Hello, my name is Kat. I'm a doula and birth educator living in sunny south Birmingham on the Worcestershire side of the border with my partner, daughter, a barmy hound and a Greek cat. I'm Mum to three children (two boys and a girl aged 30, 25 and 22 respectively) and Yiayia to three grandchildren.
Having had an elective caesarean section with my first child, followed by two VBAC's in the 1990's, I understand the stark contrast that can exist between birth experiences, and what it's like to feel satisfied by the experience, extremely dissatisfied, and sometimes both (and a whole lot more) at the same time!
Due to my experiences and how passionately I felt about positive empowered birth, I contemplated becoming a Midwife many times after the birth of my first child in 1991. However with life, and raising a family, the opportunity always seemed out of reach. Over time, as I was invited to the births of friends and family, I realised that as a midwife I would never have been able to provide the support I have to give, to 'mother the mother' and that's where my journey as a doula really began to take shape.
In March 2014 I trained with Nurturing Birth, and I am a recognised Birth Doula with Doula UK, the leading organisation for Doula's in the UK. For a number of years I co-facilitated the Birmingham South Positive Birth Movement group and am involved with the Worcestershire Maternity Voices Partnership.
When I’m not working I can usually be found either walking the dog (camera in hand - I'm a keen photographer), drawing, curled up with a good book, doing crafts, learning Greek and British Sign Language, or playing violin with a local LGBT+ community orchestra (Birmingham Gay Symphony Orchestra) of which I am leader/principle violinist and an active committee member.
"I don't care what kind of birth you have...a homebirth, scheduled caesarean, an epidural hospital birth or if you give birth alone in the woods next to a baby deer. I care that you had options, that you were supported in your choices and that you were respected."
January Harshe - Birth Without Fear
The quote above is one I come back to time and time again and is the crux of my philosophy.
Every client is different and will carry with them their own set of expectations, hopes and dreams. Every pregnancy and birth is different, and will unfold in its own unique way.
When people asked me "So, what do Doula's do?" my first response is always to say , "They listen".
My role is not to impress on you my own beliefs about birth. It is definitely not my place to tell you that one mode of birth is better than another.
Whatever the circumstances one finds oneself in, with knowledge and good support a positive birth experience can be achieved. Birthing bodies are incredibly powerful and capable of astonishing feats; your mind is powerful and perfectly capable of making the right decisions for you and your baby. It’s that simple and I will support you in your birth decisions whatever they maybe.
"Kind, caring, empathic, loving person who genuinely cares. When she talks about pregnancy/labour, her compassion for supporting the woman/family is very clear. She was a fountain of knowledge & up-to-date with research. If she didn't have the answer she found it. She was a strong enough character to support me & also I felt confident she would share my wishes with others when needed." RH
Doula Preparation Course
Birth Doula Recognition
Continuing Professional Development
Water Birth Study Day with Diane Garland (Midwife Expert)
Microbirth with Bridget Supple
Baby-wearing Peer Supporter training with Sophie Messenger
Loving the Multiple Mamas with Mars Lord
Spinning Babies with Jennifer Walker
Closing The Bones with Sophie Messenger
Supporting Every Birth (baby loss) with Michelle Every
Resolving Malposition with Selina Wallis
CASP & Cochrane UK workshop - Understanding Research for Decision Making
Amazing Births Hypno-Birthing course for parents
My lived doula experience to date can be found here