Hi there and welcome!
I’m so glad you made it to my page.
It is such an exciting time when you are pregnant, but it can also be full of anxiety and worries.
How on earth are you supposed to navigate the maze of horrors stories and conflicting advice on your own?
Where will you have your baby? You’d like to try the lower end of the medical spectrum, like a birth centre maybe, but what happens if you change your mind and then decide you want an epidural?
The good news is : you don’t have to make the decisions on your own.
I think every parent should have a doula, and I’m not just saying that because I am one. But I had one myself when my children were born, so I know how brilliant doula support is.
One of my big bugbears is that, in our nuclear family culture, we haven’t seen babies being born (well apart from on TV but that’s another topic altogether), we haven’t grown up around babies, or even seeing others looking after babies, so we know nothing (many of us haven’t even changed a nappy!). So how on earth are we are supposed to find our way through something we know nothing about? Many of us live far away from our families as well. In such a culture, the support of an experienced, friendly, professional “mother figure” is not a luxury.
Heck, I feel so passionate about this, that I left a 20 years long career as a scientist to be doing this for you! (you can read more about that https://sophiemessager.com/why-did-i-leave-science-to-become-a-doula/).
I’ve always been passionate about my job by the way, I left France in 20 years ago to pursue my career as a biology research scientist. It was supposed to be only for a year, ah ah! I never expected to stay that long, but during my first postdoc in Aberdeen, Scotland, I got offered a job, then met my Hong Kong born husband Chi. We moved to Cambridge in 2001, got married, and had two kids, Sebastien (born in 2006) and Charlotte (born in 2009). Their births (both very positive experiences supported by a doula), changed my passion completely, so after much soul searching and retraining, I left my scientific career behind so dedicate myself to my new passion, which is supporting YOU!
So what have got to offer you?
Like a Sherpa or a mountain guide, I will be there every step of the way to guide you through the maze of options and choices, so you can make the decisions that are right for YOU. That’s right. I have no agenda (except making sure you have all the info to make a true informed decision). That is truly what makes a doula special -who else is going to listen to you in such an unbiased way?
I’ve been working as a doula and antenatal educator for over 6 years. I have supported over 40 families through birth and over 40 families post natally as a doula, and about 300 families as an antenatal teacher so I know the maternity system in and out, I have a lot of connections with local health professionals and complementary practitioners.
As a birth doula, I have supported women and their partners through very different births in different settings in the Cambridgeshire area. I have experience with natural births (at home, in birth centre and in obstetric unit), water births, hypnobirths, and with more medicalised births, such as inductions, VBACS, assisted births, and cesareans births (including been present in theatre during cesareans and assisted births).
I’m a birth geek and knowledge junkie (I guess the science brain is never going away!), and a bit of an alternative hippy too, so I’ve done (and still doing!) a lot of extra training and CPD, ranging from the hard science to the complete woo. So I know a wide range of labour comfort measures such as massage, using a rebozo, relaxation, breathing and healing techniques, which I can both teach you and your partner and/or use if you need them during labour.
Apart from my doula training, I also have a degree in antenatal education (I was a NCT antenatal teacher for 5 years), I teach a range of workshops for birth workers, and I am a baby wearing instructor and a Reiki master teacher. I am also a trustee of Birthlight, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhance the health and well being of women and their families.
Related skills and qualifications:
Developing doulas course DiPHE antenatal education, University of Bedfordshire Baby wearing instructor courses : Clauwi, Trageschule UK, Slingababy. Reiki master teacher training