Eleanor has been absolutely fantastic. My twins love her and I've gained so much from having her here to help me. Not just in help with looking after my babies while I get some much needed sleep but also with all her experience in how to look after them, get them to sleep, what to feed them etc. As a single mum it is great to have someone else to talk to about the babies in minute detail!
Sarah, Single Mum to Twins,  
I can't recommend Els enough as a doula. She was amazing, helping me through contractions with reflexology and encouragement, and encouraging my husband. She was there to the end (a long time) and still met us with a cuddle and a warm friendly smile. She looked after me and my husband so well it was like having my best friend there with me.  Lou and Andy  (1st baby)
Eleanor was brilliant from our first meeting, she made no judgement on my birth plan & requirements. She supported us all through the birth, gave me peace of mind that my birth preferences would be listened to during the birth and gave reassurance to my husband.
Helen and Alex  (2nd Baby)
Having Eleanor with me as my doula led to such  an incredibly positive experience of labour. It helped resolve so many residual issues from my previous traumatic experience. I will be eternally grateful.
During my labour Eleanor was an absolute rock! It seemed she knew exactly what I needed - emotionally and physically - from start to finish. I honestly couldn't have done it with out her.
Sylvie and Jason  (2nd baby)
Thank you so much for your wisdom, love and support, for your strength and spirit, for your energy, for your presence. You inspired me to find the strength within to birth our beautiful son, by your constant encouragement and unfailing breaths of deep rhythm.
 Verity and Stu  (2nd child, home waterbirth)
I don't know what to say except thank you. From start to finish you were reassuring, professional, friendly and good humoured. It wouldn't have been anywhere near as positive an experience without your guidance and experience....it was amazing.
Vicky and Chris (1st baby)
 I achieved the labour I never thought possible, no epidural, no episiotomy, no c-section, WOW!  I know that I could not have managed this with out your support. You kept us focused and empowered me to believe I could manage.
Katherine and Ian (1st baby)
 Thank you for helping us through a seemingly impossible (and very long) task, wonderfully well done. You gave us so much strength to carry on and to be true to our aim to have as natural a birth as we could.
 Anna and Robert  (1st babv)
Your presence at our big day made a huge difference to the experience. You kept me calm and confident which I am not sure I'd manage without you! Thank you.
Anki and Mood (2nd baby) home waterbirth
I wanted to thank you for being such a truly amazing support during one of the most significant moments of my life. I honestly feel like I could not have done it without you. You were also really brilliant with my husband, guiding him into the best way to be there for me.
Anonymous  (1st baby)
I can't thank you enough for all your support, help and advice with the twins. You have brought an extremely calm aura into our chaotic house and we will all miss you.
Emily and Alex (post natal client with twins)
Thanks again Els for your wonderful support, Thanks for being my advocate when hospital transfer was being talked about.
Home Birth , VBAC Client, (2nd Baby)

Hey. Wow. Thank you so much for all your help and support. Not everything went according to our plan but we have a beautiful baby girl and G feels good about it all and is no longer scared of more kids! We felt so safe and secure with you by our sides and it really made the experience far more civilised.
G & N  (1st baby)
I am quite convinced that without your constant presence, and where necessary confirmation of my wishes to the midwife, I would never have been able to achieve the birth that I wanted. Your encouragement and quiet words in my ear gave me the impetus and ability to continue to control and manage my emotions and gave T the courage and confidence to lead me to the finish line.
C & T,  (1st baby)

Thank you so much for all your help and support
ove the past 24hrs, It really did help us both hugely and gave us more confidence.
Nicola,  (1st baby)
I'm still on a high from such a great birth! Thank you so much.
A & R, , 2nd baby
A big thank you for all your help today, I was really glad of your support when it all got scary! Thanks for being there for both of us.
Dad of 1st baby, 
Eleanor was an absolute godsend!  When my baby was six weeks old I got very ill and really needed help with my two children.  I luckily found Eleanor and she came to help out which allowed me to get my strength back.  What was so great, she is brilliant at everything and is so efficient too; from cooking us all dinner, to a cake, tidying, taking care of the children and making us lunch, all in a mornings work!  The only problem was, it was so nice having her around, it was extremely hard to see her go.  Thanks again Eleanor, you really helped me out and I’ll definitely be calling you back if we’re ever insane enough to have another baby!        

Lucinda , 2nd baby


Imogen's Birth Story (in her own words)

Soon after I became pregnant with my second child, my husband Alex accepted a new teaching job at Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, which meant we would have to leave our home in London.  I had been lucky to have a great, and very quick, home birth with my son a few years earlier but we then lived a 10-minute drive from the hospital and very close to both sets of parents and various siblings.  At Stowe, we were living in a house 45-minutes drive from Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury where we were registered and knew nobody locally so I was expecting it to be more challenging second time around.

I had imagined that my second pregnancy would be such a wonderfully relaxed time, having been through it all before.  Although I felt much less of the anxiety that inevitably one feels as a first-time mother, the move from London had been a wrench and our new life in the country was taking a lot of getting used to.  My first son was 2 weeks late and I was extremely anxious about the prospect of having to be induced in hospital.  My husband is extremely kind and supportive but hates confrontation and I didn’t want to have to worry about negotiating with medical staff myself whilst in labour!  I also didn’t want him to be busy endlessly explaining our birth plan to the various midwives and doctors we would potentially meet in hospital.  I found the uncertainty around the birth and the prospect of life with a toddler and a newborn very unsettling and I was also nervous about how my son would respond to his new sister.

