Who is ClarityDoula? 2021 Edition…

Hi there! If you’re reading this then you may be a new or

expectant parent in West Dorset, East Devon or South Somerset, a childbirth professional with your eye on networking or one of my lovely supportive friends or family members. Welcome all!

I hope to use this blog to share my thoughts and opinions on issues related to maternal wellbeing, childbirth and childcare issues in the media. I feel as if I am at the beginning of my learning journey, so am magpie-like in picking up any interesting nugget I find without a great deal of premeditation , so apologies if it’s all a bit random!

I completed my training to become a birth and postnatal doula with Nurturing Birth in 2017. Prior to that I worked as a Science teacher in a number of comprehensive and grammar schools around the South East in North Kent, Bromley and Bexley. I have three children, a 23 year old daughter who has just embarked on a career in marketing as well as two younger children, a 13 year old who is gender fluid and a 10 year old son.

When I had my eldest daughter I was the first of my friends and close family to have a child. I didn’t know anyone else in the same situation and my mum was my source of guidance and advice. I didn’t read any books about childbirth or caring for babies and this was in the days before the internet (imagine!!), so to a certain extent I went with what felt right and worked for me. Once my friends and sisters started venturing into parenthood, and when my husband and I joined a local NCT antenatal group, I was considered an ‘old hand’ (although, frustratingly incapable of remembering exact details of what pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding etc. etc. was like!) so was often asked for advice and reassurance. Possibly because of my inability to recall exact details of my own experience (extended mummy colander brain!), but also because of an awareness that each mother’s values and situation is unique I was always slightly loath to offer absolutes. I preferred to suggest options and signpost sources of advice whilst offering reassurance and an empathetic ear.

As more and more of the couples in my family and extended friendship group, both real and virtual, have travelled the journey of pregnancy, labour, childbirth and parenthood (with some rocky patches and losses along the way) I have continued to listen to all the stories, concerns and dilemmas and never cease to find them fascinating. Each journey is unique and precious in its own way and watching individuals come together and develop into families is wonderful and awe inspiring.

Since writing this blog for the first time back in 2018, so much has happened. We have relocated to West Dorset (leaving my eldest in the ‘Big Smoke’), my middle child has embarked on a challenging journey of gender questioning and self-discovery and of course Covid has happened. Having had a year with my foot off the accelerator of my business I am now trying to get back on track and will endeavour to post more frequently.

Thank you for reading,

Clare x

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