Laura B 2019
I can't recommend Arlene enough... She is a strong, wise and caring lady.
Due to numerous complication I was constantly having to make important decisions which impacted the birth throughout my pregnancy. Having Arlene by my side to advise, listen and support us during the journey gave me so much strength and confidence to keep moving forward with a empowered mindset.
After a rocky start to breastfeeding with my first child, it was so important to me and our new baby to get it right this time. Arlene was immediately on hand post birth to ensure feeding was established straight away and to check the baby's latch, to provide advice on supporting positions plus general encouragement. She also regularly checked in with me to see how I was getting on physically and mentally, and even brought cake.
Not only is Arlene a wonderful Doula she also teaches yoga and gives the most amazing and healing massages. I now see her regularly for body treatments.
Anna & Andrew & baby Enzo
“We made the decision very late in the day that we would like to have the support of a doula and were beyond lucky to meet Arlene. I immediately felt a connection with Arlene, despite or perhaps because Arlene is in some ways the absolute opposite to me in terms of being such a natural, calm ‘earth mother’ of a person. I on the other hand am a mid-thirties, City-working stress head who, prior to being blessed with pregnancy, felt pretty lacking in maternal instinct. The birth terrified me and before the process of birthing our baby began, I would have sworn I’d be reaching for an epidural at the first opportunity. Oh how one doesn’t know oneself before labour…
Having been terrified of being turned away from either the birth centre or hospital (because, as I kept saying to Arlene, I would only make that decision once I had a handle on my ability to deal with the pain and I didn’t hold out much hope on that front), once labour began, the last thing I wanted was any medical intervention. Much to my own surprise, with her guidance I was close to fully dilated by the time we got to the birth centre.
Unfortunately, as sometimes just happens, progress from the point of reaching the birth centre wasn’t quite so smooth and when I ultimately had to go into theatre at 5 am, instead of leaving us to go home to bed, Arlene actually waited until we were out of theatre and was the first person to meet our son. All said, we spent almost 24 hours together and the phrase “above and beyond” doesn’t get close to doing justice to the ‘job’ Arlene did that day/night/following day!
Arlene has a unique gift of inspiring total calmness and self-belief in you while at the same time being totally no-nonsense tough when it comes to standing up and advocating for you with medical professionals. I felt total trust in her for my entire labour and will always be immensely grateful.
You made me feel “mighty” Arlene and after that labour I’ll never question my own strength or the sheer power of nature. That said, I won’t be trusting nature to go it alone because I wouldn’t be without you if we ever have a number 2.”
Anna Birtwistle & Andrew, July 2016 (baby Enzo)
Thank you for these photos-they're great. I am still high as a kite on how fantastic Wednesday was! We have had the most gorgeous time since then holed up just the three of us. We have named our SON Caleb Jackson Arnott just this afternoon. Midwives and Dr have visited and he is healthy as a lark. He really kicked up a gear feeding today so hopefully milk on its way tomorrow. He is pooing and weeing like a trooper and very happy so seems to be getting what he needs.
We couldn't have asked for anything more from choosing to work with you - the best money we have ever spent! From the moment we met you we knew you were the right person to support our birth, we just felt so safe. I was especially thrilled with the way you worked with Myles and I as individuals and as a couple, particularly at the birth; I know we both got a huge amount out of our respective relationships with you. Equally I felt like you made a great team with the midwives, making sure my voice was always heard without creating any challenge. I also massively appreciated your instinct for when to be with us and when to give us space - truly perfect support. It was wonderful that you stayed with us afterwards, helped out with jobs way beyond the role of Doula and generally just ensured we were well.
Most of all, I have a strong memory of turning my head and seeing that you had appeared at my bedside - this wonderful, comforting presence right when I needed it. Your expertise and manner during birthing was absolutely perfect for me.
We have had the sadly rare blessing of a wonderful, empowering birth experience and your role in that is pivotal, so a thousand thank yous! We couldn't have asked for a better start to family life.
Jacqueline, Myles...... and Caleb! X
Birth December 2014