So what DOES a Doula do?!

A doula is someone who supports a family during the childbearing year.  Usually either as a birth companion, or postnatally.  Some of the things we do are listed here.

  • Advocacy
  • Provide information (Signposting)
  • Help writing birth plans
  • Love
  • Laughter
  • Physical touch (massage)
  • Someone to trust
  • Listening
  • Support for partner
  • NON judgemental
  • Practical things (shopping, drive to hospital, child care, cooking.)
  • Intelligent tea drinking (I think that one deserves a blog post all to itself!)

Not a Midwife.

The roles of Midwife and Doula may on the surface seem similar in some ways, and midwives might do some of the things listed above.  But there are very distinct and important differences too.

Here are some things that Midwives do that doula definitely don’t.

  • Anything medical, whether diagnostic or treatment based.
  • Give advice or make recommendations.

Why do I need a birth doula?

Well maybe you don’t!  Not everybody will feel the need to have a doula.  But for some people having a calm and confident person they know at their birth is really what they need.

Continuity of care is another concern for some.  Unless you are fortunate enough to have an Independent Midwife, then your NHS midwife will have a shift pattern.  No one can guarantee who will be on shift when you go into labour, and the chance are that that shift will end while you are in labour.  Hiring a birth doula mean you know that there will be one familiar face regardless.

What about postnatal doulas?

In a ideal world every new parent would get all the help she needs from the people around her.  In many cultures it is normal for a mother or mother-in-law to move in with the new family to support them as they begin their new lives together.  This isn’t the norm in our culture, and you may not want your mother around so much!  A doula can offer the kind of practical support a family need as they adjust.  Things that a postnatal doula might offer are.

  • Cooking
  • Laundry
  • Shopping
  • Nurturing the mother
  • Taking care of older children
  • More intelligent tea drinking!
  • Practical guidance on baby care
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Reassurance

I really think we place too much emphasis on “getting back to normal” when a new baby is born.  As someone who has just gone through pregnancy and birth, you will go through a massive transformation.  This should not be taken lightly.  I believe it is important to spend time with your newborn, to bond and establish breastfeeding, to recover from birth.  There is no rush!  A postnatal doula can offer you the opportunity to take that time.  Unlike a maternity nurse or nanny, a doula would not be taking care of your baby for you.  But empowering you to do so yourself.

If you are thinking of hiring a doula, then doulaUK is a great place to start.


Using Gender Inclusive Language

Using gender inclusive language

Controversy in the media

There has been a lot of talk this week about the use of gender inclusive language in the medical profession.  In particular with regards to people who are pregnant and whether they should be routinely labelled as “Mother” It seems that this has got a lot of peoples knickers in a twist.  I have seen negative comments from all sorts.  Right Wingers, Christians, Birth Workers, (certain groups of) Feminists, Mothers.  Apparently trans and non-binary people are on the last frontier of taboo.  Challenging the concept of gender is more than many people can cope with.  In particular when it comes to parenting and birthing.  I even saw one comment where these people were defined as “deviants” which frankly upset and offended me.  Just plain nasty.

I must assume that these critics haven’t spent a lot of time with people who blur the lines of gender.  Haven’t bothered to think what life might be like for them.  What their challenges must be.  The obstacles to forming relationships.  To becoming parents.

My Attempts.

But here is the thing.  I attempt to use non-binary language in what I write.  I wonder if anyone has even noticed that on my website I use the term “parent” instead of “mother”?  I would imagine it’s not really something that most people think about.  Unless of course you happen to be a same sex couple, a non-binary person, or transgender parent.  If you are one of those people I hope you will appreciate the fact that assumptions aren’t being made about the labels you have chosen for yourself (or not).  It’s just plain polite as far as I am concerned.  I might not always get it right, but I am trying.

Personally I would not be in the slightest bit offended if someone defined me as a parent rather than a mother.

If you would like to read a bit about being a non-binary person this article is really interesting.

If you would like to read an alternative view on this topic and how it affects women.  Then this was interesting and gave me pause for thought.

Reusable menstrual products

My experience of reusable menstrual products

I have been using a reusable menstrual products for about 10 years. It is really a life changer for those of us who have periods.  I love my mooncup!

I have always hated using tampons and pads. They are wasteful both financially and environmentally. Tampons are also a health hazard.  The risks of TSS are well documented. A lot of tampons also contain many chemicals.  The potential for harm is uncertain.  Anecdotally many people who use tampons and then stop, report that their bleeds are less painful and lighter than when using a tampon.

Various cups

When I first heard of the mooncup I thought it sounded too good to be true, and I was astonished to learn that menstrual cups have been around since the 1930’s. I honestly don’t know why they haven’t caught on before. Well this is one of those times I put on my tin hat.  Obviously it’s more financially viable to sell disposable products that make you bleed more, than to sell a reusable product than only needs to be replaced every 10 years or so. The corporations who make disposables have a massive marketing budget. I think also many of us are disconnected from our bodily functions, there is a lot of shame and disgust around menstruation.

Other reusable menstrual products

Since I started using my mooncup there are now many different brands of cups available.  I haven’t tried any other although I do have a spare which is a different brand.

jam sponge

There are also other reusable products to consider.  I have now also got some CSP (cloth sanitary pads).  There I made myself for postpartum use.  There are many different brands available.  I made my own because it was an extremely easy sewing project.  It is also possible to tailor them to my individual requirements.  I found them to be so comfortable compared with a disposable pad.  The cotton top layer just feels like the fabric of your underwear, so you barely notice you are wearing it.

There are also natural sponges and reusable tampons you can try.  A friend of mine swears by her “Jam Sponge”.

Where can I get hold of reusable mestrual products?

If you would like to try a mooncup you can buy one through my affiliate link on the sidebar and I get a little commission!  You can buy other cups, pads and sponges online.