My name is Paula. I live in north Cambridgeshire with my lovely husband Pete, our 5 wonderful children, and a bonkers fluffy dog called Martha, but spend most of my time mucking about in Norfolk.
I’m a doula, women’s rights activist, adventurer, Weleda Wellbeing Advisor and founder of a campaign called Birthplace Matters, which successfully lobbied QE hospital to restore its homebirth service. When fellow doula Siobhán Ridley asked if I’d like to co-run the support group Home Birth Norfolk with her, I was delighted. So I do this too.
You might know me as the author of Go With The Flow Mindfulness For Pregnancy and Birth Cards and Guidebook, and app, which you can buy via my sister website Go With The Flow Birth School http://www.
Becoming a mum has been the most amazing, fun, healing, inspiring, challenging and transformational journey – each pregnancy and birth has taught me so much. By working as a doula it is wonderful to be able to pay it forwards and help other parents. Since I first trained as a doula in 2011 with Nurturing Birth, I’ve been helping mothers to give birth, sometimes more than once.
Supporting you no matter how fresh to parenting or experienced you may be is my passion and I believe that each family has its own unique path and birth dance to follow – there is no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ template for pregnancy, birth and parenthood.
By listening to you and your partner, I can help you to navigate the maze of birth choices, providing signposts to evidence-based information, so you can put birth plans in place which will help the magic to flow no matter the setting or circumstances of your baby’s birth. My go with the flow antenatal sessions can take place in your home setting or if you prefer, in my cosy yurt. This typically happens over a few sessions and is really practical but also holistic journey of self discovery. Learning at a pace that is right for you, we explore positions, mindsets and options that will help your birth flow as smoothly as possible. The course is for both parents (or just you if you are solo parenting!) and focuses you on this baby and this birth, with ways to support you through all the changes – helping you to make more confident and informed choices as you go along.
I trained initially with Nurturing Birth but because I enjoy learning and sharing skills and knowledge and travelling so much (and doula lunch buffets are frankly delicious!), I’ve also trained with Birthing from Within (based on teachings from the iconic book by Pam England), and most recently hosted a training course in my yurt with Maddie McMahon from Developing Doulas. Each course has brought very precious and totally different insights, knowledge and some great friendships all over the world! Last year I learned alongside some wonderful midwives and doulas at the birth mecca ‘Da a luz’ in the Alpujarra mountains in Spain. If you know about Ina May Gaskin and her world famous place ‘The Farm’… well its a little like that.
Back down to reality again…. so…
You may want extra support during your birth in the form of a mexican rebozo, which is a traditional long woven scarf/ wrap which is extremely versatile and non invasive for supporting your bump and entire pelvic/hips area during pregnancy, birth and beyond. I have trained with some of the best – Stacia Smales, Sophie Messager and most recently, midwife Molly O’Brien at her Biomechanics for birth workshop which was focused on identifying malpositioned babies and using non-invasive simple techniques, gently encouraging them into optimal positions to ease birth, keep contractions more productive and shorten what could otherwise potentially be a long labour.
During your birth I will be a rock for your family to lean on, giving you emotional, physical and practical support throughout. Afterwards if you wish, I now offer a postnatal traditional belly massage followed by Closing The Bones using the rebozo – ask me about it! It’s wonderful for helping your pelvis to feel healed and restored after birth, and can actually be done months or years after a woman has given birth.
My deepest wish is to make your unique journey a little lighter, easier, more gentle and fun, as you transition into this new part of your lives. You will see from the testimonials on this website from parents I have supported, examples of that wish in action!
To walk away from a birth story with a happy mother, happy baby and happy family, is my goal – and have stayed friends and got to witness some of those early babies grow into beautiful children. I am very blessed!