We needed help!

Alex and I both felt that we needed to be supported by someone we knew at the birth; someone we had met and who understood our desire for a normal birth.  We decided to hire a doula who could help out if we had a home birth and who could liaise with the hospital staff if we were transferred, leaving Alex free to support me.  We found the lovely Eleanor Fowler through a friend and as soon as we met her, we felt absolutely comfortable and reassured.  Eleanor was very warm and extremely friendly but not overly familiar, too much of a hippy or bossy.  It was a prefect balance for us.  We went through our birth plan with her and explained that we hoped for a water birth at home and that we planned to use Hypnobirthing to help with the contractions, rather than any pain relief.  After our first meeting we felt confident that Eleanor would be able to make people feel welcome and cared for in our home when we were busy with the important business of birthing our baby but also to support our choices and fight our corner if needed.  I found it particularly reassuring that she was clearly very well-informed and experienced and would therefore be a true partner to us and not just there to make tea!  What I hadn’t anticipated at this point was that there was so much more that Eleanor could do…

For example, Eleanor can magically disappear.  When I was 10 days overdue, I started getting gentle but regular contractions very early in the morning.  By 6am, I called Eleanor and then the hospital to find out where the midwife on call was.  Eleanor and the midwife drove to us, through the snow, to check on me.  I was a few centimeters dilated and the midwife told me to call again when the labour was more established.  My sleep-deprived husband went to work and my son drove off happily with my mother to spend a few days with my parents-in-law.  Eleanor stayed on and, whilst I was very keen to have somebody in the house, I was desperate to slob about a bit.  With a two-year old son you don’t get many duvet days and I was nervous that I would have to “entertain” Eleanor.  However, Eleanor went off to bed for a bit in the spare room and then disappeared off downstairs without disturbing me once to ask where something was or how the TV worked or even just for a chat.  She was so low-key - it was perfect!  When I got hungry she popped up again and we went and had lunch together.  I then spent a wonderful afternoon watching box sets in bed.  Awesome!

By about 6.30pm my contractions were strong and I went downstairs where Eleanor and I called the hospital.  Eleanor went upstairs to wake up my husband who was catching up on some sleep.  The midwives at the hospital kept putting me on hold to check things until I couldn’t continue the call myself because the contractions were very strong.  Eleanor did this amazing thing of pushing on my lower back, which was such a welcome relief, and she showed my husband how to do it too.  Eleanor took over the call and was still on the phone when my waters broke.  The hospital said they would send a midwife but that we should call an ambulance.  Alex called the ambulance and I decided to get into the birth pool.

Alex supported me in the pool, while Eleanor stood in front of me checking for the baby’s head.  I remember feeling so calm in the lovely, warm water in our kitchen, although when I look back it strikes me as a bizarre place to have a bath with your husband and another woman watching.  I felt completely relaxed and excited and remember seeing my daughter appear with a head full of brown hair.  In fact, I felt totally present throughout the whole experience, which was wonderful because my son’s birth passed in a sort of endorphin-fuelled haze.  At about 7.15pm, our new daughter Vivienne floated up to the surface of the pool and I tried to cuddle her carefully without dropping her, she was so slippery.  I felt completely oblivious to the fact that we were still on our own, although Alex and Eleanor later admitted to feeling pretty on edge the whole way through.  They both did an amazing job of hiding their feelings from me!

About 20 minutes after Vivienne was born, the ambulance crew arrived and was relieved to find us chatting happily.  At about 8pm the midwives arrived and, with Eleanor, helped me to deliver the placenta, which was carefully put in the fridge in a plastic bag to make into capsules!  I had a few stitches lying on the sofa and then Eleanor bid farewell to the paramedics and the midwives before quietly heading off herself after checking we were all happy and had everything we needed.  Alex, Vivienne and I went off to bed.  What an extraordinary evening!

Of course, throughout all of this, Eleanor had, by her very presence, stopped my husband from having a heart attack, answered the door, made endless cups of tea and small-talk, held a torch for the midwife who stitched me up on the sofa, fetched, carried, cleaned up, made jokes.  How does anybody give birth without a doula?!  Eleanor was completely indispensable and, in my husband’s case, life saving.  We cannot recommend her highly enough.


https://mail.aol.com/webmail/getPart?uid=31568954&partId=6&scope=STANDARD&saveAs=IMG_2590.jpgEls supported us with the birth of our first baby - little Otto. As a doula, Els was an invaluable support both for myself, my partner and my parents as we prepared for a safe, collaborative labour. Els is non-judgmental, extremely sensitive and hugely experienced. Her wealth of knowledge around birth was very reassuring and helped us to make important decisions as we prepared to have our baby. Not only was Els helpful to me as a new mother but also, very importantly, she ably supported my partner with the transition to becoming a new dad and helped him consider and understand his role in labour and beyond. 

Since having Otto, Els has continued to be an integral part of our support system as new parents. I have gone to her for advice on a range of issues, including feeding, sleep routines and weaning. She always knows how to pitch advice, when to step in and when to step back and give you the confidence to trust your instincts.. Els is immensely caring, warm, fun and practical. During labour I felt completely safe, empowered, excited and consulted all the way through from labouring at home to final delivery in hospital. I would recommend Els to anyone who is looking for a doula. Otto adores her and we are so lucky that we had Els to help us bring him into the world in a relaxed way! 

Kate and Jerome