Hi! I'm Katina, an IBCLC and doula. my passion lies in providing evidence-based education and support both before and after your baby has arrived.
When you’re expecting a baby, the focus is often on the birth, that’s the goal, that’s the big event. Most antenatal classes are mainly designed to prepare you for birth. I totally get that, as birth preparation makes a huge difference, but what about feeling more prepared for life from that day onwards. How do I know when my baby needs feeding? When can I return to my exercise class? Should I be concerned about my babies sleep, fussy behaviour, poo colour? No doubt you’ll have an everlasting list of questions, & that’s normal. So becoming a little more prepared about what to expect, & having support when you need it, can make a huge difference to your postnatal journey.
I work alongside parents during their pregnancy and postnatal journey.
Some parents know exactly what they need to flourish. They know that for them, some additional support is exactly what’s missing, & a Doula will be the perfect solution. Some parents want to know what’s coming up, what to expect. They don’t want too many surprises, & they feel anxious & unprepared for what’s about to happen. Having a Doula alongside you at any stage can make you feel calmer, understand what’s normal, & support you to fit into your new & exciting role with less anxiety & more confidence. Asking for help & support is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. Doing something to make a positive difference to your journey as a parent is empowering.
While I support parents at any stage of their journey, I’ll always be helping you think more about what happens after your baby arrives. Postnatal education should start antenatally, so we don’t trip up the moment something happens we didn’t expect. Before your baby arrives it’s important to have some knowledge about early feeding, normal infant behaviour & how you’ll be feeling in those early days & weeks. If we have more knowledge, we can understand what’s happening. If we understand, we’re more prepared & less worried. Partners & family also need to be on the same page, so they can best support you too.
Six weeks before having my first baby, we moved to a new town, away from family & friends. I was really clear in my mind that we would do it on our own – our choice to have a baby, our responsibility. My favourite saying was “I’m not going to hang out with mums drinking tea”. Well, it didn’t take me long to realise that support around you is crucial. I found my village of support among the other new mums I met, & by volunteering at our local breastfeeding group & NCT group. Your own ‘village of support’ (however that looks for you), is something I love to help parents with. I was once asked to volunteer at school & ‘move on’ from working with parents & babies. The reason I didn’t ‘move on’, was because I’ve found my niche & that makes me happy.
Roll on 13 years and I'm now a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and Doula. I also run a supportive parent and baby group.
In 2016 I set up a website for parents in my local area, to keep them updated with all the groups, classes & activities on offer. I’ve learnt so much over the years, surrounding myself with bumps, boobs & babies. I chose to train as a Doula with Kicki Hansard, as she’s highly regarded in her field. I’ve also trained in mental health support, pelvic floor & first aid. For infant sleep I’ve trained with Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre, & with Lyndsey Hookway IBCLC. To learn more about colic, reflux & allergies I chose the Babyem course, tutored by Shel Banks IBCLC. I’m now a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) too.
Yes, I am fussy about who I train with, because I want the best evidence-based information and professional experience to learn from.
I've really enjoy learning & putting everything into practice.
Benefits of working with a Doula
- Feel prepared for what to expect in those early days & weeks with your new baby
- Be one step ahead of the common things which cause parents to worry
- Be more likely to reach your own breastfeeding goals
- Be supported, listened to & respected in a non-judgemental way
- Get your questions answered
- Learn & discover from up to date evidence-based information
- Be less anxious
- Have more confidence in your own abilities
- Understand that you are the expert & are in control
- Be reassured with a doula alongside you on your own journey
- Understand that your own intuition teamed with evidence-based information & support makes for a great combination
- Feel empowered in your new role