BIRTH STORIES & TESTIMONIALS
DOULA BIRTH STORIES
Choosing to have some extra support during the birth of my second child was the best decision we made throughout the process.
Getting pregnant during the pandemic meant I spent a lot of my early pregnancy worrying about the labour. I had had a very calm and relaxed first birth and really wanted to replicate that as much as possible with my second, but as the weeks and months went by I felt more and more anxious, so my husband suggested getting a doula and we found Carly who lived really near us.
Even from the first meeting with Carly she put my mind at rest and helped me work out what it was that was making me anxious and from that point on we had a regular contact; she answered any of my questions during the run-up to the labour.
Carly supported all of my choices and was there just to facilitate what my husband I wanted. She had so much knowledge and a very holistic approach to birth. She guided us with decision-making with no pressure or agenda.
Sadly I didn’t get the home birth I was hoping for and ended up in the labour ward with a grumpy midwife. This could have been a really difficult situation to handle, but because we had Carly there to support us, we managed to make a fairly medicalised birth feel like a calm and happy natural one. She helped me navigate decisions within the room and because she knew what I really wanted, she was able to fight my corner when I became unable to say how I wanted things done.
I walked out of the hospital having only had my waters broken to help the birth come quicker and I know this was because of Carly, if she hadn’t been there I would have been fully induced, which I really wanted to avoid! We have a happy and healthy little girl and I had an incredibly quick recovery. We are so indebted to Carly for helping us.
I would suggest to anyone who is thinking about it, do it, it made all the difference and gave me the confidence I needed!
Danni & Henry
“Working with Carly for the birth of our first child was one of the best decisions and investments on our journey to parenthood.
We met with a few different doulas before meeting Carly and it was clear from the start that Carly’s warm nature, professional and personal experiences, and crystal-clear communications were exactly what we were looking for.
The pre-birth sessions with Carly were very practical and informative, which helped settle our minds. She came armed with useful knowledge, tips and even a template that we used for our birth plan.
When we went into labour it was great to have Carly at the end of the phone to discuss and provide guidance on breathing and pain management strategies.
Carly was right there by our side when we had to leave for the hospital, providing a reassuring voice and an extra pair of hands to help with things like navigating the taxi and helping with our hospital bags.
Once we were admitted, Carly’s presence as our birth partner was truly invaluable. Words really can’t express how much Carly helped us manage the labour highs and lows! She was brilliant as our birth advocate and helped us cope with the labour pains in the birthing pool – even providing a sturdy hand to hold.
When things didn’t go quite as planned in the birthing centre, Carly kept us calm and provided continuity of support in the labour ward. When we were finally able to go home with our newborn daughter, Carly was right there, helping to debrief on the birth and to provide fantastic advice on sleeping and breastfeeding.
Carly brought a sensitive, calming and practical presence to our birthing journey and her experience – both professionally as a doula and personally as a mother of three – was clear from the start of our work together. We felt calm and more knowledgeable, which was helpful for both of us but for Dom, in particular.
We would highly recommend Carly to anyone looking for birth doula.”
Julles, Dom & little Lulu
Chris: “Some friends had told us that the best prenatal preparation they did was Carly’s ‘Yoga for Birth’ class. We signed up and found it excellent.
The class was pitched just right for us, with a balance between the theory/physiology of what happens in the different stages of birth and what positions and breathing exercises would help. We had briefly talked about having a doula and after the session we both thought that Carly would be perfect for us. We liked her relaxed and pragmatic style and she was clearly very knowledgeable. We feel so lucky to have made this choice.
Meeting Carly before and after the birth was really helpful and her presence on the day of birth was invaluable. She was a rock for us. During the early labour we were nervous as we didn’t know if things were going as they should. Carly was so reassuring and calming. I was able to focus on supporting Lizzy, helping her concentrate on her breathing and massaging her through contractions. Carly supported us both, ensuring we kept hydrated, and talking us through any decisions that needed to be made.
Carly had the perfect sense of when to help and when to leave us to it.
