midwife words

Birth experience

Here is the word from mothers who gave birth with doula in London. It is good to hear mother’s voices as it is. I will keep adding on. Please look at up to date Japanese mums birth and doula experence (in Japanese) if you like. (http://matriyoga.com/birthexperiencejap.html) or (http://matriyoga.com/doulajap.html)

★Lia birth experience: My birth experience went very well and how I intended (except the horrible triage visit). I felt confident prior to labour that Junko knew my birth plans and wishes and would be by my side to guide and support me. I asked my husband to tell Junko to come during labour and he assured me she was on the way. This melted away the stress I had felt in the triage with an unpleasant midwife. The team in the birth centre, midwife, international midwife learner and Junko all had a great energy and I knew I had a great team around me, despite being in the pains of labour. The massage provided on my lower back when it was hurting a lot really helped to alleviate some of the pain. The combination of having Junko as my doula, squeezing the comb, breathing gas and air and the birth pool were the essential components which helped me to have a smooth birth. The environment was very calming with relaxing music, the right people supporting me and the ambience.

Daniel(husband) birth expereince: As a birth partner, having the guidance of Junko throughout our pregnancy and birth journey was invaluable. As a first-time father, Junko provided us both with essential skills and expertise for childbirth as well as comfort during labour at the birth centre. Although the midwives present during the birth were very supportive, Junko’s presence and experience gave me additional reassurance and enabled me to support my wife in a controlled and calm manner throughout.

Lia doula expernece: Junko has been an amazing support to my pregnancy, birth and postpartum. She has a wonderful aura and calming presence. I love that Junko looks at a holistic approach to birth, explaining the scientific information as well as the mind and connections through breath and also looking at traditions through time. The documents provided are great to consolidate your knowledge and its good to be able to look back at the information if you have forgotten something. I felt much more confident having Junko as a support and source of information which alleviated any worries. Hearing the reassuring voice of Junko during the birth whilst in my labour trance really helped me and reassured me.
(Lia Pelentirides QCCH at Birth Centre Jan

★I had had a first baby during Covid where I had felt that my choices hadn’t been respected and I was feeling extremely apprehensive of going back to hospital to have my second baby. The Listening Midwife at C&W recommended I look into a doula to have someone help me and advocate for me during the birth, especially with any of the decisions I might have to consent to last minute. I found Junko on findmeadoula as the first person I emailed.

Junko was so prompt and organised in her responses to me, which gave me confidence that she would be able to advocate for me during the period at hospital. I also wanted to do some pre/postnatal yoga as I know it helps get me into a good zone and prepare for the baby. The yoga really helped me both get to know Junko and be responsive to her ways and suggestions, as well as stretch my body and prepare it for a natural labour and as natural a birth as possible.

I would not have had the same birth without Junko - from her responsiveness pre baby to questions to her immediately stepping into action when we called at 3am as I was having contractions and making sure I was as calm as possible. She had great ideas during the labour about what would help the baby and help me. Post birth she was even better, not only staying for 3hrs afterwards to make sure everything was okay with me and help breastfeed, to checking in on us twice afterwards to make sure baby and I were doing okay. Her support enabled me to get over the residual trauma of my first birth.

My birth experience was just what I asked for: an all-natural water birth, even though I did need stitches (again!) I feel I have made my peace with birth and this baby.

My husband thought you were there just the perfect amount, being really sensitive to his feelings and involvement, whilst still helping me. 

Junko, you were brilliant and I have been recommending a doula to every pregnant person I know! A real game changer for the pre-during-post birth experience, especially with regards to feeling in control amidst the surprises/complications of pregnancy and establishing breastfeeding.
Thank you! (Alice C&W April'23)

★I wanted to have a doula because I felt pretty alone during the birth of our first child. The medical team was very focused on the baby and did not seem trained to manage a birthing mother with no epidural. The whole experience had been stressful and painful. I knew Junko from yoga class and had extreme trust in her. I knew her presence during birth and her knowledge would give me strength and comfort.

Before birth, it helped me a lot to approach the experience with a relaxed mind. I knew I would be supported and understood and that gave me a lot of confidence.Unfortunately I had to be induced for medical reasons, and as the whole process was so quick, Junko was not present during the actual birth. But if I have another child, I very much hope she will!

