After going through IVF to conceive our third child in 2002, I was an emotional wreck when conception finally happened!
I can say without a doubt that Helen was my absolute rock throughout my pregnancy! She was always there for me via phone and email, with reassurance, encouragement and sound advice.
I really struggled with being positive, and listening to my own body. Helen would always gently reinforce my wonderful values to me. Her excitement about my birth was contagious! Helen flew to Brisbane when I was one week away from giving birth. Her magical touch with massage, and her knowledge of aromatherapy seemed to bring me instant calm. I simply cannot sing the praises enough of the before birth care Helen gave to me. I don’t know what sort of birth I would have had without her support, I am so glad she was here for me!
Not only did Helen take amazing care of me in my final days of pregnancy, she was a wonderful sounding board for my stressed out husband, and also my older children! When it came time to go to hospital (I had to have a caesarean due to complete placenta praevia) Helen was by my side until I was pushed through the operating doors, making me smile and I felt empowered.
After my surgery, I lost a lot of blood and had to go to the ICU for a while. While in recovery I knew that Helen would be with me and my baby, making sure my needs were being met regarding my choices for our care. I didn’t want any supplementing with formula at all, I was very adamant about that, and the nurses were pushing it to bring his stats up. Without Helen’s support and knowing she was batting for me and my baby, that time would have been highly stressful!
Helen was nurturing and loving to my older children during hospital visits, and her wonderful knowledge of breastfeeding was such a gift. After my birth, I was so shocked how sore and sorry I was as my previous births had been natural, so this was a complete surprise to me.
Helen was amazing; her exceptional after birth care is one thing (amongst many) that sticks in my mind regarding my birth. As you can tell, I am a huge fan of Helen’s Doula abilities, her calm and her infectious enthusiasm for birth and babies is quite amazing! Words I use to describe my wonderful Doula: Nurturing, wise, calm, warm, supportive and fun! Helen is born to do this, she has such a gift. Thank you Helen for everything, you helped me make what could have been a horrible birth into an experience I will treasure.
Ainslie Bernoth ~ Mother of 3 & Photographer ~ Victoria Point, QLD ~
After a traumatic first birth (emergency c section) I was very scared going into my second. I knew I wanted a natural vaginal birth.
I also knew I needed help to get one, as simple as it sounds getting a natural birth isn't so easy. Hospitals unfortunately seem to want to intervene wherever they can. Luckily I was put in touch with Helen and from her very first email I knew that I wanted her at my birth. Her energy and love of the birthing process filled me with so much confidence that I could not wait to go into labour.
For my first birth I thought I was set, I had my Mum, my sister and my partner and although these people love me very much it wasn't the best help for a birth support team. The whole time I was in labour my family looked at me with fear and sympathy and that's not really what a birthing women needs. She needs knowledge, support and calm.
It was so soothing to know that Helen was ready to be with me whenever I needed her, not just for the labour but for anything. I had some difficult meetings with the hospital who didn't really want me to have a VBAC, Helen came with me to my appointments which gave me the strength to demand the birth I wanted.
From my first contraction I let her know that things were getting ready to happen and when I was ready for her she came to my house and was just an absolute god send, back massages for hours on end kept me at home until I was 9cm dilated which was exactly my plan. When we got to hospital she was my rock. Just knowing that she was there was like a drug. I didn't need an epidural I had a doula!
Helen knows all the tricks to keeping the pain at bay. She is a wealth of experience and the best tool you can take into a birth!
Even when things went a bit pear shaped (posterior bubs getting stuck) and I finally decided I needed some intervention Helen allowed me to keep in control and still get the best birth possible in my situation.
I truly am forever indebted to Helen and now believe that a Doula is a 'must have' for every birth. Now when I meet a pregnant woman the only piece of advice I give is.... GET A DOULA!!!
Helen is so amazing; she is the kind of person who lights up a room. Just being around her empowered me to have an amazing birth. I could not have done it without her!
Amy ~ Mother of Two & Student ~ Adelaide, SA ~
My first birth ended up in caesarean after 42 weeks of pregnancy and over 12 hours of labour, so it was my dream to have a natural birth this time. With the help of Helen she made my dream come true. So when I received a phone call from a friend saying she knew a doula that was experienced with VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) that I could talk to if I wanted some help. I'd never even heard of a doula and I thought why not as I was very nervous and unsure about it all.
I was not a very confident person and had a very positive, negative attitude towards everything.
So I met up with her and liked her instantly, she was very easy to talk to and down to earth. She had a very bubbly nature and it amazed me how she got so much done with seven children and being there for so many labouring women. Anyway, each time i saw her, I left feeling more positive than the last. She gave me different outlook on birthing and I started to believe that i could actually do this. At this point I was still unsure as to whether to have her there for the birth or not as I wanted mum etc there and didn't want an audience. This all changed! On the big day I stayed at home and laboured all day on my own on a mission. I let Helen know that something was happening and that I'd call her if needed her and boy did I need her!! Due to the hospital midwives telling me to stay at home as long as possible I started to get a bit uncomfortable towards the end of the day so i rang Helen to come on over. I have never been so relieved to see someone as she arrived at my house only to whisk me off to the hospital straight away. I'm so glad that she was there as there was no question that I did not want her to leave my side. She was brilliant; I honestly believe I wouldn't have done it without her. What she did no midwife, partner or mum could do. She gave me all the confidence to believe in myself and that what I was doing was right. She made my birth come true and I will be forever grateful to her. I never realised that I needed her so much, she was just the best. Now I have a beautiful little boy and feel I’m the luckiest mum around.
Rachael ~ Mother of Two ~ Adelaide, SA ~