She knew our birth plan and was able to answer the midwife’s questions, letting us stay focussed. I expected the birth to be stressful and traumatic, it was neither. Carly helped keep us calm and so a lot more present in the moment, which made it a really positive experience for us both. My wife’s labour was straightforward and I think Carly’s support played a big part in this. I am very grateful that she was able to be our doula”
Lizzie: “When I was pregnant, I thought about having a doula but wasn’t sure how to find the right person to share such an intimate life experience with. Thankfully, when I met Carly I knew straight away that her calm, grounded manner and knowledgeable professionalism would make her the perfect person to accompany us through our baby’s birth. After a complicated pregnancy, I was anxious about the birth itself. Carly helped us write a birth plan, suggesting things to think about and talking us through different options. As a result, I felt a lot more confident, even when I went into labour 3 weeks early!
When I arrived at hospital I spent some time on an antenatal ward as I was not yet in established labour. I am so glad Carly was there, as there weren’t many midwives around and we would otherwise have been left to our own devices. Carly reassured us as the contractions got stronger, liaised with the midwife to make sure I was given gas and air when I needed it and ensured I was moved to the labour ward at the right time. She even got food and drinks for my husband when we needed them.
Once on the labour ward, Carly worked as a team with our midwife and my husband, complementing the midwife’s role and keeping us calm throughout. I am immensely grateful that my daughter’s entrance to the world was uncomplicated and the beginning of our life as a family was natural and gentle, particularly as the pregnancy had been so difficult. It was very helpful to have a debrief with her a week or two after the birth to process the experience, something lots of Mums don’t have the opportunity to do but is really important.
I think back on the birth as a really positive experience and I credit Carly with that. I think she is a natural doula and have recommended her to lots of my friends.
Chris & Lizzie
“Carly supported my partner and me through my extremely long and difficult labour. She remained warm, calm, thoughtful and attentive throughout."
Jess & Ollie
“It felt like Carly and my husband were my teammates during birth. Carly facilitated my husband to be fully there for me and relieved some of the anxieties that might have made it harder for him”
Fran & Ben
“The perfect homebirth I hoped for ended in a c-section and I couldn’t have got through it without Carly’s support“
Davina & Jonathan
Carly was our doula for the birth of our first baby, Olive. We were planning a homebirth and knew we wanted a doula to support us, but we had trouble finding someone who felt right. Inviting someone to share this most intimate and personal moment is a hard decision, but when I met Carly through her antenatal yoga I knew she’d be the doula for us! Her online yoga classes became a real lifeline during the long days of lockdown, giving me time to reconnect with my baby, body and breathing. It was a great way to escape the madness and meet other expectant mummas.
Carly was incredible support for us in the lead up to and during the birth.
In our antenatal sessions, Carly talked us through what we could expect, described the changes that my body and baby would go through during labour and got us to act out different labour and birth positions (She even tolerated it when we got the giggles during breathing practice). In the weeks leading up to the birth, Carly was also always on hand if I needed to talk and made helpful suggestions to help overcome any fears or challenges.
On the day itself, Carly was such amazing support for both me and my husband. I think labour could be overwhelming for two first time parents, but Carly’s calm reassurance and practical support gave us the confidence and peace of mind to stay at home. She set up the birth pool single-handed. She reassured us while we waited for the midwives to arrive. But for me, it was the little things that Carly did that made the biggest difference: rolling a soft towel up to rest my knees on in the bath and take the pressure off; placing my positive affirmations in my eye line so I could see them when I looked up between contractions; pouring warm water over my back and a cooling flannel on my face. Each was so intuitive and exactly what I needed at that moment in my labour.
We can never thank Carly enough for helping us bringing our beautiful daughter into the world and ensuring our birth experience was a positive one. We would recommend her 1000 times over!
Jo, Alex & Olive
YOGA & HYPNOBIRTHING TESTIMONIALS
Carly’s pregnancy yoga classes have been my saving grace through all trimesters of my pregnancy as a first time mom. I took one in-person class with her before the COVID-19 lockdown and all the rest of our classes have been online, which has worked perfectly. I’ve been able to keep active throughout my pregnancy at a time when I didn’t feel safe to exercise outside everyday.
Her online teaching has been visually and audibly clear and consistent, and most importantly, I’ve learned very practical positions for labour and child birth, as well as states-of-mind, visualisations and breathing techniques which I feel have directly prepared me for the big day. With the added mummy discussions at the end of each class, I’ve gotten ALOT more out of her yoga classes than I thought I would. I can’t imagine surviving pregnancy during a pandemic without her classes!
