A Doula (pronounced 'doola') is a Greek word meaning caregiver. It now refers to experienced women who offer emotional and practical support to women and their families before, during and after childbirth. It is all about 'Mothering the Mother'.
HB Doulas is a Hawkes Bay business aimed to give informational, emotional and physical support to Hawkes Bay women and their families prior to conception, during pregnancy and beyond. I have been in the business of antenatal education since 2004 and thoroughly enjoy meeting loads of fabulous fledgling families.
I started HB Doula's to encourage women's innate faith and confidence in their ability to birth in the way that they choose. To help them prepare a safe and non-threatening environment for the birth of their baby and to give them the tools to successfully labour, give birth and enjoy becoming a parent.
Over the years I have offered emotional and practical support, education, wisdom and assistance to encourage a positive transition to changed family life with a newborn. I endeavour to offer non-judgemental and supportive advice and provide families with the information needed for them to make informed choices.
I have added to my offering for 2020 in my capacity as a Natural Fertility Educator. When women learn about their menstrual cycle and understand how this relates to contraception or conception, it creates empowerment and freedom around their choices.
I am the mother of two amazing young men. Joshua had a peaceful birth in Ata Rangi Hastings in 2000 with just my midwife and his father present and Alexander was born at home in 2002 with the same birthing team and an extra midwife. There was only 21 months between my boys, so life as they were growing up, was very busy. Unfortunately Josh died in a car accident in May 2020, along with his much loved girlfriend. He was 19 and she was 20. They are very much missed.
I am a trained Child Birth Educator through Aoraki Polytechnic in Timaru NZ and completed my Postnatal Doula qualification with CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association) USA. I have been teaching classes since 2006 and over this time have had the privilege to attend many births in my role as a Birth Doula and to have met hundreds of budding families in antenatal class. I've been a La Leche League Breastfeeding Peer Counsellor since 2012.
I work as an Educator for Brainwave Trust Aotearoa. It's an amazing organisation, promoting the importance of healthy experiences in the life of a child, particularly in the first three years, in order to grow a healthy brain. I am an accredited Early Years, Adolescents and Schools Programme Educator.
I am also a trained Natural Fertility Educator with Natural Fertility NZ. This has been an exciting addition to the services I provide to Hawkes Bay women.
I love professional development, It is really important that I keep up to date and current with what is happening in the areas in which I work.
For 2018 I went to the following: Brainwave Schools Educators Hui, Jackie Wheeler - Tongue Tie talk, Robin Grille - How To Get Your Kids To Do Stuff seminar, Brainwave Conference - Advancing Effective Child-Centred Practice, International Doula Conference in Melbourne, PADA Seminar Series, Neil Foxcroft - Chinese Medicine and Children talk, Wayne Prince - Compassionate Communication workshop, Leanne Wait - Pelvic Floor Focus workshop, Rachel Garnham's - Hassle-Free Periods and Hello Cup evening, Brainwave National Hui, New Zealand College of Midwives Biennial Conference and Spinning Babies 2 Day Conference with Ginny Phang (this would have to be my high of the year).
For 2019 I attended: Brainwave Schools Educators Hui, Filipa Hope - Communication for Connection 2 day workshop, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder course, Vicki Culling - Perinatal and Infant Loss 1 day training, International Doula Conference in Ballina, Australia and 2 x 4 day practicums for study days and a Spinning Babies workshop. 2019 was pretty exciting!
Due to 2020 being a very unusual year with lots of ups and downs and restricted international and national travel, I chose to stay close to home. I plan to extend my professional development opportunities again in 2021.
I am a member of the New Zealand College of Midwives.
I also love my role as a Brainwave, Natural Fertility and Childbirth Educator and being involved in this area of health.
I continue to feel passionate about the importance of parenting and the challenges it creates and love working as an Educator even after all these years!
HB Doulas Director
cell: 027 677 5241