She supported me emotionally and physically throughout a short but often tense labour. She was the only person present I felt that I could trust and depend on and at all times she maintained admirable professional calm and composure. We are forever indebted to our wonderful doula !'
'When I had my first child it was such a traumatic experience that I decided to have a Caesarean next time but was put off by my doctor who explained there was an increased risk of complications. Then I was told there was a doula living locally - I was anxious to meet her to see if we'd get on and my partner wanted to be sure that he wouldn't get pushed out. Meeting Diane put our minds at rest immediately and we soon realised she was there to support us both. When I went into labour Diane was great encouraging me to keep active, gave me a reflexology treatment to move things along, massaged my back etc...so that by the time I felt like pushing I still felt in control. The baby was put straight into my arms..it was such a moving experience - so completely different from my first labour... Diane played a large part in this. I didn't feel anxious or frightened once. She was a calming presence.'
'I had my first daughter in the US with the help of a doula and hypnobirthing. When we moved to England and got pregnant again we knew we wanted the assistance of a doula again. On meeting Diane I knew that she was the right person to be with us for this experience. She immediately put me at ease and I was very comfortable with her from the beginning. We established a relationship via phone/ email and a few pre-natal visits (which included some reflexology treatments). As the time got closer for me to deliver Diane was a rock listening to all my concerns and worries and "is this it?"!!! We went over our due date but Diane helped me realise that our baby wasn't ready to be born. On the night/day itself she joined us in the early stages of labour (luckily as it all went quite quickly) and gave me the confidence to know when to go to the hospital At the hospital things progressed quite rapidly but Diane remained calm and knew what to do to make me more comfortable along with guiding my husband to help at the appropriate times. I am thrilled that she shared the experience of the birth of our daughter Sinead.'
'I chose to have Diane as my doula at the birth of my daughter Jasmine. It was my first birth experience and I wanted a homebirth with as little medical intervention as possible. Antenatal meetings with Diane gave me confidence in my ability to give birth and it was reassuring to know there would be someone with me during labour who was familiar to me and my partner. I didn't know which midwife would be there on the day so it was good to know Diane would be there with me until after the baby was born. Without her presence I feel I might well have gone into hospital as during the latter stages I felt ungrounded and exhausted. She helped me believe I could do it, reminded me that this was a natural process and gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going. She also supported my partner and reassured him that it was OK to be involved.
It was an amazing experience for us all and I have already recommended her to friends !'
'After having my first child at home with an independant midwife, I wasn't sure what having a doula would be like with my second child. It was less of the medical model and more of the, 'being there' with me through the process, that I wanted. The birth was difficult from the point of view that there were two midwives who were doubtful about the benefit of a doula, and my mother and my husband who were openly hostile to each other. Nonetheless, it was a comfort to have someone who held the space, and shared the dynamic. I felt I could be myself.
I didn't expect to have a third child six and a half years later with my new partner, but I knew I wanted Diane with me. This time the dynamic was very relaxed and all three of us were in tune - a fact that I am sure helped me get through the birth without any pain relief at all. When the midwives told me I was only 4 cm dilated I was deflated, and retreated to a bath with my partner and Diane who talked to me about using pain in a positive way. Renewed and determined I returned to the sitting room and with the sun rising, gave birth to our daughter. It was incredibly special and even the midwives said what a wonderful birth it was. Diane brought a clarity of purpose, a strength of experience and belief in the process. And patience by the bucket-load!'
'The excellent antenatal care we received from Diane made such a difference to the birth of my second child. It moved the birth experience for me, my husband and our baby, from being disempowered to empowered.
The labour was considerably shorter and I felt that my husband and I were in charge of our son's birth. The fact that we had really thought about what we wanted at the birth and had gathered information and discussed options with Diane during the pregnancy and then written a comprehensive birth plan, really helped the midwife do her job and for us to get what we wanted for the birth.
One thing we had asked for was that a doctor only came in if absolutely necessary and this request was honoured.
After phoning our families with the news, Diane was the next person we phoned to thank for really helping us with Tom's birth. I thoroughly recommend having this aspect of Diane 's skills - she made all the difference.'
Having you as my doula was brilliant. You were quietly there for me and it made all the difference to know that because it meant I could feel free to get on with what I needed to do and not worry about peripheral issues. I knew that you were aware of what was important to me because we had discussed it beforehand and so I could let go of my conscious controlling mind and let my more intuitive primitive side take over knowing that it was safe to do so. Your presence enabled me to do that and the birth was beautiful. Thank you.'
'I had always wanted to have a home birth without the use of drugs and intervention, so during my second pregnancy my husband and I decided to look at the possibility of having a doula to assist at the birth. As luck had it a friend of mine knew Diane and recommended her to us. We met soon after and I started having maternity reflexology with Diane, not only because it was deeply relaxing for myself ( I fell asleep every time!) but it was also beneficial for the baby. Indeed when my baby was born she was calm and contented and has continued to be a happy peaceful baby.
As for the birth I could not have wished for a more supported, natural, incredible experience. I had a very tiring stop-start week of on and off labour but after Diane administered some homeopathic remedies labour finally established itself. I was examined after about three hours and was very disillusioned to learn that I was only 3cms dilated. I thought I would be at least 8cms !!! Diane came into her own and gave me lots of encouragement and a mantra to repeat every time I had a contraction. After 2 more hours of strong labour I was ready to get into the birth pool we had hired. Within minutes I felt my baby being born and I didn't even push !!! My husband was in the pool with me and he caught her as she was born into the water. I had no pain relief - not out of stubbornness or idealism - but because I never even thought about it. I am convinced that was because I was relaxed, felt very supported and my own body produced all the endorphins and pain relieving hormones that I needed.
I cannot recommend Diane highly enough. She intuitively guided and supported me and my husband through the birth of our daughter and at those times during the labour when I thought I couldn't go on, she helped me focus and indeed hastened the labour !!! Diane helped us realise our dream of having a peaceful, non-medical, natural home birth and I truly cannot put a price on that.'