Who am I?
I am Ruth, mother of Gloria, daughter of Joyce and sister to many.
I am a reflection of all that surrounds me.
I am love, lover and beloved.
I believe birth to be a beautiful and natural process. Our bodies are perfectly designed to grow and birth our babies in a gentle and loving way. When a woman is well supported and encouraged to listen intuitively to her body, she will undoubtedly be more connected to her experience, and be more able to birth with ease. So many problems arise in birth when a woman’s energy is disturbed, preparing yourself for birth and parenthood on a holistic level will naturally boost confidence and trust in your own abilities.
“Birth is not something we suffer, but actively do and exalt in”
I believe that birth has the potential to be the most amazing experience a woman can have. I believe that by having good doula support in your pregnancy, birth and beyond, you will be more likely to achieve the positive birth experience you wish for. Hiring a doula to support you could mean the difference between having a traumatic experience you would rather forget, or an empowering momentous occasion you will cherish forever.
As a doula I am there to hold the energy of the birth together, to help achieve and maintain an air of relaxation and blissfulness. What benefits a birthing mother best is good emotional, mental and practical support from people she knows and trusts as well as good ante natal care and preparation. A doula can be the best pain relief a woman could have! My years of experience in natural childbirth are testimony to this. I lived for many years in a low impact living community in Spain, called Beneficio. Beneficio had become known as a paradise in which women could come and birth their babies in nature supported by spiritual midwives. During my time in Beneficio, I lived and learned along side the midwives and the Mothers in the community, seeing with my own eyes the benefits of natural undisturbed birth. Since being back in Britain, I have experienced how different birth is when a woman is with midwives she doesn’t know and in environments which are strange to her.
I believe that all women have the right to choose. Choose what food they eat, what clothes they wear, where they live and how they birth their babies. We choose how we raise our children, why would we not want to choose how we bring them into the world?
I support women in making those choices.
I believe we can have our cake and eat it!
Born and bred in Hexham, Northumberland, I left for London to study for my Women’s Studies BA (Hons) degree when I was 22. After which I was the Women’s Welfare Sabbatical officer at the Students Union for a year before fleeing to the mountains of Spain to live in a Tipi and live close to nature, which is when I lived in Beneficio. The midwives there ran a weekly antenatal group called Da-a-Luz (Translation: To give birth/ To give light), which I attended. The pregnant women from Beneficio and the surrounding areas would come to the weekly group for yoga, to socialise and to meet with the midwives and other birth practitioners.
I spent 6 years living in Beneficio and with the Da-a-Luz midwives, learning from women who had real experience of natural undisturbed birth, and seeing first hand the benefits of choosing your care providers, building up a trust with them and having a more holistic approach to pregnancy and birth. I continue to gain a wealth of knowledge and experience with the Da-a-Luz midwives and doulas, and now run Mamabeat antenatal dance classes at the group on my regular visits back to Spain.
I returned to Hexham in 2008 and in January 2009 I gave birth to my daughter. A beautiful and gentle, drug-free, home water birth, supported by my wonderful doula, Jenny, my dear friend, Olga, and my lovely midwife, Pauline. My birth was truly the most empowering thing I have ever done. A real rite of passage: I felt invincible and ready for anything that parenthood could throw at me!
I love dancing. I have been studying different forms of African and Afro-Brazilian dance since 2005 and love how i can now bring dance into my birth work through running the Mamabeat classes. For me, the movements of these dances resonate with the essence of birth: the spiralling of the hips is the spiralling of the birth energy. For a pregnant woman, dancing gets you in touch with your body and baby.
Dancing during pregnancy strengthens your pelvic floor and can support optimal fetal positioning, it also releases oxytocin into the body, the hormone essential for effective contractions and a smooth birth. I believe that dance and movement enhance pregnancy and birth massively, helping both mama and baby prepare for birth and get into more comfortable positions during labour.
As part of my doula work, I have come to love and appreciate the placenta more and more for the job it does during pregnancy and for the medicine it provides postnatally. Did you know, you can have your placenta encapsulated after you have given birth to help heal your physical body and balance your hormones, thus preventing post natal depression, and if you have any left over you can even keep your pills to use as a natural hormone replacement therapy when you reach menopause?
I have been a doula for around 8 years, and it is since moving back to the UK that I have decided to join Doula UK. I have undertaken a variety of training, where I have gained knowledge about how best to support a woman in her childbearing year, I include in this list the invaluable experience of my own birth experience.
- 2004 to present: Birth and postnatal doula.
- January 2009: Became a Mother to a daughter, born peacefully at home in the water.
- July / August 2009: I trained to be a Breastfeeding Peer supporter with Northumberland NHS Health Trust, and was a Breast Buddy with them for 2 years.
- April 2011: Spirit of Birth (Da-a-luz) -how to create and maintain effective energy in the birth space.
- June 2011: Out of the Ordinary (Da-a-luz) – with guest speaker Charrise Basquin – what to do when things don’t go to plan, and coping with birth trauma.
- July 2011: Dancing For Birth™ Instructor training.
- August 2011: Attended a Hypnobirthing (Mongan Method) course.
- October 2011: Body and Soul: Healing Birth Traumas, with Benig Mauger .
- January 2012: Childbirth International Study Day: Just birth; Hands-on skills for supporting birthing women, with Rebecca A. Wright
- February 2012: O.P. Study Day; How to support a woman through labour when her baby is lying ‘back to back’, with Independent Midwife, Julie Dawid.
- March 2012: Spinning Babies and Belly Mapping: Easier childbirth with fetal positioning, with Gail Tully
- April 2012: Working with Muslim families, with Bushra Finch
- June 2012: Mindful Doulas: Birth and post natal doula preparation, with Adela Stockton and Nicola Goodall
- July 2012: Birth Crisis Study Day, with Sheila Kitzinger and Prof. Celia Kitzinger.
- September 2012: Childbirth International Study Day: Antenatal focus on fear. Ways of working with parents to overcome fear around birth, with Rebecca A. Wright.
- October 2012: Wellbeing and nutrition in pregnancy study day, with Julie Dawid (Independent Midwife).
- May 2013: When Survivors Give Birth: Supporting women who have experienced early childhood trauma. With Penny Simkin (www.pennysimkin.com)
- October 2013: Placenta specialist training with Lynnea Shrief IPEN (Independent Placenta Encapsulation Network)
- May 2014: Mizan Abdominal Therapy. Trained with Bushra Finch to treat clients with Mizan Therapy (www.mizantherapy.com).
I couldn’t have asked for a better person to be at mine and Jamie’s side at such a precious time.
Drop me a line…
Please feel free to drop me a line if you have a question about anything you seen here on my site, I’ll be more than happy to expand. ♥