Introducing Saffron Garside, BirthBliss Doula Of The Month, January 2018.
I live in Chiswick in London with my husband and two young children. I have been working as a birth and postnatal doula for just over two years - and I absolutely love it! I also co-run LoveBirth London (empowering antenatal classes for expectant parents) with fellow BirthBliss doula Olivia Southey.
What inspired you to become a doula?
I had two very positive births, but those around me did not. It didn’t seem right that so much was left to chance - that you were “lucky” if you didn’t feel traumatised! I wanted to make a difference to as many women as possible.
What did you do for a living before becoming a doula and if so, how has this helped you when working as a doula?
I have a degree in Philosophy and worked in a bar! I tried to juggle both for a while, but it wasn’t easy!
What has been the highlight of your doula career so far?
Every birth is so wonderful to be part of - I’ve hearing the clients’ stories and seeing those months of dreaming and planning come to fruition!
What have you found the most difficult?
It’s always a challenge not to overburden yourself emotionally with your clients’ feelings. Remembering to take time for myself has been my hardest lesson.
Can you share one lesson you have learnt through your work as a doula?
That it doesn’t matter how many women you work with, each one has something new to teach you!
What is the one essential item you can't be without in your doula kit?
A good book! Sometimes there can be a lot of waiting to do, especially at the hospital. If you’re client is sleeping, or you’ve been asked to nip out while they have an epidural, you need something to keep you occupied (and awake!). I find poetry books are good, they are often inspirational and you can share snippets with your client!
And finally, what would be your one piece of advice to a woman who is considering training as a doula?
If you feel compelled to do it - do! You won’t regret it, and it will keep niggling away anyway!
Kicki Hansard is a member of Doula UK, however any opinions expressed on this blog are personal views and not necessarily the view of Doula UK.