I first met Lisa whilst pregnant with my first child when I attended Pregnancy yoga in 2005. After the birth of my son, I joined the Baby Yoga class she ran.
Joining these classes helped me meet other like-minded people and I forged some wonderful friendships. Inspired by Lisa's calming nature and knowledge of pregnancy, helped us all with our first time parent worries.
I continued to enjoy the Pregnancy yoga classes whilst pregnant with my next two children. It was however during my last pregnancy that I found Lisa's knowledge life changing.
She inspired me to follow my need of achieving a natural birth after two traumatic C-Sections. Arming me with knowledge where to gain positive advice helped to tackle the negative attitude put before me from the consultants.
I then approached Lisa regarding whether she could offer me support during my labour as I had heard she had been a birthing partner before.
I wasn't too sure of what I needed whether it was yoga or relaxation. I just knew I needed to stay out of hospital for as long as possible as I knew intervention could prevent a natural birth.
Lisa agreed to support me and advised a few sessions of Cranio Sacral therapy beforehand to see exactly what kind of support I may need.
What can I say?...
The weeks before the birth were life changing. The two sessions of therapy I received put me on an incredible journey.
They made me talk about concerns and worries I had in my life but also helped to focus upon the positive aspects.
I discussed feelings and experiences that I have never talked about before. It was very therapeutic and I felt it put me in the right frame of mind to give birth, putting to rest any negative feelings that may have hindered me.
I felt extremely empowered and even more determined to stand up for what I believed in.
When I went into labour, Lisa came to the house and was just an incredible support. She kept me calm, relieved my back pain through the cranio therapy and gave good advice when we needed to make decisions in hospital.
She kept fuelling me with confident words and advice and got me through the labour. I never intended for her to attend the birth but she helped so much it would have felt wrong her not being there. I think her presence in the hospital took immense pressure off my husband and I by preventing us being 'bullied' into making unnecessary decisions. It helped Tim and I focus more on the labour instead of time worrying about medical intervention.
I had no pain relief during my labour and I believe this was down to Lisa. My mind became so focussed with her help that my body took over and did what nature intended. I found the labour quite an amazing experience. I did take some convincing that the baby's birth was imminent, as I didn't believe the feeling could be so positive and speedy after the trauma of the previous births where I was in hospital for days!
When my daughter entered the world, I have never felt so elated.
I will be eternally grateful for Lisa's support during 'my journey' as I call it as she played such an important part in my life as well as my daughters. She is an amazing woman and I will never forget this special time in my life and look forward in the coming years of telling Carys all about her!
Helen Pritchard. 2009.
Lisa is available as a doula. She will tailor her support according to your needs and circumstances. For more information contact Lisa.