This birth was very different than the last 2. I had to be induced, which I did not want to. Because this was unplanned and provoked, I chose to have the epidural (which I never had before). I don't regret because at the time, I was scared to beinduced; however I did see all the downside of having an epidural:
- I was sick immediately after birth
- I could not stand up for a few hours – felt lack of freedom and independence; which impacted the huge high I usually have after a natural birth
- I thought the urinary catheter was very unpleasant
If I have another child, there is no doubt I will aim to have it w/o epidural and with Junko!(Marguerite C&W Nov'22)

★I wanted to have someone who was experienced in childbirth both personally and professionally to help me through labour and the pain of labour as I wanted to have a medication free labour.

Having Junko as my doula helped me because when she would visit me in the run up to my due date she always made me feel calmer and more confident in myself and my baby. Her positive attitude and focus on the present moment really helped me feel calm in an otherwise anxious time. I also found that Junko helped me to understand better what my body would be doing physically during labour and how I canbest use movement to help the progress of labour. By the time my due date came, I felt very prepared for labour and very excited to have Junko with me to help with the experience. Junko helped with my mindset, encouraging me to focus on the present and letting go of expectations and judgements. I also feel more connected with my body, especially my breath and pelvic floor thanks to Junko!
Due to factors outside of our control, I ended up going 2 weeks overdue which resulted in me having a csection. Despite not being able to use Junko for the labour, she was incredibly helpful with guiding me through breast-feeding challenges in the early days afterwards. I would like to try a VBAC for my next
delivery and am planning to use Junko again. I would definitely recommend Junko as a positive, calm and knowledgeable doula!
Overall my birth experience was positive because baby and I are happy and healthy. There were certain aspects that I found very stressful at the time, they were all due to the pressures faced by the NHS. Despite my birth experience not turning out how I had hoped, I am at peace with it as I know that you cannot predict how birth will happen and I am grateful for a healthy outcome forme and baby. I am hopeful for the future as I would still like to experience the birth I had prepared for but am also at peace if this doesn't happen.  (Alex Qeen Carlottes July'22)

★My labour was a long windy road as the baby did not arrive until after 42 weeks and the situation at the hospital was changing every day due to the coronavirus outbreak in theUK. My wish to use the birth centre wasn’t fulfilled as we passed 42 weeks, and my husband and daughter could not join me at the labour ward as they started limiting the number of visitors at the hospital. Nevertheless, it was great to have Junko around as she provided mental support andcare during a somewhat intense time throughout the birth of our second daughter. As previously having an emergency c-section my wish was to have a Vbac natural birth this time round. For both my birth experiences, confronting general statistics and practices has been a stressful challenge (e.g both my kids were born 42w+ but without any issues from meconium etc) but Junko always listened, advised based on my personal circumstances and supported my decision which provided a huge relief and confidence. The actual labour was a whirlwind as I was 9cm dilated by the time we got to the hospital and after a few of hours of pushing, my daughter was delivered through forceps in the end. Although I went through an operation in the end, Junko was there throughout for us and her providing updates to my husband was a relief for our whole family. If you practice yoga during pregnancy, how did it helps during pregnancy and actual labour ? Attending and practicing yoga was helpful during pregnancy for me to relax and also readjust my body. It also reminded myself the importance of breathing whilst in labour which was a great help. The only regret is not been able to perform yoga/physical relief during the actual labour. (S.F UCLH)

★She started her labour during the evening, and it was extremely helpful to have Junko available to visit the house and ultimately accompany my wife to the hospital for the birth, so I could look after little daughter. Receiving the updates particularly after the birth was brilliant, as since I couldn't
attend, it was reassuring to know that S and the baby were both safe and generally well. (S.F husband)

★ Having a doula would undoubtedly help in this situation, however having Junko at my side was an incredibly moving and magical experience. From the moment we met in a cafe across The Portland Hospital, we connected as women and I knew that I could trust her with such an important and vulnerable
time in my life. I opened up to her and shared my traumatic past experiences in giving birth to our eldest daughter and subsequently to twins and Junko listened and understood all of my fears. She gave me not just her moral support and much needed encouragement that I needed but more importantly she shared with me her invaluable experience as a doula and gave me a vision of the kind of peaceful and magical birthing experience that I was deeply hoping for but thought was beyond my reach. Junko helped me to understand that the birth of our 4th child was to a large extent within my power and capability to control rather than seceding that control to the consultant that I had chosen. Armed with this knowledge and support, I was able to go into labour with focus and peace of mind. My husband was there for the delivery
of our baby holding my hand whilst Junko was holding the other. Junko was exactly what I had needed and wanted at my side during labour; she took initiative with the midwives and guided me into positions that eased the pain during labour without being intrusive. Her confidence was inspiring and kindness felt throughout the entire prenatal and postnatal experience. I’m eternally grateful for having met her and for her being such an essential part of what is one of the most powerful, intimate and important times of my life. Thank you. (B.G Portland)

