“Thank you for all your help and hard work. It was definitely not the [homebirth] I had planned, but it was the beautiful, empowering and healing birth that I had longed for. You gave me confidence in myself and my body and held the space to ensure it was listened to by others and most importantly by myself. You helped me to make Hazel’s entrance into the world calm and peaceful and for that, I am forever grateful.”
I am an experienced doula having been present at more than 100 births since I trained with Nurturing Birth in 2009.
I strongly believe that everyone has a right to a positive birth experience and I know that this can mean different things to different people.
Through support, active listening and advocacy, I help parents to express their individual needs and the context for their own choices and decisions.
Exploring what matters and what is likely to happen is key to confident decision making and my role is to help you to explore these areas and to facilitate confidence in your own expertise.
Needless to say, I do not believe in a ‘one size fits all’ model and I am certainly not there to tell you how to have your baby!
As a doula, I draw on my own life experiences and professional development to inform my practice. I have previously worked in the field of substance misuse and mental health, social and health policy and holistic health. I have a passion for world travel and learning about different cultures and their approach to birth and early parenthood and have my own children and grandchildren to act as a constant reminder about the importance of bringing life into the world and the never ending role of nurturing and parenting our offspring and our communities.
I have the privilege of facilitating the learning of new doulas on the Developing Doulas course and I have been mentoring (doulaing) other doulas for many years.
I teach hypnobirthing (small groups) and I work with Maddie McMahon and Emma Ashworth to bring our ‘Rights and Consent in Childbirth’ course to as many doulas and midwives as we can through our quarterly online workshop.
I am always telling new doulas “you are enough – you don’t need to advertise a long list of ‘specialist’ skills”! Saying that, I have of course explored some specialist interests to fuel my own curiosity and passions. These include breastfeeding and feeding issues, use of a rebozo, biomechanics of birth, closing the bones ceremony, birth blessings, 3 step rewind for birth trauma, homeopathy in pregnancy and childbirth and more. Ultimately though, the only true expert in the room will be you and I will do all that I can to ensure that you have sufficient tools and resources to know that.
My own journey into the world of birth workers began in 2009 when, as a qualified homeopath, I was asked to attend a friend’s birth to prescribe homeopathic remedies as an alternative to conventional pain relief. At this birth, I learned that with the right support, birth can be calm, comfortable and empowering. She told me afterwards that she didn’t ask for pain relief (homeopathic or otherwise) because she didn’t need anything. My conclusion was that with the right preparation, the right support and the right environment, birth could be pain free. I decided to take this interest further and in 2010, I trained with Nurturing Birth to become a recognised birth doula. Since that time, I have worked with many amazing midwives to help many many families, supporting and empowering them to have a positive birth experience.
“Verina was there for me before, during and after the wonderful homebirth of my son Johan. Being a doula myself, people were surprised that I would have a doula at my own birth but I had no doubt in my mind that I wanted a doula and that Verina was the doula for me. Verina is a very nurturing, a caring and genuine person and a great source of information”. (Marie De Jonge)
For parents to be, I am able to provide you with individualised care and support before, during and after birth, enabling you to maintain optimum health and prepare for your new arrival.
I can tailor my services to your needs:
Support during pregnancy
Homeopathy for pregnancy and childbirth
Mother Blessing Ceremonies
Breast feeding support in early days and signposting to infant feeding specialists and lactation consultants
Closing the Bones (Postnatal Ritual and Massage)
Mentoring for Birth Doulas
All of my fees are negotiable and will respect your circumstances. Please don’t let financial hardship stop you getting in touch. I am open to reducing or spreading payments.