Hello I'm Shellie Poulter, The Serenity Doula, nice to meet you. Welcome to my website. Click here for an introduction about doulas, go to the menu above to explore my website or look below for bookings, lecture recordings, courses etc.
Supporting you through
Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond
To learn about my Serenity Online Hypno-birthing and Mindfulness Course
What is a Doula?
The word Doula (pronounced doola) comes from the Greek word meaning a woman who serves.
A doula should have no judgement, their role is simply to nurture unconditionally, through care, support and love, so that birthing people can focus their energies on loving and caring for their babies and themselves.
A doula believes in “mothering the mother” - enabling you to have the most satisfying and empowered time that you can during pregnancy, birth and the early days as a new parent. This type of support also helps the whole family to relax and enjoy the experience as doulas also support birth companions..
To learn more about the evidence behind the support of a doula and how we can help you to have a shorter labour with less likelihood of intervention of any kind including pain relief and how it is more likely to help you to have a birth experience to be satisfied and happy with, no matter how your baby is born, please read my blog post: "What is a doula and why should everyone have one?"
I am hugely passionate about my work as a doula and believe everyone who would like a doula present should have one. I volunteer for an amazing charity, The Happy Baby Community, who support mothers seeking asylum from human trafficking, torture and war. A percentage of my private fees as a doula always goes to the Happy Baby Community to help provide antenatal, birth and postnatal support to vulnerable mothers who would otherwise be birthing alone.
"Discovering that Shellie was available as a doula is the best thing that happened to me and my partner during our pregnancy and birth. I had developed fears around birthing in a hospital and started to feel very anxious about it. I had gone from waking in the night imagining our beautiful baby girl to waking and feeling fear and sadness and like my connection with my unborn child had diminished. We decided to visit Shellie to see if she could help us and within minutes my fears were replaced with the feelings of joy and excitement that I thought I had lost. I was smiling again and loved the feeling that we would now be working with Shellie towards preparing for the birth, so comprehensively, that no matter what the outcome, I knew we would all handle it together. We wanted a home birth but had discussed the possibility of things not going to plan and because of this, I knew that even if we were blue-lighted to hospital, Shellie would be present supporting us in every way we needed. We had all discussed my birth wishes so I knew Shellie would be able to communicate these in case I couldn’t.
The material available on Shellie’s website supporting birth preparation was exactly what I had been looking for and couldn’t find online. Her relaxation audios were a wonderful way to focus every day or as often as possible so that I became very used to accessing a calm place in my mind and therefore my body. Her video explaining exactly what the muscles are doing during birth also helped me visualise the process and was something I personally really needed.
During the birth itself everything went to plan and I know that this is due to Shellie’s calm energy and the preparation she helped us with. She instinctively sensed what I needed at any given time which was very magical because it meant I could focus on what my body was doing. Having Shellie there meant that I could let go of any fears I may have been harbouring and I also didn’t need to feel responsible for my husband and his experience because he too was so supported. At times when I felt concerns arising Shellie would smile and tell me that these were all good signs and that it was a natural part of the process to have these concerns. I realised she was right and looking back it’s such a gift to be able to turn something that seems like a problem into a solution. Knowing everything was as it should be meant that the fears dissipated, keeping adrenaline at bay and allowing me to just focus on progressing the birth by feeling calm.
After the birth I became fearful of the midwives who wanted to examine me. Shellie sat next to me and rested her hand on me so that we were connected the whole time. When I’d had enough, Shellie supported me when I needed to communicate this to the midwife so that she would stop. Shellie was gentle but firm and she enabled me to assert my boundaries in that particular situation. I know it can sometimes feel like you can’t say “no” to someone in a uniform but we were able to do so in a way that was very empowering and safe.
Shellie stayed with us and made sure we were ready before she left by talking to us and sensing when we felt safe for her to go. Having been through such an intense experience I realised very quickly that had Shellie not been with us a lot of my fears may have halted my progression. Because of this I am forever thankful beyond words that we were lucky enough to enjoy a natural, drug free birth in the comfort of our home, surrounded by family and animals. We have a very happy, calm baby who sleeps well and I like to think that our beautiful birth has contributed to that. It was unforgettable and I can’t wait to do it again!!" Amy-Rose