★Having not come across the idea of a doula previously, Iwas a little sceptical of the idea. After the support andguidance we received during my wife’s labour, I’m a bigadvocate, and would highly recommend using one. My wife
was much more relaxed, during labour as a result of havingsomeone speak her native language and explain what washappening, and what to expect to happen next. It must bedifficult to give birth in a foreign country, when all the doctors
and nurses speaking in the local language, so havingsomeone there who is a native speaker, and understandsand explains everything. Junko was also I great help andsupport to me, and I would highly recommend her!
(M.F husband)

★ When I met Junko, I knew she was the perfect doulafor us. Her calm presence was so reassuring from thestart. Junko was always available, whenever I had aquestion or worry, Junko was always there to reassure me and sometimes remind me not to worry about the future but just focus on the present. Very important when it's your first pregnancy and your only benchmark is 'one born every minute'! Junko gave me the confidence and belief that a positive birth experience is very possible and that I could do it. When we made a birth plan together she encouraged me to visualise a magicalexperience and I was incredibly grateful that almost the whole vision
became reality on the big day. We celebrated the prelabour phase over breakfast as Junko immediately came over as soon as we told her the waves started and she was there to rub my back when needed and encourage me all the way until my water broke when it was time to go to the birth centre.With Junko on my side during birth, I felt such a big motherly love and care which gave me strength and the belief that my body is designed to do this. Junko stayed until after the baby was born and she came to visit a few days later to bring me my favourite pancakes and make sure we were all ok. Junko has become such a good friend and we still see her regularly for her wonderful yoga practice. I would highly recommend Junko to any woman who wants a
peaceful and spiritual birth! (D.G Queen charlottes)

★The birth experience was very overwhelming and I had no idea what an intense emotional journey it would be and how much I would depend on my husband. I was in early labor for three days before going into active labor after a sweep at the hospital. I handled this well with breathing and gentle yoga movements, but it was exhausting as it did not allow me to get much sleep before the real labor kicked in. I progressed really well at home with the support of my husband, Junko and nice warm baths. Junko encouraged me to lean into the contractions to help progress the labor. My water broke at home and unfortunately had meconium in it, which meant that we had to immediately go to the hospital and I could not have the water birth experience that I wanted. Junko and Chris did an excellent job however of supporting me in the more medicalised labor ward for a number of hours of intense labor. Unfortunately, the progression was not as quick as the doctors wanted given the meconium risk at which point they wanted to put me on a hormone drip. This was all rather emotional as I had wanted to avoid an epidural, but Junko and Chris supported my decision and importantly it allowed me to get some rest. I was still very much hoping for an active “push” phase to the labor once at 10cm. Junko and Chris supported me in moving around while on the epidural even though the hospital staff was not that keen on it as I knew that would help progress things. Unfortunately, at 9cm the baby’s heart rate was declining with each contraction and the doctors wanted to do a caesarean. This was very upsetting, but Junko and Chris both supported and comforted me emotionally during this time. Although our little girl was delivered via emergency section in the end, I felt I had done the best I could through the labor and unfortunately circumstances were just not supporting a natural birth. Our little girl was all that mattered and she was happy and healthy once delivered. It was still an incredible moment and I will never forget them bringing her to my chest in the theatre. (L.A Green UCLH)

★Our son's birth was a spectacular experience! He was b born just seven hours after my contraction, so labour was pretty fast and intense. But I felt completely prepared-even excited-at the beginning of labour. We spent the first four hours at home labouring in the privacy and our bedroom by ourselves, and that was particularly special. Our son came imminently ounce we make it to hospital- arriving not five minuets after I entered the birth pool. I did the whole thing without any pain medication on intervention, and I am certain that I was alto to accomplish this knowing that story women like Junko had don this before me! The week after the with were the difficult for us medically, but Junko was a supportive presence throughout that time. I now look back on my son’s birth with nothing but fondness. (S.H Chelsea and Westminster)

★My birth experience is like a miracle to me. When I entered hospital I knew I am going to fine, just didn’t know how. Pains are overwhelming. I don think music or anything can relieve the pain, but seeing my husband and doula gave me confident and standing by my side all the time. I somehow feel myself strong. (Sophie Chelsea and Westminster)

★Before labour - Junko helped me to get ready for birth and motherhood, thinking through pregnancy and birth, and giving time to celebrate everything that lay ahead. She helped me to develop a birth plan, so I went into the birth with well thought through ideas about how I wanted things to progress and an
idea of what to expect from her experience. She was also a constant
supportive presence for cups of tea and at the end of the phone for any
thoughts and questions that came up. It was extraspecial also to have Junko’s experience in yoga and breathing, and to learn breathing techniques and positions for active birth.

