I’m Zara, an experienced birth and postnatal doula, recognised by Doula UK, and based in Surrey and South London. I wholeheartedly love what I do!
The doula is a relatively unknown concept but the role is as ancient as the hills. Women supporting women and mothering the mother is the foundation of empowering birth. It is an accepted part of welcoming a new life into communities across Africa, India, China and many other Eastern countries. Here in the West we’re now realising the incredible benefits of gathering a community of help around new parents.
Many people embarking on parenthood may not live close to family and friends and may not share their lives with them in an intimate way. As a result, new mums and dads have no immediate network to fall back on. A doula can provide extra support over and above any friends and family, and to enhance any private or NHS-led medical care involved with a new baby.
A bit about me and why I became a doula
I live in Godalming, Surrey with my husband Adie. We have two sons, Henry and Corry, born in 1995 and 1997. I gave birth to them both at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. Henry arrived with lots of intervention (argh!) and Corry naturally. It’s only with hindsight I realise how little I knew about pregnancy and childbirth and that I did have choice at every step of the way. I was extremely positive about giving birth before my first, after all, it just happens right?! I took a passive role in both births because at the time I had little information and hadn’t found my voice.
Raising our children has been the greatest pleasure and achievement in my life. Having been a doula for many friends over the years and with my sons growing up, I felt in a strong position to support and nurture other parents on their unique journey into parenthood, so I became a professional doula, registered with Doula UK. Offering encouragement, guidance and friendship in my capacity as a doula is an honour and the miracle of birth and new life never cease to amaze and inspire me.
I carry around the experience gained as a mother myself but also from my years working in business and learning how to communicate effectively.
I keep my knowledge fresh and up-to-date with regular study days and workshops, however my source of eternal wonder and learning comes from all families that I have had the pleasure to work with and know. My personal approach is to be intuitive and respectful of people’s differences of opinion and I’m always open minded. The way I live doesn’t influence the way I support my clients in the birth and postnatal capacities, supporting their own individual, unique and wonderful way of birthing and raising a family.
I’m a very good communicator, trustworthy, punctual, flexible, committed and I’m happy to fit in with you and your family dynamics. My outlook on life is very positive and I adore meeting people and watching new families flourish.
Outside of work, I love spending time with family and friends, my dogs and cats, laughter, the wonderful aroma and taste of good coffee, a glass of chilled white wine, running, walking, exploring our beautiful countryside, travelling, food, reading, art, doodling, music, film and theatre.
“Being a doula is a vocation, a calling. It is why we are so drawn to giving from our hearts. It’s not always joy and jellybeans though. When we make a pledge to walk with our clients we do so with fierce loyalty and sometimes this means journeying to places that we’d all rather not go…and yet, we walk by their side, support, hold and listen, seek out information, signpost, offer hugs and tea and care. Sometimes our thoughts keep us up at night, sometimes we’re called to a birth at 2am never knowing when we’ll return home. Sometimes we ‘do’ and other times we ‘do nothing’ We learn with every interaction, we make mistakes and have to apologize, we are told “I couldn’t have done it without you” but we doulas know different! Mostly there is an abundance of deep satisfaction as a doula but we all need the light and shade in order to grow” – Doulabud
My qualifications and experience
- Doula UK Doula of the Year Award 2018
- Doula UK Doula Mentor of the Year Award 2018
- I am pleased to be affiliated with Doula UK as a recognised birth and postnatal doula and as such abide by their rules and code of conduct
- I am a Doula Preparation Course facilitator for Developing Doulas
- I am a Doula Mentor for new doulas as they go through the recognition process with Doula UK
- I am proud to be the founding member of Surrey and Middlesex Doulas
- I am Co-Chair of The Royal Surrey County Hospital MVP
- I am a volunteer Doula for the long established charity Hestia offering support to vulnerable, homeless woman in and around London
- I can help you to alleviate the symptoms of PTSD using The Rewind Technique Here is a blog from Laura who experienced PTSD after being directly involved in a London terror attack. We were not sure how successful the the Rewind Technique would be. Read on to find out more: My Road to Recovery
- I offer the wonderful nurturing postnatal ritual Closing The Bones
- I am a fully qualified Hypnobirthing Teacher with KG Hypnobirthing and use my skills to support my doula clients rather than teaching it
- I am a certified Breastfeeding Counsellor with the ABM
- I appear in this documentary (released March 2018) as the Breastfeeding Counsellor offering support to Annie and Sonny. You can catch me at 20:40 Tiredness, Tears and Tantrums – Diary of a New Mum
- I am part of a team of four volunteers who run a Breastfeeding Support Group in Godalming
- I am a volunteer Breastfeeding Counsellor on the National Breastfeeding Helpline
- I am a baby wearing Peer Supporter certified through Born to Carry
- I attend regular CPD study days to ensure my ongoing learning and development
- I organise many study days, work shops and events for birth workers
Please get in touch if you think I might be right to walk this amazing journey with you and we can discuss your options.