I was so impressed with her knowledge, that my partner and I enrolled in her online antenatal and Hypnobirthing course as well. Over 4 weeks, we learned all about the practical process of labour and childbirth, couples positions for labour and hypnobirthing techniques (with the aid of digital reading materials).
The online classes worked remarkably well and gave my partner and I a confidence in knowledge and respect of our own wishes as first-time parents that we didn't have before. She really empowered us with information and her knowledge as a doula, mum and yoga teacher of many years. My partner is particularly relaxed now in how he’ll support me on the big day, which puts me further at ease.
Carly really is a generous teacher and we’re so grateful… I highly recommend her classes and courses, online or otherwise!
Kamala & Ben
After finishing our NCT classes, I felt more anxious about the birth and broke down on my partner, saying I wasn't ready for this... A couple of days later he showed me Carly's website and said we should call her. We've been sceptical this whole time about hypnobirthing, but it was more and more mentioned amongst our friends as the thing to do! From our first conversation with Carly, she said she loved sceptical people, and hypnobirthing was very logical, and she'd be happy to help us.
Note: I felt it was too late as I was already 36 weeks, but she assured me it was never too late.
Straight away after our first session with her, something opened up for my partner and me and we ended talking for another couple hours after that and felt more confident and empowered to know how to deal with the upcoming birth of our child. Carly gave us very useful material and exercises to practice every day, which each time makes us feel more relaxed and confident. She also runs an amazing online yoga class once a week, which makes a whole difference in my day.
I would definitely recommend Carly. She is very professional and reassuring in the whole process with tools that work wonders even in a very short time.
We are grateful to have found her!
Thank you, Carly!
Steph & Carlos
Carly is an runs excellent antenatal yoga classes and Hypnobirthing courses. She is a very experienced and competent teacher and I would highly recommend them both. The yoga classes are suitable for all stages of pregnancy and are great for relaxation / breathing as well as increasing strength and flexibility. The Hypobirthing course provided us with a breadth of information, skills and confidence to look forward to birth.
Laura & Doug
I returned to yoga after a break of a few years and I'm so pleased it was with Carly! I was slightly nervous, partly because I now had a young baby in tow and I was also quite unfit after months of (mandatory) mat leave coffee and cake! Thanks to Covid restrictions, our first few sessions were held in the park, which turns out to have been a blessing in disguise. Outdoor yoga provides an ideal setting for getting back in touch with your body - and nature.
There's something particularly cathartic watching (upside down!) the leaves sway in the trees when you're doing a downward dog, or the clouds float by overhead while working your pelvic floor. Carly is a warm, calm, confident teacher and for the hour you're in her class you feel confident in yourself and your body and its capabilities. I really love the focus on pelvic floor strength but it doesn't dominate the practice - it's just a great yoga class and feels like an indulgence in my week, re-setting me for what lies ahead. I highly recommended you inviting Carly into your yoga practice, and life!
I’ve done pre and post natal yoga with Carly for both my babies now and always recommend her to other mums. I loved her prenatal classes for offering a combination of safe stretches, relaxation, breathing exercises and a focus on the best positions for birth - all in all, great preparation for birth! And it has been lovely to come back to yoga through the post natal classes, Carly is so considerate of the huge changes that happen in our bodies during this time. I’ve found it a really lovely thing to do as a bonding experience with my baby (gurgling on the mat while I’m in downward dog - and also needing to be fed and held at times of course! And Carly is great at offering adaptations when this happens) and as a way of coming back to myself and my body post birth.
I did Carly's pregnancy yoga class via Zoom. She was experienced, calm and the classes were so relaxing. I found her references to positions during labour really helpful. I also enjoyed the fact she encouraged the participants to have a chat at the end of the class to discuss any pregnancy niggles / questions etc. Carly is full of useful insight and is very kind. I wholeheartedly recommend her classes.
Carly’s pregnancy yoga is a lovely way to prepare both physically and mentally for giving birth, whether it’s your first or subsequent pregnancy. She is a skilled teacher, experienced mother and effortlessly good company. The session is also a great way to meet other Mums-to-be with the optional chat at the end. I can’t wait to start the postnatal group!