During labour and birth - I had a fairly long and difficult birth, as my daughter was back-to-back andafter 42 hours of natural labour we needed medical intervention, but still I walk on from the experience certain they were the most incredible days of my life thanks to the constant support of Junko as my doula. Despite the lack of sleep through two nights, Junko never left my side, providing constant encouragement to keep going. When I felt exhausted or in pain or anxious or all of those three at once, Junko reminded me how beautiful and positive this experience is, and she was right. I believe I would have given up on myself far earlier and felt I could not go on if Junko had not been there. As a result I had a birth I feel extremely proud of – she helped me to be as strong and joyful as I could be and it was therefore truly the most awesome experience of my life.Junko brought a confidence and experience to birth that put us at ease – I could rest assured that everything was ok, we were making the right decisions, as Junko could provide gentle guidance to us. Junko was able to get to know me and my beliefs and preferences so that she could represent my wishes to the medical teams. She supported these throughout. She was a gentle and peaceful presence and I am so glad and lucky she was there.

In the time immediately after giving birth - Junko showed us such love and care after Lola arrived. Her love of people young and old beamed through as she cared for both me and my daughter. After our experience of labour together, it was a joy to see Lola and Junko together. Despite being exhausted I am sure, Junko showed no signs of tiredness and still stayed with us.
Junko has a particular interest and expertise around breastfeeding and was
keen to make sure that feeding was established. As this is an area that can
prove challenging for many women this teaching was fantastic.

In the postnatal period - Junko stayed in close contact with us to make sure the first days and weeks went smoothly. It was a particular treat to have Junko come back to visit us, where we remembered the different stages of labour together and how Lola came into the world. Junko had written a very special letter for Lola to read when she is old enough. She had also taken lots of photos, which brought tears to my eyes to see and are a very special reminder

Overall - I can wholeheartedly recommend Junko as a doula to support pregnancy and birth. She was essential to me in getting through a challenging labour, and walking away feeling it was the most wonderful and meaningful experience of my life, where otherwise I may have felt it the most difficult. Any woman would be extremely lucky to have Junko by her side. (Laura - Queen charlottes)

★As I had regular communications with Junko, I became much more confident about the expected birth experience. She was always positive and extremely supportive. Whenever I had questions or hospital visits during the last stage of pregnancy, Junko was available to talk to me and calm me down. Because I knew I was in good care of her, I was able to relax completely and enjoy the pregnancy much more.

I called Junko when it was clear that I was in the first stage of contraction and she came to my home immediately. During the second stage of contraction, Junko helped me ease the pain by breathing together with me and giving me massage. She also supported my partner so he could be more involved.

I was comfortable staying at home as long as possible as I knew Junko would be able to detect when would be the right time to leave for hospital. During our journey to hospital, she calmly guided me for the best posture and let me hold on to her or explained if there was anything I could hold on to each time I had a contraction.

When we arrived at the birth centre of St Thomas hospital, we were told that I was 8 centimetres dilated but my baby was distressed. The midwife pressed emergency button and soon I was transferred from birth centre to hospital labour unit. However, despite the unexpected last minute complexity, I gave a natural and easy birth without taking any pain reliefs thanks to Junko’s support.

Immediately after birth, Junko stayed with me at the hospital for a while. As I was not fully aware of what had happened during birth, she and my partner helped me understand the situation before and during birth. She helped me with breast feeding of my new born and ensured I was ok before setting off for home after the sleepless long night.

Junko telephoned me regularly to see how I was doing and also visited me at home to help with breastfeeding. I talked to her regularly and on her second visit, she showed me and my partner how to bath and massage baby. She also showed me pelvic floor exercise and some exercises I could do to ease backpain.

Although my mother was supporting me during the postnatal period, Junko’s recent experience and professional knowledge of childbirth were of great help for us. (E.Y St Thomas)

★Very helpful! Although labour was rather fast it was great having Junko there. Help with the breathing was especially useful and counting through the contractions. More hands-on massage and verbal guidance through the pain could have been a real benefit.

Very helpful! Although labour was rather fast it was great having Junko there. Help with the breathing was especially useful and counting through the contractions. More hands-on massage and verbal guidance through the pain could have been a real benefit. (KS Chelsea & Westminster)

★Forever indebted for your brave efforts. A miracle indeed! A big Thank YOU from all. (M.D ground father Queen Charlottes)



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