Helen Fortes

‘Hi, I’m Helen, I live in Bury St Edmunds and I have been a mentored birth and mentored postnatal doula since February 2020. I am passionate about informed consent and ensuring that my clients are always at the centre of their maternity care.

I see my role, as a doula, as a supporter of your exploration of the options available to you in all stages of your journey as a new or expanding family, to become more informed and empowered. I do not expect you to reach the same conclusions as me, nor do I want you to have a birth ‘my way’: Simply, I want you to feel happy and contented with the decisions you have made. There are many comfort measures available to you when you are in labour. If you have learnt about them beforehand and practised relaxation and breathing techniques, then you can choose for yourself which to you feel will suit you best. I can support you to find relaxation techniques that work for you and may allow you to feel more relaxed in labour, including creating an appealing birthing environment, using my knowledge of rebozo techniques, hip squeezes, the use of homeopathic remedies and positive affirmations.

In the birth room, I keep in mind your preferences throughout the birth and aim to empower you to have a positive birthing experience. In the run up to your birth, we will have had a number of planning sessions, informal messaging and phone/video calls, and throughout this I will have gained a thorough understanding of the birth that you ideally want to achieve, the things you are happy to try and all the areas that, for you, are non-negotiables. I can help with putting together a Birth Preferences/Birth Plan and support your preparation for the new baby, wherever the birth is planned to take place. Every birth is amazing, and I believe wholeheartedly in your right to make choices for your body, your birth and your baby.

The practical support offered postnatally can vary according to your individual requirements, but generally includes: support for new parents in bathing, handling, burping, calming techniques, sleeping patterns and newborn development, breastfeeding and/or bottle-feeding support, allowing you time to sleep, have a shower or bath while I care for your baby/babies, household tasks including laundry, light housework, shopping, cooking, running errands, supporting older siblings, school runs, homework supervision. I can also stay overnight if required and look after your baby so that you can sleep and regain your strength. In order to provide emotional support, I will provide a listening ear should you wish to talk through your feelings.

I am a trauma-informed practitioner, with many years of experience working with young people who have experienced trauma. In order to further support my clients, I have also recently trained in the 3-step-rewind process to address emotional responses to traumatic memories. I have also attended additional training events on physiological breech birth and perinatal mental health.’

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07729 817250

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