Here are some kind words from a few of my clients. Most are from the woman’s perspective, however I have also collected testimonials from male partners. I do think this will allow men to further understand the Doula’s role in the birth room for both themselves and the birthing woman.
Erika was an amazing source of comfort during my labour with my daughter. She has a gift that can not be put into words, she encouraged me and made me believe in myself. I would recommend her to anyone and often mention her to friends when discussing childbirth as an extra expense that is worth every penny.
Nora – Mum to Vanessa
I had Erika as my Doula after I had a very traumatic first delivery, I felt I needed the support with my second. Erika was so calming, whenever I was anxious about the imminent birth I would call her up and she was always so supportive and had many ideas to help me cope with my anxieties. Her knowledge of childbirth really helped me understand that my body was made to go through this process. I was very fortunate that I managed to deliver my son at home with no pain relief. With all the birth physiology preparation I received from Erika this was at the fore front of my mind during labour. Her help around the home and with my new born after the birth was invaluable too, I really would have struggled to cope without her.”
Linda – Mum to Liam
Wow. Where to begin! Erika was a positive and calming presence for the labour experience. She was available whenever needed but I never felt she was ‘in the way’ or there when we needed space. She rubbed/massaged my back during contractions and helped Martin to do the same (as it was I preferred her to do it!). She encouraged us both to eat, gave positive advice, let us feel able to be ourselves during the whole time. Our faith is central to everything we do, but I did not feel uncomfortable to pray, listen to worship music or generally do anything some people might feel was strange. With Erika around – it felt like an old friend! When I was birthing she cheered me on and believed in me when I had given up believing in myself. She helped Martin when he was worried about me and that in turn helped me. She also took lots of photos for us in a non intrusive way. Martin said that she helped him to understand what was happening. She did much more than the above as well but it’s all a bit hazy! I had to have an additional procedure after the birth, so whilst Martin held our son, Erika held my hand and supported me whilst I cried my eyes out. After such a long and tough labour it was support I desperately needed and I can honestly say she was just as much support as if it had been my mum or sister.
Sarah – Mum to Ben
It was so helpful to have someone there to reassure me and lead me through the process. I appreciated the practical tips and knowing someone was there to look after my wife alongside me. I really felt Erika knew when to help and when to stand back and let us be – I didn’t feel my role was being taken from me but rather I was able to do my part better because of the support and reassurance I had.
Martin – Dad to Ben
I have always been a bit scared of pregnancy, labour and birth. We decided to get a doula after meeting Erika and finding her very reassuring – for the first time I felt more relaxed about the idea of labour and birth. Although very early labour started at 36 weeks and six days and she wasn’t yet on-call, Erika was able to rearrange things at home and she came round the next morning, staying home with us until the afternoon, when we went to the hospital. I found her presence very supportive and reassuring and she was able to give my husband a break, which was invaluable to me as I didn’t need to worry about his needs as well as my own. She gave advice and support on positions and breathing, which was great as I was in no position to think for myself at that point!
Post birth, she has been really helpful at home. Her assistance has been what my family would have done had they lived nearby – cleaning, cooking, looking after my newborn so I could have a bath or eat lunch, picking up medicines and food. I’ve really appreciated her support and help.
Erika is a very warm, knowledgeable and loving person, with a great sense of humour, clearly providing help and support out of compassion rather than duty – often going beyond what is required of her. She obviously loves her work, which helps to make her a wonderful doula. I’d highly recommend her to women who feel afraid for any reason, who have no family nearby or who simply want a little bit of extra support for themselves or their birth partners.
Nina – Mama to Solly
Erika’s support during the entire birthing process was invaluable. She was calm and confident throughout and always supported the decisions we made. She was very good with my wife and had a positive impact on a stressful and unfamiliar event in our lives. I would very much recommend her as a doula.
Siy – Dad to Solly
Erika brought a lot of positive energy and expertise into the labor process and helped me and my husband deal with labor in a calm manner – she also stayed with us at home and helped manage the hospital transfer and made sure our birth plan was heard and followed. She also championed my desire to have an intervention free birth and assisted me with active labor positions and helped negotiate with the consultants and hospital staff. Furthermore, she always helped me and my husband focus on the positives – having someone I totally trust during labor was invaluable, I believe it helped my body relax and helped me get in tune with me and my baby. I ended up squatting on the floor and delivered my baby in just 3 pushes, as the hospital midwife panicked about not being able to see the baby, Erika was already there with a birth mirror ! She was so well prepared , she could have delivered the baby right there, no problems.
Erika was also great help with breastfeeding and new mom worries – great photographer as well, she helped remind me of how positive my experience was as I was out of it for part of it, I had faint recollection of events – Erika helped me piece together all of it, as a result I am more confident about my bonding with Laya as well as breastfeeding.
We could not have done this without Erika, she is a godsend !
Sangeetha & Madhu – Mum & Dad to Laya
Just wanted to let you know that we had opted for a home birth but Grace came out so fast – in just 3 hours – that the midwife didn’t even have time to reach us so we ended up in hospital. But I had a natural birth and pushed her out with no drugs so it was still an empowering experience. Thank you very much for your advice and support – it certainly helped me come to a decision for choosing home birth.
