Welcome, I'm Helena (she, her) a birthkeeper who specialises in vaginal birth after caesarean birth, usually known as VBAC. I'm also a wife, mum of three, flower remedy practitioner, crystal hoarder, selenophile, Gryffindor, bibliophile, stationery addict, pluviophile, thalassophile, 40-something-year old woman who likes interesting words, eats too many biscuits and has pink hair (I need to update the pic below!). I've been a doula since 2014 and at the time of writing I have supported around 40 births in that period. One of the things that drew me to birth work is the core belief that women and birthing people have autonomy over their own bodies, and that birth is something we own, not a medicalised procedure that happens to us.
If you've been wondering where the word 'birthkeeper' comes from, it was first coined by Jeannine Parvati Baker in the 1970s. It's an evolution of the term 'earthkeeper' used by environmentalists at the time. Ms Baker was an inspiring mix of activist, yogini and midwife, who had the wisdom and spirit to know that saving the earth begins with birth and one of the greatest acts of environmentalism is to bring our babies earthside as gently as possible. Two of her most well known sayings are 'Healing the earth through healing birth', and 'Peace on earth begins with birth'. For me, Birthkeeper is a beautiful word, a sacred word, which resonates deep within my soul.
Once a month I facilitate the Badass Birth Edinburgh group, which meets on the last Saturday of the month at Beetroot Sauvage, 10-11.30 am. This is a free, inclusive group where everyone with an interest in birth is welcome. Unfortunately this is currently on hold due to the current guidance on social distancing, but I'll keep you posted.
'Absolutely brilliant doula - I couldn't have managed the water VBAC without your amazing help and focus. My husband agreed you were absolutely indispensable. I can't recommend you more highly and am very grateful!
If you have the chance to have Helena as your doula, seize your opportunity - she is fantastic! She was amazing in the birth room. Just so focused and practical and proactive and creative. My husband says the same.'
Want to know my credentials? Look no further!
'Asking your husband to be your sole guide through labor is like asking him to lead the way on a climb of Mt Everest. He may be smart and trustworthy, you may love him, but in the Himalayas you’d both be a lot better off with a Sherpa!'
Pam England, author