Daria and Manel

My wife and I join the birthing classes at Harrow Road as recommended by our midwife. The antenatal classes were very informative, interesting and interactive and we met other parents and wonderful practitioners who share their expertise to make the whole process of giving birth easier.

At the antenatal classes is where we first knew about what is a dula and what are the benefits of having a dula when you are in labour. This is where we met Janet for the first time , we connected with her in every level  and after her explanations about the importance of having a dula when you have a natural  birth my wife and I decided to take her service. Labour is an incredible experience from a parent's perspective and we didn't want to think about all the steps the midwife needed to follow we just wanted to enjoy the process and that someone look after us.

During the labour Janet was very helpful and she was all the time by our side making sure that the labour was kept as we wanted from the beginning to the end. We were so grateful to have Janet  involve on the process and enjoying the welcome of our first baby daughter Kiara.

Jenny

Having Paula around during both my pregnancies and births was invaluable.My babies father was comforted by her confident and calm presence.David (baby dad) said he was able to re-Assure himself and me knowing another person was around. The midwives are busy and Paula is 100% there to support and care for mum, baby and extended family needs.We would recommend Paula as a doula to anyone wanting a supported delivery. There is only so much midwifes can do in these circumstances and after my time with Paula feel everyone deserves to have a presence like Paula’s around. Childbirth is the biggest life changing experience anyone can go through and having a advocate/solid woman around is a standard all women and babies deserve.

Thanks 


Gina (first baby, home delivery)

I feel so privileged to have had Janet be a part of my birth team. Having someone with her knowledge and experience was so helpful. She gave all three of us the belief that we were in control, she gave us the autonomy to stand up for what we wanted and encouraged us to take time and make informed decisions right through pregnancy, delivery and parenthood.

Janet was hugely encouraging in our decision to deliver our baby at home. We both attended the birthing classes and had private sessions with Janet, she has extensive knowledge of different techniques for birthing from yoga to Mexican riboso and massage to nutriton. All of these sessions and expertise allowed us to feel totally at ease and at 37 weeks we booked in with the home midwifery team. We really loved the fact that from that point onward all the visitations and check-ups were done in the comfort of my own home. Both Janet and Georg were able to meet the team and go through the birth-plan. Janet was indispensable throughout writing birth-plan.

I felt very confident and ready to deliver Bernadette. The birth room and pool were ready, the freezer was stocked with ice snacks and coconut water. At 41+6 my waters broke, Janet and Georg were beside me and collectively we decided to give myself time (at least 24 hours) to get into labour, I felt ready for a long birth. But sadly the home-birth team that I had been in contact with were not available and a very different energy and presence entered the delivery space, the pressure was on to make me go to hospital. It was not conducive to achieving my birth plan, and sadly that put both Janet as my doula and Georg as my birth partner in the position that they had to fight for my right to have the birth I wanted. They both did an amazing job of keeping me calm and away from the negative presence of the midwife team. Taking turns as my bodyguards as well as taking me through the labour. Sadly it became very tiring to keep this up and after 54 hours of labouring at home I was at the end of my energy reserve and I was taken to hospital to have an epidural. As happens often I then dilated very rapidly, 7cm in 30mins, and it was time to start pushing. Despite herself also being exhausted Janet stayed by my side encouraging me. Just half an hour before Bernadette was born meconium was seen and directly the Consultant wanted me to have an emergency C-section. I was very firm that I did not want this and I was given the option of being prepared for a c-section but with 3 mins before surgery to try and push her out and she would then be Kiwi-ed out. It felt very important to me to have a team behind me, people that were in my corner and would stand behind the decisions I made. Bernadette was born finally after 62 hours, vaginally. And despite the fact that it was a far cry from the home birth I wanted, I felt that I achieved a lot and I believe all the challenges we met the week after in hospital were easier because I had laboured long and hard but at home in a safe space supported by those around me.

Janet was and has been indispensable postpartum as well. Especially with breastfeeding Her advice and general attitude towards child rearing is inspiring. She is so flexibel in her attitude. I never felt told how to look after my baby, I always felt supported and encouraged to learn from my maternal instinct. Even when Janet wasn’t there I felt she left me with confidence to trust myself and my partner.

Both Georg and I are so thankful for Janet's calming, assertive, assuring and constant presence. We cannot recommend her doula services enough.

Marilena, VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarian)

I had a very positive experience despite the messy ending (blood loss post delivery) Your advice on not receiving information on the progress of labour was the best advice. I would be happy to share this positive experience with the antenatal group. thank you for your help and support at such a special time.

Phillipa

Sylvie, your reassuring presence during my rather lengthy labour was just wonderful. I’m not sure I could have ‘pushed on’ without you alongside providing encouragement, advice and support. Thank you for staying awake and alert when I couldn't, ensuring K was properly captured during his first moments and also that I was treated appropriately. I felt in extremely safe hands at an exciting but vulnerable time…thank you.