Sarah – Mum to Grace (Hong Kong)
Erika has been a tremendous help to me over the past few weeks. She immediately built a bond with the whole family, especially the girls aged 4 & 2.5 which enabled me to focus on recovering & our newborn. She has a wonderfully positive nature, is incredibly calm, perfect with 3 young children around and happy to help in any way she can. She is also a fantastic cook so always ensured we were well fed. I have really enjoyed having her around and would not hesitate in recommending her.
Charlotte – Mum to family of three
I just wanted to tell you that we are still putting your great tips to practise and they are working!
….L slept in his own room and slept through the night. He woke at intervals but settled straight away on his own. He didn’t cry just made little sounds and I’ve not had to feed him through the night. He is also having naps during the day. I can now see when he is tired and manage to get him to have a nap before he is overtired..woo hoooo!
Corrina – Mum to Lewie
Erika listened to our concerns. She is caring and compassionate person who has her own children and has a wonderful way of seeing humour in things. If we asked for advise she would offer ideas, but she would really only do this when we asked which I think is healthy. She would sometimes ask us questions that seemed to help us think through things and feel better. Our home feels safer and more organised with Erika around.
Sarah and Antony – Parents to Lewis
Erika would be able to provide a break which helped me feel stronger and this allowed me to bond and connect with my son, because my heart is more open to positive enery rather then feeling exhausted and/or alone. She would help with errands outside the house as I was unable to drive due to my C-section and she would do light chores around the house – none of which would have happened without her assistance. I trust her completely and she has a great sense of humour and is really warm and very knowledgeable.
Nina – Mama to Solly
I am delighted to recommend Erika, she is an absolutely fantastic doula!
I found her support, encouragement and safe advice invaluable.
I was very anxious about labour and birth and I first got in touch with Erika very early in my pregnancy.
Throughout the course of my pregnancy she and her wonderful Positive Birth Group really set my mind at rest, helped to empower me and helped to focus me on all the positives.
I can honestly say that when the day for my induction came I was calm and excited, not anxious and nervous.
Although my birth didn’t go according to plan and resulted in an EMCS (my worst-case scenario), I was well informed and well prepared for different eventualities so it was far less daunting.
Erika’s antenatal sessions, her lending library and the PBG meant I had enough knowledge to feel confident and deal with the situation when it arose.
Erika’s presence was very comforting and her being there stopped me feeling so overwhelmed by the turn of events when it was decided I needed to go to Theatre.
Between Erika and the HypnoBirthing, I had the best birth experience that I could have had. I managed to stay quite calm and relaxed and managed to get to 10cm and pushing without any pain relief (except for a bit of gas and air) something I previously thought would be impossible.
It would have been a very different experience without her support and I am very grateful to her for everything, as is my partner, especially the beautiful post-birth photographs of our gorgeous daughter!
Jess – Daisy’s Mummy
Just wanted to let you know that L was born on the 2/2/16, weighing 7lb 3oz, after being induced the day before.
Despite a slow start which saw nothing much happen for the first 24 hours, I had a hugely positive birthing experience, and the total length of labour is recorded on my hospital notes as 41 minutes!
I used the hypnobirthing breathing techniques throughout the process, which not only enabled me to stay calm, but also to deliver L with no pain relief apart from two paracetamol smile emoticon I was very much ‘in the zone’ the whole way through and the midwives were amazed at how in control I was, particularly at the ‘pushing’ stage, when they said they’d never seen a first time mum with such good breathing techniques.
The community midwife today was also amazed at how well I’d done and said the others were all talking about it at their team meeting this morning!
It’s a credit to the work you do that my labour went as well as it did, so I wanted to say a huge thank you and keep up the good work!
Moira – Lucy’s Mummy
Thank you so much for helping my Mummy & Daddy look after me. Being home has been a bit scary for me, and I know I have been hard on Mummy & Daddy at times, but having you come round to help and support has made them very happy.
Kathryn – James’s Mummy
Wanted to thank you for all your help. It was a great help to have a friendly face and ever so helping person like you with me in those initial difficult days for me. You have helped me whenever I needed it, calmed me in those anxious moments and your words of re assurance meant a lot to me. It was lovely to see you and Mridhun bond well and for me to find a reliable friend in you. Thank you so much!
Sharmi – Mridhun’s Mummy
Having supported recently a lovely Italian family with whom I could use my language skills I received this testimonial.
I needed help after the first bleeding caused by placenta previa. I was scared and morally grounded, worried about losing my baby and not being able to take care my eldest child of ten months. It scared because we were here alone, our families were in Italy and we had no one to lean on. But when I opened the door and I found myself in front of Erika who with her simple “hello” accompanied by her wonderful smile I knew immediately that I would make it! And so it was!
My daughter, like me, immediately adored her! It was like having a sister, a mother here with us. She helped us with B, the house, but above all helped me morally. Erika remained close to me in the worst weeks of my life, supporting me, listening to me and signposting me.
Without her I would not have been able to carry the pregnancy to term and to stay 20 days in the hospital.
Only thanks to its support and experience with now G in my arms. She continued to do so even after the birth of G, when the baby blues could be difficult, it was crucial.
I would tell people that they need a support, a help and that it would be really fortunate for them to have Erika.
I feel blessed to have known Erika, to have had her with us! Thank you again for everything you did for us!
Melissa – Beatrice & Giorgia