I so enjoyed doing antenatal yoga with Carly, it was such a lovely experience. She creates such a nurturing environment, particularly with the post session chats which I found reassuring and helpful about pregnancy and birth. She’s also a fantastic teacher and the sessions were so relaxing, even having to do them on zoom!
I really enjoyed attending Carly's pregnancy yoga. It was both helpful for keeping active during pregnancy and preparing for labour. Even during Covid she has maintained a great Zoom based practice. Would highly recommend!
My partner and I took Carly’s Hypnobirthing course in preparation for the birth of our first baby, the group was small and intimate and Carly was very informative and down to earth, we liked that we could ask any question no matter how silly and came away feeling excited for our new arrival. I also enjoyed Carlys pregnancy yoga classes as they were energising but relaxing so I felt I was getting a bit of a gentle workout without putting too much pressure on myself or my body!
Corrin & Tom
Carly is an amazing person to know and work with during pregnancy! I discovered her hypnobirthing course at a time when I was feeling overwhelmed about giving birth, and found the course to be reassuring, relatable and just the right amount of information. My husband and I both felt informed and confident after the zoom call series and enjoyed taking these calls from our living room! Her yoga classes are also awesome! Carly is great, highly recommend to anyone wanting to know more about hypnobirthing and active labour to feel more prepared!
As a regular to yoga, I was surprised at how different pregnancy yoga actually is - While there are certainly many familiar moves, with helpful modifications, it has a very strong focus on breath work and birth preparation that I would never have got in my usual practice. Carly’s experience as a doula and mother means she has a wealth of knowledge to share and certainly put me, as a first time mum, at ease. I used the vocalisations I learnt in class all through the active labour and believe it kept me from needing any pain relief. I would highly recommend Carly’s prenatal yoga classes!
As a first time mum I was suffering from so many body changes in pregnancy so tried this class to see if it helped me sleep better and it really did!
Carly is so understanding and caring for all her students. She listens to what’s happening with our bodies and adjusts her sessions to help ease our aches and pains! Her group chats are really great after the class, and build a real sense of support and community between us. Would definitely recommend to any mum to be’s!
“I’m so grateful to Carly for her hypnobirthing course. I’ll admit that before my partner and I did it, we were slightly sceptical, but I was a nervous wreck at the thought of labour, so I thought there was nothing to lose! The course itself was great and really addressed all of my concerns. Afterwards, I was genuinely so relaxed for the rest of my pregnancy, like a new person.
Carly has such a calming presence and we really liked that she wasn't dogmatic, instead helping me to build confidence whatever the outcome of my birth, which I definitely did. I can't thank her enough.
Nush & Sam
“I was a huge fan of Carly’s pregnancy yoga class! It complimented the reading I was doing around hypnobirthing, learning breathing techniques and active labour positions, which I was able to practice in my own time.
In addition, her support and advice when I was having problems with PGP was super valuable – she adapted the class for me every week to accommodate my painful pelvis!
I was able to apply all the skills I learned when in labour and had a very positive birth experience.
Thank you, Carly!”
“Carly was both my pre and post natal yoga instructor, and I feel blessed to have had her on my journey as a first time mum.
Her knowledge and experience shines through in each session and her ability to instil a sense of calm is second to none.
The breathing and visualisation techniques I learnt with her helped me immensely during my labour and even now in day to day life. I’ll forever be grateful to Carly for teaching me these skills, she truly is invaluable”
“Carly helped build my confidence on an emotional level, to put my first experience of breastfeeding behind me, and to see that breastfeeding could be easy and an enjoyable experience for both me and my baby”
“Carly’s pregnancy yoga classes were something i looked forward to every week and were great for preparing for birth both physically and mentally. As well as lots of movements that helped to relax the body and that would be useful during labour, she also gave lots of helpful advice during the classes.
A really positive person to know during pregnancy.”
“I was able to be nice and active for much of the first stage of labour, and the moves and ideas from your yoga classes really helped – thank you!”
“Thanks for everything over the last few months. The yoga classes have been amazing and have really helped me feel ready for birth.”
“Carly taught me so much throughout pregnancy yoga. The golden thread breath was very helpful as well as some of the gentle exercises that I managed to do at home. I managed to stay calm and focused for the most part of my labour, which I think is thanks to you”