I'm Kicki Hansard
From Swedish Lapland to the Heart of England
Hello, I'm Kristina Hansard, though you might know me as Kicki. I was born in Asele in the magical land of Swedish Lapland. Imagine growing up where the midnight sun and Northern Lights are your everyday wonders. In 1990, I traded those icy wonders for the rich tapestry of England. Here, I embraced motherhood, giving birth to my two beautiful daughters at Watford General Hospital in 1998 and 2000.
A Career Pivot that Defined My Destiny
Before my girls came along, I was navigating the corridors of the IT industry, having trained as a Legal Secretary. But motherhood had other plans for me. One fateful Sunday, a magazine article introduced me to the term 'doula,' and it was like finding a missing puzzle piece. I trained with Kassandra Clements and Ingrid Lewis at BOND in London in July 2002. With this newfound wisdom and my own birthing experiences, I felt empowered and honoured to guide women and their partners through this transformative chapter of their lives.
My Academic Credentials
I'm not just about intuition and empathy, I've got the academic credentials to back it up. I hold a Diploma in Professional Relaxation Therapy and earned a BSc Open (Open) in 2011. I've also got a Certificate in Social Sciences from the Open University and a City & Guilds Level 3 Award in Education and Training.
Learning from the Titans
I've had the extraordinary privilege of meeting some of the most iconic figures in the birthing world. From Ina May Gaskin and Michel Odent to Sheila Kitzinger and the 'grandmothers of all doulas,' Penny Simkin and Phyllis Klaus, each encounter has been a treasure trove of wisdom - I've learned from the best. I even had the honour of inviting Penny back for a two-day workshop in 2013 and 2016.
My Literary Footprint
I've authored "The Secrets of Birth" and contributed to "The Roar Behind the Silence". My latest book, published in January 2020, is a guide for healthcare professionals supporting survivors of sexual abuse through pregnancy and childbirth, a subject close to my heart.
Media Appearances and Accolades
You might have caught me on the telly in ‘Mum + One,’ or perhaps you heard that I was honoured with the "Doula of the Year" award in 2009, presented by the fabulous Ricki Lake. I have also been interviewed for articles in Hello Magazine, Grazia and Fabulous. I've spoken at The Baby Show in London and conferences for birth workers.
A Founding Pillar of Doula UK
I'm not just a member of Doula UK, I'm one of its founding members. I've volunteered in a myriad of roles over a decade, from website administrator to head of external comms and Chair. I was the visionary behind the first Doula UK conference and was instrumental in initiating our ground breaking meetings with the Royal College of Midwives. I also championed Doula UK's membership in the MMHA and the 1001 First Days campaign.
Shaping the Future of Doulas
Since 2005, I've been moulding the future, training over 1,000 aspiring doulas. This isn't just a number, it includes many of the current course facilitators you'll encounter across the UK today. It fills me with a sense of quiet pride to have been a cornerstone in their educational journey. I've also taken my workshops global, spreading the doula magic to Australia and China.
My Legacy and Ongoing Journey
So here I am, not just a doula but a mentor, an educator, and a lifelong learner. My journey has been a kaleidoscope of incredible experiences, and I can't wait to see where the next turn takes me.