In essence I believe society should cherish all new mothers. Motherhood nurtures civilization so we owe them a duty of care especially in those early days. So often family are unavailable for all sorts of reasons, friends are busy at work and even baby’s Dad is rarely able to take more than a week or two off work. I will do my best to fill the gaps.
Those first couple of weeks …perhaps regard them as a babymoon…spend most of your time in bed getting to know/enjoying this new person in your life…you probably didn’t have too many visitors or use your phone on your honeymoon….so ……no cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, shopping, working, vising the gym, having visitors unless they arrive armed with a meal!
My post natal focus is very much a mother centred one in that I hope to leave a mother feeling confident in her role A first time mother might need help in realizing her inherent mothering skills, subsequently older children need inclusion and accommodating. Either way I believe the new mother is the very best person to care for her baby though I am quite happy to do so when the need arises. You may appreciate help or just want or need someone to talk to. I can take care of all the things you would like to keep on top of but may well not have the energy or inclination for.
I believe that I have two main areas of responsibility. Firstly to help you get as much sleep as possible and secondly to ensure you are eating a plentiful and good diet aimed at enhancing your breastfeeding. (Plenty of galactogogic foods and drinks) If these two crucial aspects of new motherhood are cared for your success at breastfeeding increases.
I am happy to provide anything from just one or two sessions to a program covering several weeks or months according to need and I enjoy providing one evening’s babysitting for new parents once feeding has been established giving you the opportunity of time out together.
I can undertake post natal work close to home via Doula UK’s Hardship Fund and also accept Doula UK Gift Vouchers.
“I had a terrible pregnancy and having suffered severe clinical antenatal depression, I was worried that this might turn into post-natal depression after my baby was born. I therefore decided to ask Maggie Vaughan to be my post-natal doula and it was the best decision I could have made.
Maggie is like a fairy godmother: she arrives in your house where yesterday’s dishes are crowding the sink, the rubbish is overflowing, your baby is screaming and the bags under your eyes are so huge that your face is sagging. Before you know it, you are sitting with a cup of fennel tea and Maggie is soothing the baby whilst at the same time cooking nutritious food, washing the kitchen floor, filling the dishwasher, starting the washing machine, emptying the tumble dryer and imparting words of wisdom in a friendly and knowledgeable way. After a Maggie visit, my husband would come home after a long day’s work to find the house immaculate, a wonderful cooked meal in the oven, a peaceful baby and a happy wife.
One of Maggie’s many strengths is the quality of her cooking. She does all your shopping for you on her way to your house and then creates imaginative and healthy dishes that you can eat then and there or freeze. My husband and I never ate the same thing twice (unless we specifically requested to) and all Maggie’s cooking was absolutely delicious. She would also cook meals for the days ahead when she was not going to be with me and prepared all the food for weekends when my stepchildren came to stay, saving me lots of time and stress.
It can be a bit daunting learning to breast feed in the early days as both you and your baby are on a steep learning curve but Maggie was watchful and encouraging. She also makes the most magical potion out of herbs and spices that she boils up and which stimulates milk production. I found that within an hour of drinking a glass of potion, my milk would come flowing out of me and I would no longer feel anxious about providing enough food for my baby.
The other thing that Maggie does brilliantly is to make the most superb flapjacks. When I was in hospital after Theresa’s birth, Maggie dropped in with a big tin of homemade flapjacks, advising me to eat one every time I breastfed. Those flapjacks are the best reason for breast-feeding in the whole world, apart from the satisfaction of seeing your baby happy and settled. My husband also followed her advice and would polish off tins of them when nobody was looking so that Maggie and I had to start hiding them from him and his friends.
I would whole-heartedly recommend Maggie to any new mother as the best way to enjoy the first weeks and months of your baby’s life and really get to grips with all the changes that that entails.”
“Having suffered with post-natal depression with our first child, I was determined not to undergo the same experience with our second. Lacking the right sort of support from family, and with a husband whose job means he is often home late or away, Maggie has filled the gaps both logistically and emotionally.
At one level, simply having someone who is solely ‘on your side’ is such a bonus: I trust Maggie and can discuss approaches with her without feeling judged. I’ve not been able to do this with anyone else, as Maggie clearly only has my own interests at heart.
Maggie cooks wonderful meals: something I often found hard to manage with a small baby. Her post-natal support was designed to enable me to care for my children, and I have learnt so much from her, for instance recipes and ideas for food that have stuck.
Importantly for someone who was worried about coping she has helped me to model my behaviour on her: try plan A, if that doesn’t work, try plan B and so on until it works. This means I’ve settled my second child much quicker into a routine of sorts and coped better when this routine inevitably changes. He is a happier baby for it and I am a happier mother.
Maggie is flexible and timed her visits around the most difficult times – bath/bedtime and ensuring that there was something for me to eat after I’d finally got the baby to sleep. She has continued to support us as a family for over a year on an ad hoc basis and is always a welcome face when we need her.”
“One of the wonderful things about Maggie is that she is happy to turn her hand to pretty much anything that needs done. And with a newborn in the house that changes by the day. I was lucky enough to have my husband at home for 6 weeks and wasn’t absolutely sure how we would benefit most from a doula.
But I soon realised what a bonus it was to have Maggie – so much so that we doubled her hours. She was a whirlwind; cooking up delicious meals, scooping up washing, ironing, giving lots of assistance and encouragement with breastfeeding and generally helping us to get to know our little boy.
I even returned home from hospital to find a large tub of energising flapjacks which, after a 3 day labour, emergency caesarian and 3 day hospital stay, was worth its weight in gold! Maggie provided reassurance, talking me through my experiences. And throughout Maggie was an absolute pleasure to have at home.
We will always be indebted to her for helping us at such a challenging and emotional time.”
“We engaged Maggie as our post-natal doula for 10 weeks following the arrival of our twin daughters in January 2010.
I can honestly say I was both terrified and exhilarated when we arrived home from hospital with our tiny twins. We booked a post-natal doula as I was concerned about how I would cope – looking after the babies and looking after myself. How would I get to the supermarket? Would I have time to make lunch/dinner, do the washing etc? Would I be able to successfully establish breastfeeding? How would I cope with sleep deprivation?
For us, the attraction of a doula over a maternity nurse was the Doula ethos of supporting the whole family, not just looking after the babies. Maggie’s holistic approach to supporting me and the babies has been a vital ingredient in establishing a calm house, good routines, thriving babies and happy parents.
In the early days Maggie took virtually total control of the domestic side of things – shopping, cooking, washing/ironing, changing fuses, buying mousetraps (!) – which enabled me to focus on the needs of the babies rather than worry about how to get two newborn babies and a trolley round Waitrose! Maggie is a fabulous cook and can whip up wholesome porridge for breakfast, soups for lunch and tasty dinners at the drop of a hat. Our freezer was stocked with meals and there was always a plentiful supply of her fabulous carbo-filled flapjacks which I was particularly thankful for during night feeds.
Equally Maggie is confident and happy to care for the babies, taking them out for a walk so I could catch up on sleep, or looking after them while I popped out for appointments. She helped me give them their first bath and was a calm, reassuring presence when we were doing things for the first time. Although not a breastfeeding counsellor, Maggie is very knowledgeable about breastfeeding and provided great support and encouragement to help me successfully establish feeding the twins.
Maggie has indefatigable energy supplies, a can-do attitude, thinks ahead and is very pragmatic. She is totally unflappable and great company. I would not hesitate to recommend her to families seeking post-natal doula support. “