Janet, thanks to you for your substantial support including the many breast feeding tips, giving K cuddles when I wanted a shower and of course helping to extract us from hospital…thank you again for providing such attentive, professional and caring support at this special time.

Tamasyn

Sylvie was with me for the births of my two children. The experiences were totally different but Sylvie offered encouragement, knowledge and great care for me and my babies in both labours.

With the birth of my daughter the labour was incredibly long. We were in a busy central London hospital and the staff were overworked and spread thin. As a result we were forgotten about. With any woman going through labour for the first time you have no idea what to expect. Sylvie was a fantastic support to my partner and I who were exhausted and stressed. She worked tirelessly to move us from the corridor to a room and insisted we were given some attention. With her help we were allocated a midwife who stayed with us until my daughter was born.

Sylvie worked hand in hand with the midwife and had an amazing energy and positivity that helped me get through it.

With my son I was very overdue and had to be induced. Sylvie trusted my instincts and shadowed me throughout. 

The midwives didn’t believe that I was in active labour but Sylvie trusted me and her experience was invaluable when she stayed close to me and advised me to try pushing. My son was born with a single, primal push and Sylvie caught him in the bathroom! 

Sylvie has an invaluable mixture of knowledge, compassion and energy. She will support your choices and encourage you when you feel that you can’t do it! Fight for you when you need someone to back up your decisions or get you the relevant care when you are too tired or scared to do so yourself. 

Her warmth and sensitivity to myself and my partner truly enriched my birthing experience. Thank you! 

Claudia

I would like to start by saying that we would highly recommend Janet to anyone looking for help in the pre and postnatal period.

As a couple expecting twins, with a traumatic first birth experience (we have a 5 year old daughter who was born in hospital after a long labour and a lot of medical intervention), Janet has been a great support, in preparing and dealing with the arrival of our twin boys (now 3 months old). We met five times over the course of the pregnancy, and have had continued contact since the birth. Throughout, we were listened to carefully without judgement. Janet reminded us of the personal choices we have when it comes to pre- and post-natal care and helped us to think clearly in advance, about what we might wish from the experience.  This included our choice for the type of delivery.

 It was surprisingly cathartic and useful to air some of our feelings around this subject, before being launched back in to it blindly, second time around. We found that faced with hospital staff in the run up to childbirth and immediately afterwards: we now had real confidence in our convictions. It meant that we could follow our instincts more freely, so that the overall experience was a positive and joyous one: rather than frightening and overwhelming.

We do credit our meetings with Janet in helping us make four crucial decisions, our “mini triumphs”!  

The first was leaving the hospital, when we had been booked to be induced, as they were understaffed and we felt intuitively that at 37 weeks, despite the hospital's requests to induce, the babies were not ready. Another was not agreeing to have the twins' fetal heart monitors strapped on me all night long, in the early stages of labour. The third and the most important, was not allowing a doctor who had just come on shift to rail road us into having a c section, due to  "the failure to progress in labour sufficiently”. Within one hour the twins had arrived naturally in spite of this doctor's concerns. Finally, after one night on the postnatal ward, I was desperate to be home with my family and it was thanks to my talks with Janet that I was able to confidently leave the brightly lit and noisy ward.

 Janet also taught me breathing techniques to use in labour, and offered a session of guided relaxation ("yoga Nidra"). Since the birth, she has supported me with many aspects of the twin’s care, from the logistics of the twin buggy, to some serious feeding issues, that I was not aware of during my sleep deprived exhaustion.

Janet’s continued support has greatly boosted my confidence as a mother, especially being the new mother of twins and it goes without saying that my partner and I greatly appreciate the guidance and care that Janet has shown us throughout!

Elizabeth

I became friends with Janet many years ago, when my daughter started going to the wonderful children’s “workshops” she created at her home in Notting Hill. Which we happily continued all the way through her prep school years!
 
Such was the wonderful, nurturing yet fun environment that Janet ran, we even arranged our holidays so that my daughter did not miss out on the weeks when they were running.  During this time I came to know other parents who did the same, which only shows what a special person she is.  The children simply loved being there. 
 
One of the aspects my daughter particularly enjoyed, was the very special Yoga element Janet included. So as Janet is a very experienced Yoga teacher we have continued this and she now has weekly lessons with a friend.  Both girls find these sessions invaluable, especially during their stressful GCSE studies.
 
Over the years, we have become close friends and although I did not know Janet when I was pregnant, I can really imagine that she would be a truly wonderful support, both emotionally and spiritually at such a difficult time.  She has an extremely caring manner, but at the same time Janet is a very wise lady and also very discreet.
 
I personally found my pregnancy both a lonely and quite anxious time and if I had known Janet then and had been aware that she provided such a “service” it would be have been a tremendous help. 
 
Living in London, we are bombarded with information such as wearing the most fashionable maternity clothes, eating the right food and having the latest baby accessories. But strangely very little is mentioned of such an important support, yet so many women seem to have felt as I did. I really commend Janet for setting this up and I am sure it will help to make many women’s pregnancies the extraordinary experience it should be!

Elizabeth Crompton-Batt